Samia Suluhu Hassan

Making the pick, Dr John Magufuli, the party?s presidential candidate, vowed to build on the success of his predecessors, stressing that divisive politics have no place in the party.

He said he has picked a woman as his running mate because of the trust he has in women?s abilities and commitment, revealing that his political mentor when he was appointed deputy minister for works over a decade ago was a woman ? Ms Anna Abdalah.

?She was my teacher, I learnt a lot from her,? the ruling party?s presidential candidate reminisced, noting that he owed much of his current success as a minister to Ms Abdalah?s guidance. The running mate was named after Dr Magufuli consulted with the Central Committee.

Dr Magufuli, who some analysts had earlier seen as a dark horse in a field of 38 candidates, said: ?The party has emerged stronger and even more united in this process to pick its candidate for the general election?.

?The trust and belief you have shown in me mean a lot and I promise I will not let you down. You have chosen me and I will diligently serve you,? he remarked when addressing the General Congress under the chairmanship of President Jakaya Kikwete.

He said he would adhere to the ruling party election manifesto and urged all party members to rally behind him so as to win the general election, come October.

The Union government report was presented by the Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda, while the Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, read the isles report.

The CCM Chairman used the occasion to introduce to the delegates, Zanzibar?s party flag bearer in the October general elections, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, who was approved by the National Executive Committee on Saturday.

CCM Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, paid glowing tribute to CCM?s flag bearers in the October general elections, saying they have what it takes to push forward the country?s development agenda. Mr Kikwete told the National Congress that Dr Magufuli, Ms Hassan and Dr Shein had distinguished themselves for their commitment and work ethics.

?I have so much trust in you and believe that with you at the helm, the county will move forward at an even faster pace,? said the party chairman in his brief remarks after the duo was unveiled as party candidates for the polls.

Mr Kikwete said wherever Dr Magufuli had served as minister or deputy minister, he stood out for his no-nonsense approach that endeared him to many and prompted lazy people to work hard.

?I trust in your ability and will never shy away from campaigning for you,? he said, noting that what he admired about Dr Magufuli is the fact that he makes things happen.

Vividly relaxed after four days of hard work chairing meetings to screen 38 candidates ahead of the polls, Mr Kikwete singled out the progress made in the construction of road networks in the country as an area that Dr Magufuli had excelled in.

?Of course you also performed outstandingly as Minister in Lands and Livestock and Fisheries portfolios,? noted Mr Kikwete. As for Ms Hassan, the party chairman said she had been instrumental in the consultation to address Union snags, which currently had been reduced to only four from more than ten.

He said Dr Shein is hardworking and devoted leader whose record in the Isles is there for all to see. Mr Kikwete also used the occasion to slam doubters who had predicted the party?s downfall following the nomination process that saw some of the heavyweights failing to sail through.

?If anything, the party has emerged much stronger and more united,? he said, noting that from yesterday, all camps had become one, in support of Dr Magufuli and Ms Samia.

He reiterated that no one is stronger than the party, insisting that in unity there is victory. He also informed the delegates that the ruling party?s new election manifesto was ready and it was being bound into a booklet.

He said the manifesto addresses both current and future development agenda, noting that implementation of the same is in line with the 2025 vision.

By CHABY BARASA, Tanzania Daily News

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