Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Kinana replaces Mangula as CCM deputy chairperson
The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) on Thursday nominated the party’s former secretary-general Abdulrahman Kinana to become the vice-chairperson of the second longest-ruling party in Africa for Tanzania Mainland.
Thursday’s development followed the resignation of the sitting CCM vice-chairperson (Tanzanian Mainland) Mr Philip Mangula after serving the position for almost ten years since he was nominated for the position in 2012.
No reasons were given for Mr Mangula’s resignation. Kinana’s nomination was made during CCM’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in the capital Dodoma ahead of today’s extraordinary party congress.
Among other agendas, today’s congress aims at amending the party’s constitution to meet what CCM has described as “present and future demands.” It will be the 17th time that the party will amend its constitution since its inception in 1977.
Apart from serving CCM in the capacity of secretary-general, Mr Kinana has also served the party by acting as the campaign manager of every CCM presidential candidate in the General Elections of 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 elections.
Together with Bumbuli MP (CCM) January Makamba and Mtama MP (CCM) Nape Nnauye, Mr Kinana is credited for leading a vigorous campaign in 2015 that catapulted the late John Magufuli to become the fifth president of Tanzania following what analysts think to be the most competitive election since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in the country.
But the three would fall from grace with President Magufuli after they were implicated in leaks of phone recordings where they were heard together with former CCM secretary-general Yusuf Makamba, speaking badly of the president who died on March 17, 2021, following heart complications.
January Makamba is now serving as energy minister in the President Samia Suluhu Hassan cabinet while Nape Nnauye serves as information, communications and information technology minister.
Some analysts have interpreted Mr Kinana’s appointment as the coming back to CCM of the party’s “old guard” which was sidelined from it under the five years of Magufuli. One of these people is Dr Thabit Jacob, a keen observer of Tanzania’s political development.
“CCM’s ‘real’ owners who were sidelined are re-merging from the woods,” Dr Jacob, a faculty member at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a Twitter post. “Kinana’s [comeback] may be good for [President Samia], not necessarily [so for] the country.”
Kinana’s return to CCM is good news to people who support the ongoing national-level discussion on how to transform Tanzania to become a better place for multiparty democracy, thinks Zitto Kabwe, leader of the opposition ACT-Wazalendo and current chairperson of the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD).
TCD, together with the Council of Political Parties, is leading the discussion and it is expecting to organise a bigger conference on justice, peace and reconciliation in the capital Dodoma between April 1 and 5.
ACT-Wazalendo is supposed to hand over the rotational leadership of TCD to CCM and Mr Kabwe could not resist the urge to express his feelings to pass the baton to Mr Kinana.
“Handing over TCD leadership is one thing, handing it to Col. Abdulrahman Kinana is exhilarating,” Kabwe said in a Twitter post. “On 6th April 2022, ACT-Wazalendowill pass on the baton of TCD to CCM. Col. Kinana knows TCD very well and [he is] a believer in political dialogue. I wish him well.”
Samia announces mini-cabinet reshuffle
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday announced a mini-cabinet reshuffle whereby she transferred the Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister George Simbachawene to the Office of the Prime Minister Parliament, Policy and Coordination.
A statement by the director of presidential communications Zuhura Yunus stated that the Head of State also transferred Dr Pindi Chana who was serving as the Minister of State Prime Minister’s Office (Parliament, Policy and Coordination) to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
Chana is replacing Dr Damas Ndumabro who is going to serve as the new Constitution and Legal Affairs minister.
Mpango reiterates Tanzania’s position in the Russian/Ukrainian war
Vice President Phillip Mpango said Wednesday that Tanzania abstained from voting in the UN resolution on Ukraine because the East African nation “wanted to give diplomacy a chance,” The Citizen newspaper quoted the VP as saying.
The VP was speaking on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at the World Government Summit in Dubai. He becomes the latest Tanzanian official to justify the country’s decision at the UN after Tanzania’s Ambassador to the United Nations Prof Kennedy Gaston made similar remarks earlier this month.
Dr Mpango’s remarks came at a time when observers of world affairs have noted a concerning silence of most of the African governments when it comes to the Russian/Ukrainian war that has elicited strong reactions from the Western world.
According to reports, Dr Mpango said that the African continent is going through a “momentous time” and seeing “a transformation of trade routes from the established colonial ones to Africa doing more business with the eastern world.
“This is an opportunity for the continent to make progress, by diversifying its culture and using technology to better interact with the world,” Dr Mpango was quoted as saying. “We are witnessing the shifting of tectonic plates, particularly with the rise of China and India on the global economic stage.”
But that is not to say that the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv is not affecting the continent. The VP pointed out that much of Africa imports grain from both Russia and Ukraine, but the trade has been disrupted due to military operations as well as Western sanctions.
“We have already seen rapid increases in food prices,” Mpango admitted. “We’re also seeing fertilizer costs rise and steel prices are going up.”
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