National chairman and president, Dr John Magufuli led members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) policy marking organ converging in Dodoma in welcoming Kinana back to its ranks.
Kinana who served as campaign manager for two CCM presidential candidates seeking their first terms of office towards the third and fourth phase, comes as the party readies for the fifth phase president’s reelection campaign.
Several senior CCM cadres were last year implicated in an audio clip said to speak unfavourably of the party’s chairman but two months ago the former secretary general formally apologized to the president.
In his forgiveness declaration, the president recalled that Kinana was penalized not to engage in any party or political activities for 18 months. “He has served four months so far; he deserves to be forgiven as he apologized publicly,” Dr Magufuli affirmed.
He proceeded by asking the NEC delegates convened to nominate the party’s presidential candidate for Zanzibar whether or not Kinana should be forgiven, asking those who agree to raise their hands.
An overwhelming majority raised hands in support of the motion, and the party chairman immediately pronounced the verdict.
“Through this forum, I declare that Kinana is now free to engage in political and party activities,” he told the cheering delegates.
The audio clips fiasco also involved former CCM secretary general Lt. (rtd) Yusuf Makamba and his son January Makamba, then minister of State (Union Affairs and Environment), former CCM department head and briefly cabinet minister Nape Nnauye, and Sengerema MP and ex-minister William Ngeleja.
Kinana had earlier appeared in public in Arusha and asked President Magufuli to forgive him for uneasiness and discomfort from what he had done.
Kinana, who led presidential campaigns in 1995 and 2005 as well as 2000 and 2010 then proceeded to serve as secretary general from 2012 to 2018. In his apology remarks, he said he wants to remove bad feelings “so that he can retire from politics in peace.”
Kinana served as Minister for Defence during the second term of the second phase presidency, holding the Arusha Urban parliamentary seat for 10 years according to an online chronicle, unseated by the thrust of opposition politics in the 1995 general elections.
“I am sure that CCM national chairman John Magufuli will accept my apology and extend a forgiving hand,” stated Kinana, who was also the first Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), serving from 2001 to 2006.
The former military officer rose in cabinet rank with deputy minister portfolios up to the Defence portfolio. The video clips saga was an expression of dissent at high CCM ranks that was captured by a freelance blogger with close links to upper levels of government. It led to diplomatic controversy and finally the blogger called it quits.