When is a campaign not a campaign?

Possibly when it’s a book launch. January Makamba announced today that he’s looking for the CCM nomination to run for the Bumbuli constituency in this year’s National Assembly elections, while also launching his new book , which happens to focus on Bumbuli and its potential. Have a read of the press release, if you have your Swahili hat on.

His interest in the seat has hardly been a secret. The incumbent – William Shellukindo, also of CCM of course – has reportedly  complained within the party of what he claims are campaign activities outside the allotted campaign period, accusing him of providing “food, drinks and thank you money” to branch representatives in at least one Ward. Read more at Raia Mwema. It’s a useful picture of what is to be expected in any race in most places in Tanzania and far beyond.

Makamba denies the accusation and is confident of getting the nomination. The same Raia Mwema story : “even if I don’t run myself, whoever does will defeat Shellukindo”.

As son of party Secretary General Yusuf Makamba as well as being Assistant to President Kikwete, he certainly has the connections  – not necessarily a bad thing in an honourable member.

Bumbuli won’t be a race to watch – as Makamba fils says, it’s in the bag. Just like the Ikulu race: as a result Shurufu is rightly watching the Presidential contest for signs of who may be contenders for the real contest in 2015 when Kikwete steps down. Others may be positioning themselves for even later contests.

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