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Chongolo’s Resignation and Samia’s Resolve to Consolidate Power Within CCM

Regardless of who emerges as the next CCM Secretary-General, unwavering loyalty to the ruling faction will be an absolute requirement.

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The unceremonious ousting of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Secretary-General Daniel Chongolo has left many perplexed, wondering why the party chose such a public and humiliating approach rather than quietly removing him and appointing his successor.

It’s clear that the rumours that preceded his resignation – sending inappropriate photographs to women and involvement in an uninsured car accident – did not originate from outside sources; they were undoubtedly the work of insiders. So, what was the motive behind tarnishing Mr Chongolo’s reputation before forcing him out?

While we may never know the exact identities of those who initiated the rumours or their motivations, Mr Chongolo probably found himself on the wrong side of an ongoing power struggle within the party. 

READ MORE: New Factions Are Forming In CCM. Or Are Old Ones Re-strategising?

Perhaps his loyalties were questioned, or his allegiances were misaligned with those of the prevailing faction. The truth may remain elusive, but the circumstances surrounding his departure suggest a deep-seated power play within the ruling party.

The implications of Mr Chongolo’s ouster extend beyond the individual and serve as a stark warning to other party members. The message is clear: unwavering allegiance to the prevailing faction is paramount, and any deviation could result in a similar fate.

The appointment of the new Secretary-General will undoubtedly provide valuable insights into the party’s strategic direction. 

With speculations swirling regarding potential successors, names like party insiders Emmanuel Nchimbi and William Lukuvi, technocrats like Dr Benson Bana, and young guns like Anthony Mtaka have been thrown into the mix. 

Unwavering loyalty to the ruling faction will be an absolute requirement regardless of who emerges as the next Secretary-General. The new appointee must firmly align with the party’s leadership, ensuring unity and cohesion. 

As the party embarks on a new chapter, the appointment of the Secretary-General will serve as a crucial indicator of its future trajectory.

Samia’s power consolidation

President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s play to consolidate power within the party is undeniable. Her intention to run for re-election in 2025 has been made crystal clear, and any potential presidential aspirants and their allies would be wise to exercise extreme caution in expressing any aspirations for the position before 2030. 

READ MORE: Doubts Over CCM Presidential Candidacy Loom Large As 2025 Nears

While I cannot claim to have direct knowledge of President Samia’s intentions, I believe it is safe to assume that, as the first female leader of the nation who took power following the untimely demise of her predecessor, she is determined to avoid the fate that befell President Joyce Banda of Malawi.

President Banda, who became her country’s first female leader on April 7, 2012, following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, lost her re-election bid and was removed from office in May 2014. 

President Samia’s determination to avoid a similar outcome is evident in her relentless approach to maintaining internal party unity and ensuring the loyalty of potential rivals.

Her strategic approach to building a formidable team is evident to even the most casual observer. 

She is assembling a team that she firmly believes will propel her and the party to victory in the upcoming 2024 local government elections and the crucial 2025 general elections. Unlike President Banda, Samia enjoys the advantage of time and a weakened opposition, still reeling from the 2020 general elections. 

Each strategic appointment between now and the 2025 general elections will be a critical step towards securing her re-election bid.

READ MORE: Making Sense of Tanzania’s Politics Towards 2025 As Election Fever Grows

While her lack of power-hungry ambition and excessive political aspirations might have been admirable in the past, it could also be her Achilles’ heel. Over the years, her understated political persona has not allowed her to cultivate a deep network of confidants and allies.

Building a strong network

However, if President Samia aspires to secure a second term and solidify her legacy, she must swiftly and meticulously build this network, leaving no room for error. Her path to securing a second term and cementing her legacy hinges, in part, on her ability to cultivate a network of loyal mentees, individuals whom she has personally elevated to prominence. 

This strategic approach, employed by past presidents, has proven effective in consolidating power and ensuring a steady pipeline of talent within the party.

While President Samia has unquestionably promoted fresh faces, the most prominent figures surrounding her are predominantly individuals elevated by her predecessors, John Magufuli and Jakaya Kikwete. 

The creation of her own mentees, individuals who owe their rise to her direct mentorship, would serve as a powerful symbol of her leadership and her ability to shape the party’s future. 

READ MORE: CCM’s Secretary-General Resigns After Sexual WhatsApp Message Leaks

By identifying and nurturing promising individuals, President Samia can foster a sense of loyalty and commitment among the next generation of party leaders. 

Handpicked and personally trained by the president, these mentees would become her trusted confidants and allies, ensuring the continuity of her vision and policies beyond her tenure.
Thomas Joel Kibwana is an international relations and business development expert. He can be reached at or on X (Twitter) as @thomasjkibwana. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chanzo. If you are interested in publishing in this space, please contact our editors at

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