On December 8,2022, Tanzania’s ruling party CCM concluded its national congress, which involved election of National Executive Committee members and the discussion of government reports, among other things. Below is the speech made by President Samia Suluhu, vote of thanks and congratulation intros were not included in this translation for summarization.
Now it’s about building the party and serving the people
Dear delegates of the congress, after the conclusion of the congress, now it’s about building the party and serving the people so as to bring development to our nation. It is time to bury our differences and work together in a new style so as to face our current environment, as every era has its own challenges and the challenges we face are different from any other period. So we must adopt and work on the current challenges so as to bring development to our nation.
As I explained recently when the University awarded me a doctorate, I said that our era is going through many challenges not only in our country but all over the world and so we should plan well to face them. From my point of view, I have seen that we need to develop new methods to match the time we have in building a new Tanzania.
In achieving that and with the responsibilities vested in me to lead CCM and Tanzania, I have come up with an idea that has been accepted within the party. An idea with four main pillars reconciliation, resilience, reform, and rebuilding Tanzania or in the English language these are the four R’s that I usually mention which are reconciliation, resilience, reform and rebuilding.
Looking where we are coming from
Swahili’s have a saying which say what is not old can not help you cross. So whenever we work we should look at where we are coming from that is our ‘old’ for our present, but also for where we are going. In that case, I would like to refer to the CCM congress resolution, this was the resolution in a joint congress between TANU and ASP which was held in 1977 when joining the parties, luckily you can read the resolution when you open our party constitution you will find the resolution on the preamble, the resolution says:
“We have decided together to establish a new Party which will spearhead the Socialist Revolution in Tanzania and the liberation struggle in Africa, by building on the foundations already laid down by TANU and ASP. We are establishing a party which will be sufficiently strong both structurally as well as in its ideas and actions, to be able to fight against any attempt by any one person to oppress another, or any corporation or institution to oppress or humiliate the people, sabotage the economy or weaken the development of the Nation. We are establishing a party which will provide effective leadership in public affairs, in the interest of the workers and peasants of our nation. We are establishing a party which will be a link between Tanzanians and our fellow revolutionaries elsewhere in the world.”
This idea my brothers and sisters touches every important aspect of the life of a Tanzanian and human in general, as outlined in our party manifesto and national vision.
Moreover, this idea emphasizes on implementation of four responsibilities before us the party and nation, the first responsibility is to strengthen our unity and solidarity and to focus all our attention and energy on that big and main task for any political party.
We should not allow election activities be the source of division among us at the national level or cause cracks in CCM. During the election, there are many groups, and many candidates and we have differences but when we conclude the election, we should not allow division in our party and that is what we are directed with that resolution from our founders
After concluding the election we must end all groups and continue with party-strengthening work and in building the nation together, because unity is strength and unity is our victory. My seniors have said this [referring to President Kikwete] and I also want to say this a bit, there is pettiness in our party, but I want to say for a CCM member who knows the party and knows the direction of the party policies or in other languages CCM members who originated from our party would not focus on pettiness and destruct their party.
READ ALSO: A Game Plan For CCM’s Future?
But there are some CCM members who have held various positions and passed through the party these people can destroy our party
By failing to plan we are planning to fail
So I call upon all CCM leaders and its wings at all levels to adhere to this truth and that all of us cooperate in planning and strategizing in the implementation of article 5 of our 1977 constitution version 2002. We should remember by failing to plan we are planning to fail so we must not fail to plan. President Kikwete has said this to fail to plan is to plan to fail, I ask you not to go and plan to fail but to plan to win. The second responsibility before us is to strengthen our ability in the implementation of the election manifesto which citizens who put us in power are expecting us to implement
As we know one is trusted by their trustworthiness and CCM’s trustworthiness to citizens is in implementing our promises to them as outlined in our proclaimed manifesto. The government in power is a CCM government so officials within the government in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar must cooperate and respect each other and respect the limits of their power and our guiding principles, they must cooperate in building Tanzania. Tanzania is one house we don’t have another one so both sides of the union must respect each other in building Tanzania.
Government officials should not fear and, truly they are supposed to go hand in hand with the ruling party leadership. Because their existence is because this party has formed the government. So if they serve the government of this party they must implement the party manifesto. Implementation of the party manifesto it’s not at the discretion but is the responsibility of every government official.
