It’s quite a step from Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations to walking through the mud of rural Njombe. Yet that is what Dr Asha-Rose Migiro has done.
She left her position at the UN last year, and has recently joined the Tanzanian parliament as a Presidential appointee. This has prompted speculation that a cabinet re-shuffle may be imminent, and even that she may be lining up a run for the CCM presidential nomination.
Whether or not there’s any truth in any of those rumours, I am intrigued by the pictures that have emerged from her recent tour of the south of the country, in the company of CCM Secretary General Abdulrahman Kinana and Nape Nnauye, the party’s head of “propaganda”. Here is a selection of the photos, taken from John Bukuku’s FullShangwe blog and Issa Michuzi:
Compared to many such tours by senior politicians, this trip comes across as very light on protocol and formalities. There’s a lot of interaction with the public, and what looks to be an effort to understand some of the things that matter to them. They rode a pretty flimsy boat, struggled with the Njombe mud and boarded a slow and uncomfortable train for a long stretch of the journey (despite having plenty of vehicles available to them). It seems more like a learning and listening exercise than an effort to bang the CCM drum.
That said, this was no discreet matter. Look at the long line of journalists by the Tazara line, the impromptu press conference given by Mr Kinana by the Wanging’ombe roadside, and the long line of vehicles in their convoy.
Appearances matter, but what matters most in this case seems to be the appearance of listening. Perhaps those rumours of a presidential run have some substance?
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