THE first cut was the deepest for Dr Bashiru Ally whose tour of Zanzibar as the new CCM Secretary General did not only leave an indelible mark, but also attested his credentials for the post and his political acumen.
He simply rocked the party’s faithful on the Isles with a powerful, mind-blowing speech.
Having been accorded a warm reception, befitting the new man in charge of the party affairs, Dr Ally lived up to the expectations of many CCM supporters, giving a speech that evoked the memories of great revolutionary leaders.
A reputable academician and renowned political scientist, Dr Ally’s boldness vindicated the decision by the party’s hierarchies to hand him the throne, previously possessed by an adept leader and cadre, Abdulrahman Kinana.
Dr Ally took to the podium and was faultless in his first public speech at the historic Kisiwandui grounds, as he addressed a passionate audience that was not short of highprofile CCM faithful.
Notably, gracing the occasion was the Second Vice-President Ambassador Seif Ali Idd and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr Zubeir Maulid. A section of Zanzibar ministers, legislators and senior party leaders were also in attendance.
Dr Ally looked strong and confident during the 45-minute address at CCM Zanzibar headquarters, Kisiwandui in Urban West and his speech really hit the mood of the party members.
The occasion could not come at an opportune time for Dr Ally. It set up a timely platform for him to convey strong messages to the outside world over issuance of unfounded allegations against his party, the government and law enforcing agencies.
The CCM leader used the occasion to remind CCM members and those working in the government of what is expected of them. He opened his speech by hitting out at foreign missions over ‘ill-intentioned’ interference in the affairs of the nation, insisting Tanzania was a sovereign State, which valued and regarded the democratic rights of its people, regardless of their political inclination.
It was apparently response to comments made by the US Embassy on by-elections recently held in the country. The US Embassy had issued a statement claiming that the polls were marred by violence and irregularities.
In the statement, the US embassy further claimed that there was intimidation by police of opposition party members, unwarranted arrests and suppression of freedoms of assembly and speech in the lead up to the by-elections.
Dr Ally dismissed the allegations as false and unfounded while warning that the nation would not accept any political interference in Tanzania’s internal affairs.
He implored the foreign missions in the country to show respect to the nation, while reminding the diplomats to operate strictly within their mandate.
Loud and clear as he sounded, the CCM Secretary-General said those accredited to Tanzania as diplomats are in the country to represent their respective nations and not to interfere with the country’s governance and democracy.
He wondered how someone could ridicule CCM’s landslide triumph in by-elections, while it reflected the will of the people; saying the majority of Tanzanians were increasingly trusting the ruling party thanks to commendable job by President John Magufuli, his Zanzibar counterpart Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and their aides.
“The governance and democracy of the Chinese concern the Chinese, the governance and democracy of the Americans concern the Americans, the governance and democracy of Tanzanians concern the Tanzanians,” he said, insisting any external interference was totally unacceptable.
“We have decided and so by waging a crusade, to defend our land, our resources, our dignity, it’s our responsibility and we don’t want a mentor or support on how to govern ourselves.
We’re not intimidated by fliers called statements, let’s not intimidate each other, let’s respect each other, a true friend is one respecting you,” he divulged.
He aimed a veiled warning to world superpowers against the historically perceived behaviour of bullying developing nations.
“It is true that our economy is developing, but we’re ready to improve it, our democracy is still nascent but we’re ready to improve it, however, there is no any discussion on how we should run our nation, our nation is independent and will be led by Tanzanians according as per our constitution.”
Tanzania’s independence was not given on a silver platter, rather it was fought for and no way would the country let the previous colonial masters influence the way it is governed, stated Dr Ally.
The people of Tanzania, he added, should decide how they govern themselves, according to their constitution and not anyone else.
Tanzania boasts an unmatched history in the fight for its freedom and the starring role it played in aiding independence struggles across the continent, offering expertise, weapons and manpower, recalled Dr Bashiru.
“The history of our nation is a unique, a history of struggles against slavery, colonialism and imperialism and the revolutionary act and the struggle for independence were democratic acts.
I don’t expect our fight against slavery, serfdom, colonialism, despise and the robbery (of natural resources) could be undermined by anyone with a good mind.
They should respect the history of our independence struggle; the freedom we’re enjoying was fought for… it was not given on a plate as gift,” he stated.
“We haven’t forgotten and we’re not going to forget that we’re colonized and those who colonized us would like to colonize us again if we fall asleep,” he added, underscoring the importance of teaching young people the history of their country and African continent and the history of the nation’s founding fathers, the causes they fought for and why it was significant to maintain and preserve that history.”
Dr Ally asserted that true democracy enshrined within the Arusha Declaration and the Zanzibar Revolutionary principles, which both advocated for unity, rights to dignity, respect, equality and freedom of all Tanzanians.
Warning to presidential jostlers It is customarily understood that President Ali Mohamed Shein will step down in 2020, after serving two terms in office. It is an unwritten decree within the ruling party CCM.
That makes the post vacant to interested CCM candidates. On the ground, the battle for the Isles top seat is already on, with some senior cadres setting up their campaign networks within the party, which threaten to rip the party into antagonistic groups.
Cognizant of behind-thescene battles, Dr Ally lambasted the presidential jostlers and blatantly warned those nursing the dreams of becoming the next President of Zanzibar on CCM ticket, whilst breaching the party’s rules to forget about it.
“That position has not been declared vacant, it still has its holder,” he told the sizeable crowd, adding that right procedures will be followed in appointing new party candidate for the post and the party not groups in the party will coordinate and supervise the process.
He told the ‘dreamers’ to forget about the presidency, saying the party was monitoring closely their actions and stern disciplinary measures will be taken against the culprits,“We know some of you and your days are numbered.”
One of the crusades championed by Dr Magufuli since assuming the office of the President, after winning the 2015 election, was that against corruption within his government and the ruling party.
The war has endeared President Magufuli to ordinary Tanzanians, especially the poor majority.
The ex-University of Dar es Salaam political scientist echoed his chairman’s zero tolerance to corruption, issuing a warning to party members not to bribe their way to leadership positions.
He said under new CCM, corruption was intolerable and its perpetuators will be dealt with accordingly.
While President Magufuli’s robust approach against corruption has yielded some positive results, but Dr Ally admitted bad elements still prevailed within the party and the war against the vice will be maintained until the entire party and its government is cleaned.
Dr Ally also reminded party and government leaders that they should be servants of the people and not their masters.
He said leaders will be measured through their readiness and ability to serve and unite the people, noting that there was no chance for discriminatory, divisive leaders at CCM or in the government.
Other attributes for CCM and government leaders, he said, was integrity, discipline and boldness in the pursuance of the country’s socio-economic goals.
“In the past we had some leaders who were selfish, entertain groups, they set up leadership chains and seek titles, that behaviour affected the party and we must end it,” he said.
He insisted on discipline and integrity of leaders, saying CCM and government leaders should demonstrate those qualities through their actions and behavior.
“CCM leaders are expected to listen to the people and obey the constitution of the party, they’re supposed to attend meetings and while attending those meetings they should keep secrets.”
With growing addiction to social media use among the populace, public leaders are increasingly swept by this new social norm.
But Dr Ally warned that CCM leaders who run politics on social media do not qualify to be leaders.
“Social networks are not part of CCM’s constitution, our problems, our challenges, our plans are discussed in official meetings and the meetings are stated clearly in our constitution, there’s no meeting called whatsApp network or facebook,” he said.