Monday, June 15, 2015
Sumaye and other CCM aspirants shun presidential platform debate
The CEO roundtable (CEOrt) was forced to adjourn its first presidential aspirant debate it had organized for the CCM Presidential hopefuls on Friday night this week in Dar es Salaam following indefinite postponements of the invited aspirants who earlier had confirmed their participation. The invitees to this platform debate were former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye, Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources Lazaro Nyalandu, and deputy Minister for Science, Communication and Technology January Makamba and deputy minister for Finance Mwigulu Nchemba. Among the five invited aspirants, the African Union permanent Ambassador in United States Honorable Amina Salum Ali is the one who attended. All aspirants have already picked up forms for nominations. Announcing the postponements of the expected aspirants, the CEOrt Chairman Ali Mufuruki did not find a word with which to convince his audiences who already had secured their seats anxiously waiting for the aspirants to come and start a debate on straight. In his introductory speech he expressed his disappointment on the decisions made by the aspirants who at that moment had sent him messages to inform that they couldn’t attend the debate with no reasons whatsoever. However, he noted that CEOrt had organized a platform debate meeting for the aspirants in order to assess their ability if elected how they could tackle in broader perspective the issues of the individual economy for which most Tanzanians are depended on. The CEOrt had prepared questions for each aspirant as main agenda of the discussions fucussing mainly on how aspirants could make an approach and pursue good governance, rule of law as well as human rights, he said. “It is very unfortunate to have missed our discussants for this important platform debate despite costs of arrangements which we have incurred, but have no means except to postpone until on 18th when we shall have another debate but for the opposition camp”, he coldly said. The audiences who were suddenly shocked with the breaking news some became unhappy bearing the fact that had postponed their important commitments to attend the occasion.
Amina Juma of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) said that, this is not fair as it is impossible for them to cancel their attendance at the last time when people were already in a hall waiting for them to come. Earlier, the meeting was supposed to take place in the morning at Marquee hall at Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro hotel, but was adjourned until evening pending on some reasons which were beyond the control of organizers. Meanwhile, there was a misconception that caused mixed feelings among CCM cadres when the Secretary for Organization Mohammed Seif Khatib banned presidential aspirants from participating in public debates last week. However, following the ban, the ruling party’s Secretary General Abdurahman Kinana overturned the decision two days later saying that CCM candidates are allowed to participate in these public debates as a way of assessing their ability in the coming elections. The party top executive declared at a press conference in Bukoba district, Kagera region where he is in a tour visit to consolidate party’s activities in preparation for the general elections. He told journalists on Thursday last week that, “CCM party has no mandate to suppress public discussions convened with a view to weigh the strengths and abilities of its presidential aspirants to see if they are able to contribute to anticipated national development programmes”. Founded in 2000, the CEOrt is a policy dialogue forum whose main objective is to create a platform through which captains industry could constructively engage the government with the vision of creating a more conducive environment for businesses to prosper. The forum brings together over 200 organizations doing businesses in Tanzania. The members of the CEOrt and the companies they lead account for more than 40 percent of the tax revenue collected by the government of Tanzania