AfricaPress-Tanzania: THREE more CCM cadres, including retired teacher and currently full-time peasant Haji Rashid Pandu, joined the Zanzibar presidential race yesterday, bringing to 13, the total number of candidates seeking to succeed outgoing President Dr Ali Mohammed Shein.
Briefing reporters yesterday, Mr Pandu pledged agricultural transformation as his key agenda if elected.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Kisiwandui main offices also received the first female presidential hopeful, Ms Mwatum Mussa Sultan, who collected the nomination papers, encouraging women to come out and join the pursuit if “We really want to attain the widely touted gender equality” in decision making.
“I’m proud and grateful to my party for this opportunity…I encourage more women to come out and compete for the presidency, representation and Member of Parliament posts,” Ms Mussa said in her briefing to journalists at Kisiwandui offices.
Union Water Minister Professor Makame Mbarawa and retired medical doctor Abdulhalim Mohammed Ali also joined the nomination race.
Professor Mbarawa however declined comment on his candidature, saying it was not yet time to talk, becoming the second minister in President John Magufuli’s cabinet to seek the Zanzibar presidency.
Defence and National Service Minister Dr Hussein Mwinyi has already collected the forms, attempting to convince the party machineries to endorse him as their flag bearer in the coming general elections.
The 67-year old peasant of Central District’s Bambi village said he will focus on mechanising agriculture, “The use of a hand hoe by our peasants is outdated…I want to transform agriculture and revolutionise the rural economy.”
The four Zanzibar presidential hopefuls bring to 13 the total number of contestants so far.
Already, former Chief Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, Major General (Retired) Issa Suleiman Nassoro, Mohamed Hija Mohamed and Mohammed Jafar Jumanne have picked the nomination papers.
Others are Zanzibar Y outh, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister Ali Abeid Amani Karume, Mr Mbwana Y ahya Mwinyi, Mbwana Bakar Juma and former Permanent Secretary in the revolutionary government Omar Sheha Mussa.
The ruling party has opened doors for aspiring presidential candidates to pick the nomination forms for Zanzibar and union presidencies.
CCM Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar) Dr Abdallah Juma Abdallah, speaking to reporters here last week, invited all “courageous” party members to collect the nomination papers but warned the corruption tainted individuals to remain at bay.
He said the party’s offices will remain open for 16 days to allow aspirants to collect the forms and seek 250 sponsors from at least three regions, with at least one region in Unguja and Pemba, saying the party has set 4pm on June 30, 2020 as the deadline for returning the forms.