Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) secretary-general Abdulrahman Kinana has resigned.
The news of his resignation has sparked speculation about internal disputes, with a section of the local media reporting that Mr Kinana was unhappy with the way the assets tracing committee had conducted investigations without involving him.
In December last year, President John Magufuli appointed the University of Dar es Salaam political science lecturer, Dr Bashiru Ally, to lead a committee to trace the CCM assets and liabilities.
The CCM National Execute Committee (NEC) was expected to discuss its report.
Mr Kinana was also reportedly unhappy with the manner in which CCM nominated the Siha and Kinondoni for the January parliamentary by-elections. The party defied tradition by nominating Dr Godwin Mollel and Mr Said Mtulia respectively, after they had defected from the opposition as MPs, triggering the by-elections.
A statement issued by the CCM publicity and ideology secretary, Mr Humphrey Polepole on Monday evening, stated that NEC had accepted Mr Kinana’s request to step down and wished him the best.
Former president and CCM chairman Jakaya Kikwete nominated Mr Kinana as secretary-general in 2012 at the height of party’s dwindling popularity and massive scandals. The situation prompted predictions of CCM's downfall at the 2015 poll.
Mr Kinana travelled across the country, criticised cabinet ministers and asked President Kikwete to sack the underperforming ones and take to court civil servants implicated in corruption allegations.
President Magufuli was expected to nominate his secretary-general after taking over the party leadership in 2015, but he requested Mr Kinana to stay on. Mr Kinana said at the time that he accepted continuing serving because party elders had asked him to do so.
Speculations of disunity
Rumours of Mr Kinana’s resignation were swirling in December last year ahead of the party’s national execute council’s congress in Dodoma. However, President Magufuli said at the congress that he had rejected Mr Kinana’s request to step down, describing him as an asset and that he was happy with the work he was doing.
Mr Kinana has in recent months taken an unusually low profile and avoided attending the party’s activities, including the October 2017 NEC meeting where President Magufuli was forced to dispel speculations of disunity within the party.
It was unclear what Mr Kinana would do after retirement, but he would most likely join the party's Elders' Advisory Council. Formed in 2013, the elders' council is a centre of power within CCM.
Retired top party leaders maintain a low profile, but were always recalled during the nomination, often the most divisive period for CCM.