CCM leadership at all levels have the duty too in the implementation of the CCM 2015 election manifesto in their areas, to discuss government report in their levels concerning implementation of the manifesto.We have shown an example here, we have held dialogue about government work here. If you do this work at your level you will not come with issues from those levels, you will conclude at that level at this level or the National Executive level we will discuss those bigger issues which have been difficult at the district and regional level. Therefore party and government leader should cooperate, District and Regional Commissioners should be interrogated regarding the implementation Chama cha Mapinduzi manifesto fortunately I have a good team of Chama cha Mapinduzi regional Commissars.
Commissars is my army [meaning a group of workers] and up to now they are doing well. Go and strategize well, set you plans discuss regarding the implementations and respond to issues if its above you forward them to us. But respond to issues so that people will not come and complain here on issues which are already in implementation. So I wish you great work and this is why at the beginning or during the meeting the government of the united republic of Tanzania and the revolutionary government of Zanzibar submitted their implementation report. As I said all regional and district commissioner should continue with this direction strategize in like three to six month but submit your implementation report to the party and the party should interrogate you.
Party that save the oppressed
Dear delegates the third responsibility which is of utmost importance to our party is to ensure CCM doesn’t slumber or get drunk with power, that we should continue to respect the faith of citizen who elected and put us in power and become leaders who are servant. We are leaders who are servants, put servant-hood first and then leadership, let’s serve the people first instead of demanding for glory that I’am a leader.
The way you serve people it’s the same way they will respect you, true respect is the product of serving the people honestly, diligently and at great humility they will respect you my brothers and sisters as we know it.
Historically CCM is the party that save the oppressed. So if there is any attribute that CCM must protect it’s that attribute of being a strong defender of its citizens. Not just in words but in action too. Let’s not forget that good leadership is about defending rights, accountability and serving the people instead of serving yourself. Good governance is serving the people
In the past citizens who felt they are being oppressed or being denied their rights they would run to CCM offices. It was the big office to go to present their cases. This citizens would be scared of the Police, scared of the court but they believed CCM was their savior. But today let judge ourselves in our own areas when did citizens run to us and when citizen come how are they being received, how are they served. I ask you sincerely lets return the faith of our people that they should know CCM is their refuge.
I want to assure CCM members and all Tanzanians that the government of Chama Cha Mapinduzi will refrain from being drunk with power or abusing it. And to the leaders of CCM everywhere whenever you are I want you to be alert every time you see signs of being drunk with power or abuse,you should be quick to correct it, so that immediate steps can be taken.
CCM leaders and those in government lets be servant first and leaders second. You are leaders who are servants, I’am also a leader who is a servant I’am here to serve all Tanzanians and not to serve myself.
Anyone who does not agree with this they should know that there is no room for them in the party or government. As I said if you managed to penetrate [get positions] but you lack this conviction you should prepare youself, we will find you and you will leave us be.
My brothers and sisters we have various institutions for defending and protecting citizens’ rights. We have the National Assembly of the United Republic of Tanzania, House of Representative Zanzibar, the Court, Commission for human rights and good governance, Ethics Commission, Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau. But to have institutions that oversee rights of citizens is one thing and implementation of the responsibilities to protect citizens rights is another thing.
Government should respect its citizens
I have noticed that there is laxity in protecting citizen’s rights. We are a nation that wants to be respected, our governments should also respect its citizens. And to all Tanzanians who are listening, I want to assure you that we will protect their constitutional rights. It’s not good for citizens of this country to be abused and oppressed by government authorities.
In addition, as I have mentioned in the past, today I would also like to reiterate my intention and commitment to developing a culture of positive dialogue between political parties with the aim of strengthening the foundations of democracy, unity and national reconciliation in our country. And remove misconceptions that democracy is only about election commissions. Democracy is more than that. Democracy is a culture not that of institutions or election alone, but democracy is how we manage our affairs in our country, within our context using the resources we have. That is democracy. To involve all Tanzanians and run our affairs on those basis.
For that reason, the Government and political parties all together have the responsibility to promote a culture of mutual respect, tolerance and cooperation to promote matters that are of interest to the people and our nation. That culture should be permeated in all aspects of life, relations between citizens and between different communities in our country.
Similarly, it is also important for the opposition parties in this country to understand that the ongoing dialogue does not take away from us CCM trust given to us by the people as the ruling party. This culture makes us CCM, the ruling party, to sit down with our colleagues, discuss and agree on how to conduct our politics calmly and civilly, and how to conduct our affairs. But we still remain the ruling party and we have trust given to us by the people.
