Leaders of several opposition political parties invited to the CCM National Congress here have applauded the party for building a good tradition of leadership succession.
The ruling party’s National Congress convened in Dodoma yesterday to vote for President John Magufuli, who was endorsed by the National Executive Committee (NEC). He emerged victorious with a total of 2,398 votes.
Two leaders of opposition parties spoke on behalf of other opposition political parties who attended the congress. National Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) Chairman Augustine Mrema said CCM will remain strong because of well-organised leadership.
He applauded Dr Magufuli for appointing him new Chairman of Tanzania National Parole Board, saying he was a leader who did not consider religion or political ideologies in his choice of various functionaries.
“I would like to use this opportunity to assure the head of state that I will not let him down, I will attend to my duties diligently,” Mr Mrema pledged. National United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman John Cheyo said it was very difficult to remove CCM from power, pointing out that it was a very strong and more organised outfit compared to other political parties in the country.
According to Mr Cheyo, CCM will remain strong for a long time because of solidarity among its members.
He commended President Magufuli for recording good performance in the past eight months that he has been in power. “I would like to advise my fellow opposition leaders to learn to appreciate; some people are challenging Dr Magufuli’s good job; that is unfair,” he noted.
Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) leader, Mr Zitto Kabwe, wrote in his Facebook wall that CCM has managed to maintain its record of handing over leadership to each other. He said other political parties in the country and abroad must learn from CCM’s tradition.
Meanwhile, two former CCM members who had defected to the opposition returned to the ruling party yesterday. Mr Mgana Msindai, who defected to Chadema last year was welcomed again yesterday.
He asked CCM members to forgive him and allow him to rejoin the party. “CCM is my home. I would like to ask for your forgiveness. CCM belongs to me. I consider it to me my mother and my father,” Mr Msindai pleaded.
Former Kishapu MP, Mr Fred Mpendazoe, said he has decided to return to CCM after measuring the advantages and disadvantages of staying out of the ruling party. “I have gained nothing from the opposition. There is nothing outside there. I am back to CCM.
I am happy with President Magufuli’s leadership,” said Mr Mpendazoe. Mr Mpendazoe quit CCM to join the opposition in 2010. Announcing his decision to jump ship at the Information Centre (Maelezo) auditorium in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mpendazoe said he had reached the decision after considering a number of factors.
He said he strongly felt he no longer had confidence in the party on whose ticket he entered Parliament for the first time following the 2005 general election.
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