The ruling party CCM is currently in the midst of electing its leaders for the next five years running from 2012 to 2017. The party faces a serious challenge of ensuring that it delivers a new, honest, diligent leadership that will be more responsive to the people.
We say so aware that this time the new leaders who will be sitting in the National Executive Committee, which is the second highest level of party decision making, are closer to the people than ever before.
They were voted for by the people at the district level, after a grueling contest against many other aspirants. So they are well known to the people at the grassroots and we expect them to know and work to solve their many challenges through the party forums.
It is also our hope that the new system has solved the problem of corruption that has haunted the party and denied it honest and diligent leaders.
According to some political analysts, there is some improvement in the manner the current elections are being run, compared to those of 2010, when CCM members were seeking nominations to run for parliamentary seats.
But rumbles can still be heard of money and gifts changing hands even as the party strives to get clean leaders to run its activities diligently in order to restore its image before the public.
And this is where the party needs to ensure that it fully investigates all the allegations that have been made of people being corrupted to vote for some of the candidates.
We know that the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) is already working on all the allegations and our hope is that this time they will leave no stone unturned to establish the truth, if there be any, of the allegations.
We say so aware that people are getting more concerned about the ethical conduct of some leaders and want tighter rules put in place to ensure they are held accountable.
We also know that much as the watchdog institutions would want to do more, they are also held back by inadequacies, providing another loophole to the corrupt.
It is our hope that more will be done to ensure the laws that are supposed to hold leaders accountable will bite. Too often, the laws have not gone far enough and this has been a loophole, the leaders have used to the detriment of the general public, feeling helpless as its resources are looted.
This is especially when they are accused of corruption and abuse of power. For in reality, many of the leaders vying for the party leadership finally end up high in the government machinery, where they get to position of decision on management of public resources.
If they are given to acts of corruption, it would be naïve to expect them to stop the habit.
The public rightly feels that the leaders who will oversee the management of those resources, mainly tax-payer money and critical infrastructure, must be without blemish.