Trust that we will protect and cherish. So I ask all leaders from those parties that they should understand and not forget that we are the ones with the responsibility to lead the country. And we didn’t get the authority of our own accord but it was given to us by citizens
Dear delegates of the congress, the fourth responsibility arises from the 10th CCM’s congress resolution, which is the resolutions presented here by the resolutions committee. Undoubtedly, those resolutions are the vision of our party in the next five years from 2022 to 2027. And it is what will give the direction of the fourth project to strengthen our party. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every level of the party to prepare plans and strategies to achieve the implementation of those resolutions in our areas.
In addition, it is the duty of CCM executive committees at all levels from the branch to the nation to supervise the implementation of those resolutions in their areas. Therefore, I direct the executive committee of CCM at all levels to closely and effectively supervise the implementation of those resolutions in their areas and to regularly evaluate the implementation so as to understand the successes and challenges that arise and prepare strategies for solutions.
We have been told here by the Retired Chairperson that we should know issues that will deny us votes in the future. When we know those issues then we will find a solution for them, if we solve them then there would be no reason for people to deny us the vote in the future. Therefore, this work that I am instructing you to do will go to fulfill what the Vice Chairman has told us here.
Let’s go and create bigger projects for this party
Now considering the responsibility of our party that it is the ruling party and the extent of its responsibilities for our nation, I suggest that the following issues and resolutions should be considered and become part of those resolutions in case they are not there
The first and I think it has been set [in the resolution] is to increase political training, training on the party’s ideology of socialism, and self-reliance within the context of the modern environment. Our colleagues with politics like ours have changed a lot, they have borrowed what is happening in capitalist politics and brought it in, bringing it to socialist politics but with another dimension not exactly what they see there. For example, the Chinese say that they have political socialism; they have changed some of their policies but have political socialism. Tanzania is the same, we can translate our policy of socialism and self-reliance and interpret it modernly, set policies and implement it.
But another thing is to strengthen the systems of providing justice, democracy and good governance. We did it in the Government, as I told you, I have already created a team, but these systems of justice, democracy and good leadership are also needed within Chama Cha Mapinduzi. Because many of the complaints that we have received especially during this election are against the provision of justice, democracy and good governance.
Therefore, I ask Secretary General and your team to plan well for this. We have been told that there are many teachers here, Bashiru is teacher, Mkama is teacher, Makamba is teacher, and Honorable President Jakaya is also a teacher, we have many teachers we should use them to do this.
But another is to strengthen the capacity of CCM and its wings and build solid foundations for a modern economy. Let’s not remain a CCM of business stalls only. The stalls that you NEC and the regional chairperson are taking for 50 [thousands] shillings and are renting out for 200,000.
Let’s not remain a CCM of stalls, let’s go and create bigger projects for this party to be self-reliant. The economic power of the party is what buys the political power. It would emerge a party with financial muscle which would come and overtake. Let’s go and strengthen ourselves, economic power is what holds political power, let’s go and strengthen ourselves. And those who are used to eating through ranks of CCM and CCM titles, ask yourself three times. Ask yourself three times because now our auditing system is going to improve.
Another thing is to strengthen the use of IT in our party activities and the last is to strengthen the capacity of our wings.
The party that is determined
I was not fortunate to address the meetings of elders and youth during the elections but I was lucky enough to address the UWT [women wing] meeting and I told them that there is more that you can do than what you are doing at the moment.
So let’s go as a party that is determined to strengthen the capacity of our wings to stand strong and become reliable wings and not beggars that whenever something happens the chairperson and secretary of the wing would run to the rich ‘please give us something’. People will be planted [in your wings], you will be given people that you must give them position whether they match your attributes or not, but because you have taken people’s things you will be given people to keep them, so you must be careful on that.
It is my belief that if we can complete all these things that we are planning for ourselves, CCM will be stronger and we will be able to stand as the mother party that gave birth to our colleagues who strive to challenge us whenever they see defects. It’s up to us to use those defects to make adjustments so that our party would continue to stand strong.
Dear delegates, you have heard and seen the implementation of the manifesto by both governments and you have had time to discuss the implementation of the manifesto on behalf of the people who elected you. You are the owners of these two governments, I wanted you to see and you have seen from the description and pictures that nothing has stopped in every project, every area, and every site, development works are ongoing.
So you are the custodian of the government, you should not listen to rumors, that the dam [Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant] construction has stalled, ‘since she got in power dam construction has stopped’, the dam construction is ongoing and maybe this month not sure of the date we will start to test water flow in our dam.
