WHEREAS last Tuesday was no special day as it doesn’t bear commemorative status like, for instance, Independence and Union Day, it was nonetheless special within the context of the General Election slated for the coming October, for which the Tanzanian electorate is gearing up.
Beyond the electorate at home, though, the day is significant because it hosted, so to speak, a process that focused on an individual who has a critical bearing on that election. That person is President John Pombe Magufuli, and the process in question being his submission of nomination forms from individuals who are supporting his presidential candidacy under the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket, to the party’s secretariat.
In essence, therefore, Dr Magufuli may now be characterised alternately as CCM Presidential Candidate, since, Come Election Day, he will be in contention for the top seat alongside candidates fielded by other political parties.
Back to Tuesday’s event, it is significant that the aspirant’s candidature garnered the endorsement of over one million people, a testimony to the widespread support base that he commands.
Similarly significant, however, are the sentiments that he expressed at the event, giving a deeper insight amongst his compatriots as well as people beyond the Land of Kilimanjaro, of the psyche of the incumbent national leader.
He said he chose to seek an additional five-year tenure in order to supervise the pending phases of crucial developments.
The candidate was candid in his sentiments, stressing that, he was anxious to monitor and supervise implementation of gigantic projects like the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Julius Nyerere Hydro Power as well as Tanga-Hoima pipeline.
At this juncture, it is worth chipping in Dr Magufuli’s absolute rejection of proposals for an extension of presidential term limits, driven by the popularity that he has generated amongst his compatriots.
Inherent in the rejection is the obvious fact that, Dr Magufuli, whose popularity would have assured him of consistent popular electoral mandate, loathes any presumptions that there aren’t any other individuals amongst the crop of current politicians, who are presidential material.
To his credit, too, is the realisation that presidential business is most emotionally and intellectually taxing business from the post’s holder needs a break.
This contrasts sharply elsewhere, within and beyond Tanzania, whereby some individuals are maniacal political power mongers!