Presidential aspirants in jovial mood congratulating each other at the beginning of CCM Nation Excutive Committee meeting in Dodoma.Asha Rose Migiro is among the top three,Bernard Membe (in glasses ) was among the top five

Presidential aspirants in jovial mood congratulating each other at the beginning of CCM Nation Excutive Committee meeting in Dodoma.Asha Rose Migiro is among the top three,Bernard Membe (in glasses ) was among the top five

While a section of the people interviewed illustrated their delight in the selection process which saw Dr John Magufuli, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Mr January Makamba and Mr Bernard Membe emerge as the top contenders, a pocket of disgruntled party members could not hide their disappointment, citing unfairness in the whole exercise.

One of those who made it through to the top five, January Makamba expressed his delight in making it in the selection process, saying that it indicates that the CC had trust in his ability to lead the country.

?This simply shows that the party has all the reasons to trust my ability in flying the party flag during the oncoming general elections,? the 41-year-old son of former CCM secretary General Yusuf Makamba noted.

A long-serving minister who was one of the aspirants, Prof Mark Mwandosya, said the country was going through a testing time. He said that he was not in a position to either concede or oppose the selection because he did not know the criteria that the committee used.

?Maybe I qualify or maybe I have over-qualified, a situation that prompted them to drop my name. I cannot exactly say that I am opposing or agreeing with the selection. I am not aware of the formula they applied,? Prof Mwandosya noted.

One of the contenders who had amassed a great following on his road to the elections, Mr Edward Lowassa, arrived at the CCM headquarters at around 10:00 am to attend the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, but refused to utter a comment after the results, instead indicating that he will make public his opinions after getting all the facts.

Dr Titus Kamani who also picked the nomination form said that he was confident with all party meetings and their decisions. He asserted that even the names that featured in the top five list were thoroughly screened.

He said he had no objection to the selection. Another party cadre who made it to the top five, Mr Bernard Membe, called upon other members who eyed the presidency to respect the committee?s decisions, insisting that the decisions were commendable.

Mr Membe noted that he was ready to back up any cadre who would be picked by CCM as its flag bearer in case he would not be selected in other stages of the process.

Ambassador Ali Abeid Karume angrily said that he was disappointed, insisting that he would not run for the presidency again.

NEC member, Nazir Karamagi boldly opposed the CC?s selection, claiming that the process was not fair. He noted that NEC has more power than the CC, thus in the meeting they would reject the names and bring in other names which are favourites to the ?wananchi.?

Another member, Gitare Mwita, who left the conference room shouting his disapproval, insisted that the decision to axe Mr Edward Lowassa from the race was not welcome.

?We don?t see any reason that prompted these people to cancel Mr Lowassa?s name. It is apparent that they are killing the party,? he shouted as Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi and other members tried to calm him down.

BY CHRISTOPHER MAJALIWA, Tanzania Daily News

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