Commentary in the East African suggests that former prime minister Edward Lowassa is the man to beat in the race to succeed Jakaya Kikwete as president next year. Lowassa resigned in 2007 over a scandal involving a power generation contract. (The energy sector has continued to suffer from corruption scandals.)
Mr Lowassa seems to have gathered many supporters who have stuck with him through his troubled career. In 1995, he was among the more than 15 CCM aspirants for the presidency but he was stopped in his tracks by then retired president Julius Nyerere, who found him to have enriched himself rather too fast.
Mr Lowassa was eliminated by Nyerere’s fiat and that contest within the party was eventually won by Benjamin Mkapa (over Kikwete), who also won the election.
It remains to be seen whether the power-plant scandal will be resuscitated to haunt Mr Lowassa’s campaign or whether he will use this campaign to reiterate what he has said in party caucuses — that whatever he had done he had done with the full knowledge of Kikwete and with his approval and/or instructions.
For a deeper look at the state of Tanzania’s ruling party and the potential restructuring of government under a new constitution, see Hanno Bankamp’s piece in Think Africa Press, “CCM’s Identity Crisis: Comebacks, Constitution and Corruption in Tanzania”.
In late news, Tanzania’s Attorney General appealed to members of the Constituent Assembly–assigned to review and revise the latest daft constitution for a referendum in advance of the 2015 election–not to use bribery in the election of their Chairman and Vice Chairman.