Updates on 11/7/15 – big things going on in Dodoma

UPDATED 11/7/15:
9pm – the final three have been announced – see this new post
5.20pm – new tweet from CCM, stating that NEC is now voting on final three, Congress to start at 9pm (section 7)
4.30pm – new video from Nape Nnauye posted below (in section 7)

The Citizen, 11/7/15

The Citizen, 11/7/15

After the CCM Central Committee (CC) announced their choice late last night of the final five aspirants to become the party’s presidential candidate, a lot has been happening. Much of this appears to be responses to the decision to leave Edward Lowassa off the shortlist, in favour of Bernard Membe, John Magufuli, Asha-Rose Migiro, January Makamba and Amina Salum Ali.

Given the “breaking” nature of the story and the highly politicised context, I cannot guarantee every source is 100% dependable or that everything is quite what it seems, but here are what seem to be some of the key developments by 3pm (Tz time) today (Saturday):

1. Lack of unanimity in the Central Committee

Immediately after the end of the meeting, CC member Emmanuel Nchimbi announced that he and two others (Simba and Kimbisa) were disassociating themselves with the committee’s decision.

2. Money in suitcases!

This morning, police in Dodoma have reportedly arrested someone with hundreds of millions of shillings in two suitcases. Several photographs have been circulating online, along with allegations that this is connected with Bernard Membe, one of the five on the shortlist. Membe has denied this (here and here) through his twitter account. Others are saying the money was intended to convince NEC members to call for Lowassa to be reinstated.

Here are some of the photographs:

My guess us that there is between 300m/- and 400m/- in those suitcases – around $150,000-200,000.

3. Lowassa silent

Lowassa himself has been very quiet, even implausibly denying to reporters that he had heard the list of five candidates:

4. Lowassa’s supporters mobilising

Prominent Lowassa-backer, Kingunge, has spoken to reporters, claiming that the shortlisting has not followed the normal procedure due to the statements of party leaders.

It has also been reported (by the usually dependable AzamTV) that members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), the 378-member body that is meeting today to bring the shortlist of five down to three, are in semi-open revolt against the Central Committee’s decision. The report is that NEC members are singing in front of President Kikwete that they have faith in Lowassa.

Update 5.30pm (Tz time) – here is video evidence of that singing:

A separate report on Jamii Forums claims that (a) NEC members have walked out of their meeting, are threatening to deselect CC members and/or over-rule the CC, and (b) Lowassa’s supporters in Dodoma have gathered in Nyerere square and are chanting their support.


5. Membe calls for unity

In another tweet, Bernard Membe (one of the shortlisted five) has called for party unity:

6. Jamii Forums briefly offline 

As I am writing this, Jamii Forums, the hugely popular (and highly politicised) online discussion forum, went offline:

JF offline 110715 230pm EAT

The site is now back, and has stated that it was the result of exceptionally high traffic.

7. CCM pressing on

The CCM NEC meeting has started.

A tweet from the much-improved CCM social media team has stated that the NEC meeting is ongoing, and that the National Congress (which will make the final choice of a single candidate) will meet later this afternoon:

Added at 4.30pm Tz time: Nape Nnauye has been interviewed for the CCM YouTube channel, in which he said played down the disagreement within the Central Committee. He said choosing five from 38 is difficult and there are inevitably people within the committee with differing views. He also said that the NEC meeting is ongoing and expects to announce the final shortlist of three later today, and that the National Congress will meet as soon as NEC has concluded. He did not state with certainty, however, that the party’s candidate will be chosen today. Instead he said that that is the intention:

Added at 5.20pm Tz time:  CCM have just stated on twitter that NEC is now voting on the final three, and the Congress will begin at 9pm tonight. It should be noted, however, that other sources on twitter are suggesting a very different situation. Here’s the CCM tweet:

8. Ukawa select their presidential candidate

NOTE – I have deleted this section until I have further confirmation.


9. Rumours abound

Which I shall not list here until they become more substantiated.


Further reading:

One thought on “Updates on 11/7/15 – big things going on in Dodoma

  1. David Phocus

    Nyc work here. I am pleased with the up-to-date news. I would in future like to write for your blog.

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