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Tanzania’s CCM Picks Emmanuel Nchimbi As Its Twelve Secretary-General

Mr Nchimbi, 52, is succeeding Daniel Chongolo, who resigned on November 30, 2023, after reports surfaced on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, implicating him in sexual WhatsApp messages with an unidentified woman.

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Dar es Salaam. The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) on Monday named Mr Emmanuel Nchimbi as its twelve secretary-general since the formation of Africa’s second longest-ruling party in 1977 following a merger between Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) of Zanzibar.

Mr Nchimbi, 52, is succeeding Daniel Chongolo, who resigned on November 30, 2023, after reports surfaced on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, implicating him in sexual WhatsApp messages with an unidentified woman.

In the leaked WhatsApp conversation, Mr Chongolo and the woman share intimate and sexual messages, accompanied by nudes that the two exchanged during their communication. Following the scandal, Mr Chongolo tendered his resignation to the party’s national chairperson, Samia Suluhu Hassan, which she approved.

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

Nchimbi, who many consider a CCM insider, was among the names shared during online discussions as the likely successor of Mr Chongolo immediately after the latter’s resignation. He’s assuming the role in a critical period as the nation approaches civic elections later this year and the general elections in 2025.

Born on December 24, 1971, in Mbeya, Mr Nchimbi served as Songea Mjini MP (CCM) since 2005, serving in different ministerial portfolios, including serving as Home Affairs Minister between May 2012 and December 2013 when he resigned following Operation Tokomeza scandal.

Reports suggest that the parliamentary committee that investigated the scandal didn’t call for Mr Nchimbi’s resignation but he decided to do so after his party resolved internally that he should also step down following the scandal.

Between 2016 and 2021, Mr Nchimbi served as Tanzania’s ambassador to Brazil. He also represented Tanzania in Egypt between 2022 and 2023.

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

Apart from being considered an insider of CCM, some observers also consider Mr Nchimbi as one of the party’s most loyal and dedicated cadre. In a 2015 analysis, Julius Mtatiro, then senior CUF leader and now Tunduru district commissioner, named Nchimbi as one of CCM’s cadres who would seek their party’s permission to run for president.

Mtatiro described Nchimbi as one of the most “influential” CCM cadres, crediting him with running a strong and effective CCM youth wing (UVCCM) in a capacity that “remains unparalleled to this day.” Mtatiro described Nchimbi as “one of the most trusted” CCM cadres, who are willing to “sacrifice for his party” regardless of circumstances.

Nchimbi becomes CCM’s secretary-general at a time when critical reforms are being discussed nationally that are expected to level the playing field among the country’s key electoral players, including political parties, and deliver free and fair elections to Tanzania.

If recommended reforms take place, including the urgent need for an independent electoral commission and checked interference of security organs in electoral activities, it means that CCM will participate in upcoming elections under totally different circumstances than those it used to find in previous elections.

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

It’ll, therefore, be Nchimbi’s greatest challenge to secure his party’s victory in free and fair elections made possible by President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s promise to Tanzanians of a reformed electoral system that offers genuine options to electorates.

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