Dr. John Magufuli

Dr. John Magufuli

?To all irresponsible leaders, thieves and corrupt officials; please be informed that I will deal with you in a very polite way,? Dr Magufuli announced, sparking deafening applause from thousands of people who flocked the Jamhuri Stadium here to have a glance of the ruling party?s candidate and his running mate, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The official introduction of the party?s flag bearers was officiated by President Jakaya Kikwete, who described Dr Magufuli as ?a no-nonsense man who would successfully move the country to the next stage??.

?You have been claiming that I am so polite; so we are now giving you a very aggressive candidate. He is the right candidate for us,? the party?s National chairman said.

The CCM National Congress had earlier voted for Dr Magufuli, giving him a landslide victory for the presidential candidacy.

Earlier announcing the results, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, told delegates that Dr Magufuli carried the day after garnering 2,104 votes, equivalent to 87.1 per cent to beat his challengers ? Ambassador Amina Salum Ali who got 253 votes (10.5 per cent) and Dr Asha-Rose Migiro who polled 59 votes (2.4 per cent).

The total votes cast were 2,422 while six were spoiled. Dr Migiro and Ambassador Ali were both graceful in defeat and both pledged their full commitment and support to Dr Magufuli.

Ms Makinda and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pandu Ameir Kificho, oversaw the vote counting process. Upon the Speaker?s announcement of the winner, the venue erupted into song and dance as delegates flocked to the stage to congratulate Dr Magufuli.

His wife, Janeth, could not control her emotions as tears were seen rolling down her cheeks. Dr Magufuli went through three hurdles ? first the Central Committee, which trimmed the candidates from 38 to five and then the National Executive Committee, which whittled down the number to three and onwards to the national congress, which picked his name.

Before the announcement of the presidential candidate, both the Union and Zanzibar governments gave their implementation reports in which they highlighted their successes in economy, politics and social aspects that had been recorded in the past decade in line with the party election manifesto.

Dr Magufuli declared that under his leadership, he would make sure that all people worked diligently for the country?s development, insisting that ?those unwilling to work won?t eat?.

He assured Tanzanians across the political divide to have trust in him as he is determined to serve them with zeal.

?Trust me; I am not going to let you down? trust me I will not fail you. I am only asking one thing from you? make sure you turn out in large numbers and vote in favour of CCM,? the outspoken Works Minister said.

Dr Magufuli affirmed that he would stand firm to implement the party?s 2015-2020 election manifesto, which deals with, among other issues, improving social services, dealing with unemployment among youth and improving the infrastructure.

He noted that the work done by past presidents is commendable and he would continue working on areas that still needed an extra push.

The aspirant vowed that if elected and becomes the fifth president, he would ensure that the country?s borders remain safe and all the people are fully protected.

?Tanzanians also need peace and unity regardless of their political and religious differences. I will make sure that the country remains peaceful; I won?t tolerate anyone trying to infringe with the peace that we are currently enjoying,? Dr Magufuli told his audience.

He thanked the party for fielding him, adding that the trust Tanzanians have in CCM is what motivates him to think that he would successfully make it.

On her part, his running mate, Ms Samia said that the party valued women and that is why she has been picked as assistant head of the state, should the party win.

?I call upon all women to cherish this golden opportunity by fully backing us in the forthcoming general elections,? she said amid standing ovation from the audience.

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, who was among the 42 cadres who picked nomination forms for the presidency, spoke highly of Dr Magufuli, saying the candidate was a firm person and believed he would successfully fly the party?s flag high.

He said that after the nomination process, they were now teaming up to back their candidate who has a good record in serving the public.

Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, who also eyed presidency, noted that the party has trust in Dr Magufuli, who he said has all the qualities to unite members.

?We have confidence in him? that is why we are here to express our support. Running away with over 80 per cent of all votes means that party members have confidence in him,? Ambassador Mahiga said.

By CHRISTOPHER MAJALIWA, Tanzania Daily News

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