AfricaPress-Tanzania: CHAMA Cha Mapinduzi’s race for Zanzibar presidency kicked off here on Monday, with two aspiring candidates picking nomination forms.
Mr Mbwana Bakar Juma drew the curtains as early as 9pm, collecting the forms at the ruling party’s Kisiwandui main offices and promised to transform the Indian Ocean semi-autonomous archipelago into an international business hub.
Later in the afternoon, Youth, Culture, Arts and Sports Minister Ali Abeid Amani Karume collected the forms, boasting of extensive experience, including international exposure, which qualify him as the best candidate for the job.
He however pledged to quit the race should any Zanzibari, more qualified than him join the competition.
“I first attempted to run for the presidency in the 2010 general elections but after the entry of Dr (Ali Mohamed) Shein whom I deemed more qualified than me, I opted out and gave all my support to him.
And, this time, I have collected the forms but should anybody more qualified than me join the race, I will not return these papers.
I will instead extend my support to the more qualified hopeful,” Ambassador Karume told reporters at the party offices.
Fielding questions from reporters, the presidential hopeful admitted that he had nothing new to offer for Zanzibaris because, “President Shein has accomplished almost everything…I will just come to sustain what has already been achieved.”
The 70-year old candidate pledged to uphold the Zanzibar revolutions and ensure that the Islanders continue enjoying fee-free but high quality education and health services.
Ambassador Karume, Zanzibar Hero and Founding Father Abeid Amani Karume’s son, promised massive renovation of Michenzani residential flats, saying: “Mzee Karume constructed these buildings to provide decent accommodation to wananchi…we can’t fail to even renovate them.”
Ambassador Karume arrived at Kisiwandui offices at 2pm and after collecting the forms toured his father’s cemetery before briefing reporters.
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 on Saturday, 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 to return the forms.