Tanzania’s CCM bans aspirants’ debates

Tanzania’s Ruling Party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) yesterday banned its presidential aspirants from participating in any political debate until it gives further directives.


CCM's Secretary of Organization, Mohamed Seif  Khatib
CCM’s Secretary of Organization, Mohamed Seif Khatib
The stand was issued by the party Secretary of Organization, Mohamed Seif  Khatib during a press conference at the party headquarters.
Khatib noted that members of the party who have taken the presidential nomination forms are banned from involvement in any debates.
 “We have got information that some people outside the party are planning to conduct debates for presidential candidates…we do not allow those who have just taken nomination forms to participate till then when we nominate the party’s presidential flag bearer ,” he said.
He noted that if they are allowed to participate in such forums, there is  danger some of them might indulge in dirty politics  and mudsling against each other.
He also said candidates had limited time as they are supposed to move around the country seeking endorsement from party members.
Khatib also cautioned those who collected  nominations forms to use the opportunity to seek endorsements only rather than engaging in any kind of campaigns.
Any aspirant who would use the opportunity to campaign shall violate party regulations and election laws, thus liable for serious action.
“Let it be known to them that no aspirant is allowed to print poster or placards and the party assures them that none of them will fail to get endorsement by other party members,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, he said they are not allowed to hold public rallies as it was against regulations and would be seen as early campaigns.
The party, he said, would ensure the aspirants get special rooms at the party district offices where they will meet people to support their presidential nomination requests. They would be allowed to address them. He said there if there were any issues, it would be the task of the party top leadership to address.
“To me this is not a big problem but higher party structures will decide on it, if they see it as a problem…those responsible shall be punished accordingly,” he added.
Up to yesterday, he said the party had issued nomination forms to some 13 aspirants. Tow others were planned to pick the forms later in the day.
 Khatib said there are some party members who have already declared interest in the nominations but have not picked the forms. He urged them such members to take bold steps and go for the forms instead of just making the declarations.
The ban imposed on CCM presidential hopefuls has come barely a day after The CEO Round Table of Tanzania issued an announcement of a first debate involving six candidates.
According to the announcement, the institution had organised a series of presidential aspirants’ debates throughout the month of June for the objective of creating a neutral platform whereby voters’ priorities and key challenges facing the public were to be addressed.
The first debate, according to the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, was scheduled to be held next Monday in Dar es Salaam involving former Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Deputy Minister for Communications, Science and Technology January Makamba, Minister for Communications Samuel Sitta, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu and Deputy Minister for Finance Mwigulu Nchemba.
The second debate was expected to be held on June 18 while the last debate was scheduled to take place on June 25th.

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