We have returned the practice of uniting or bringing back solidarity of working together between the party and the government, so that you understand this, my brothers and sisters that you may have the opportunity to discuss the progress made by your government that you have the opportunity to also visit.
And I was talking to the Secretary-General here and I told him this time we did not have time to take members of the national congress for a visit but when the NEC (National Executive Committee) come they should plan to take them around for them to see the progress in different areas so that the NEC will know what is being done by their government so that when they hear this nonsense words outside they can respond and defend.
But right now there are these nonsense words being said outside and you will find a member of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi is also contributing to that nonsense, he forgets that the government that is bashed belongs to him and not Samia Suluhu’s government, it’s yours, CCM member. So the reforms that we are going to undertake are to make sure the party provides effective leadership in public affairs.
Organizing the government
We have already set a good structure for the party’s work, but to face the upcoming elections, I ask you to give me your blessing so that I can organize the government as well [applause] and organize the government in the way that I feel this team can go and implemented what you have outlined here better than what we explained here [member standing up started to sing].
Let’s continue delegates, what has been presented here is the implementation of two years but in my two-year journey, I really feel that there are people whose pace is not in line with my speed. We have a three-year journey ahead before we go to be held accountable to the people. Therefore, in the remaining three years, I want both governments to work when we go to the people, let us go and stand up and have something to tell the people.
And most importantly when we go to the people it is the people themselves who say what the government has done to them this is different from the culture we had in the past, where when we went to the people it is the government that tells them we have done for them. Sometimes they even doubted our claims, but right now they themselves are the ones who are telling us that you have brought this much, Sanga Jah People [member of parliament] say you have brought these Bs (billions) have done this, this Bs have done this, let the people say themselves.
So let’s go and implement and complete the implementation of the election manifesto even the good things that are not in the Chama Cha Mapinduzi manifesto but we feel that they will contribute to the development of our country let’s go and implement them. For example, Royal Tour was not in the manifesto but we have seen that it is a good thing, we have implemented it and it has brought benefits to the country.
Therefore, we will continue to implement such things, but in doing so, my brothers and sisters, it is also important for the government to cooperate fully with the private sector this is the current economic trend, working with the private sector. So many of the things you said here, we demand a ferry, bring us a ships, that work will not be done by the government, the government, we will create a good environment, those things should be done by the private sector.
We have to collect taxes
My brothers and sisters, during a discussion on our implementation report, each region has come up with a list of needs and those needs need money.
Our government does not have a money duplicating machine, money has its rules and laws, the biggest thing we can do is to safeguard our economy, safeguard our money so it doesn’t lose value and control that our money doesn’t go out [capital flight] and we do that with great strength.
But in order to be able to implement our development plans, we have to collect taxes, we have to pay taxes, we have to put levies and I don’t hate the name you given me Mrs. Levies, I don’t hate it, but whenever I feel that the people’s contribution is needed for things to go, I will not hesitate, but I will not do so without reason.
A lot of things have happened recently and I have seen people’s situation is not good, we have put subsidies in the areas of education, we have put subsidies in agricultural inputs, and we have put subsidies in several areas. So if there is no reason to do so, we will not need to do it [put levies], but if there is a reason, I do not want to deceive you, my brothers, we will do so and that is the truth and I cannot do otherwise.
When you were praising here about these satellite schools and clinics these are the products of levy money, we have set them aside for building primary schools and clinics. So when we introduce them [levies], you are the ones who own this government and when we have to do that, we will explain to you at our party meetings that the state of the economy is like this we are facing this so we are going to take these steps, so that you understand and stand up to defend it out there.
Dear delegates of the congress, let me finish my speech by once again thanking you, for the faith and great honor you have given us and for continuing to trust us to be the leaders of our party by giving us the floods of votes. Because faith begets faith, I and my colleagues promise that we will not let you down. As I have mentioned before, we are your servant, we are servants of the people, and we are the servants of all Tanzanians.
We are ready to serve them with all our strength, knowledge, and ability tirelessly without discrimination of any kind. I pray that God gives us the strength and the ability to implement effectively and diligently what I ask of you my brothers and sisters is to give us your sincere cooperation so that we can achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and fulfill the expectations of the people and our nation as a whole
My brothers and sisters, after saying all that, let me now conclude by wishing you a good journey when you return home. May God protect us all, and let us return safely. Each one of us let us implement what we agreed here and now let me officially announce that the tenth national congress of CCM is now officially closed.