In his acceptance speech shortly after assuming the chair, the president set out a number of priorities aimed at making the party vibrant.
He mentioned corruption as one of the evils which were ruining the party, saying he would make sure all corrupt party members were shown the door.
“I shall ensure that the anti-corruption drive now shifts to the party. On my watch CCM will not allow its members to get leadership positions through corrupt means,” he stressed.
The new chairman also promised to revamp the party constitution with a view to enabling it cope with the current political environment.
Regarding CCM assets, which he said were benefiting just a few party members, he stressed that he would ensure that he selects a team of experts to assess its assets across the country.
“These assets should be used to extricate the party from its economic quagmire,” he said.Dr Magufuli also said the party would squarely deal with members he termed as traitors.
“It is an open secret that some of our members have dual membership. During the day they are with CCM and at night they cross over to the opposition,” the chairman said.
According to him, CCM would work hard to boost the number of its members by ensuring new members were recruited to reinforce a winning team come the next general election.
“In the final analysis, politics is a game of numbers,” he stressed.He also promised to relocate the seat of government to Dodoma before his five-year term ends in 2020, urging all government officials to be ready for the move.
The president said Dodoma had all the facilities and infrastructure needed for government operations, thus there was no need to keep operating from Dar es Salaam while other important functions, such as parliamentary sessions, were held here.
“I have been in office for only eight months, but let me assure you that my government will move to Dodoma in the remaining four years and four months,” he said amid applause from the Congress delegates.
The head of state said the Founding Father, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, had a good reason to designate Dodoma the capital city, saying it connects to all the regions in the country through tarmac roads.
He warned government officials not to look for flimsy reasons not to make the move, stating that whoever wouldn’t feel in the mood to move should resign immediately.
“Once I make the move, I know my assistants, the vice-president and the prime minister will follow me, as well as other government servants,” he said, adding that the State Lodge at Chamwino was conducive enough for him.
The new CCM chairman made the remarks after being officially voted to the position where he also promised to make radical changes in the party so as to win the hearts of new members.
As the new party boss, he said he would not tolerate corruption, admitting that one of the oldest parties in the continent was deeply rooted in corruption.
Dr Magufuli noted that graft in the party was evident during elections, reminding the delegates that he witnessed this during the presidential race in the last general elections.
The head of state openly admitted that had the outgoing chairman been a corrupt person, he would not have made it to the presidency, adding that he believed in God and trust among a few party members who were not swayed by people who were dishing out money.
He said when he reached Iringa seeking people to endorse him he found that all the delegates had been bribed not to endorse him, forcing him to go deep into the villages where he found loyal party members who endorsed him without being bribed.
“Under my leadership, whoever takes or give bribes must know that he or she will not be elected in any position,” he warned, saying he would stick to party policies and the code of ethics.
The new chairman also vowed to deal with embezzlement of funds as well as ghost workers in the party.
He said so far his government had unearthed and removed 12,500 ghost workers from the payroll, declaring that the same step had to be taken in the party which was most likely to have them as well.
On those who betrayed the party in the last election, the new chairman sounded an alarm to the so-called traitors who were still in the party to confess before he kicked them out.
“I, as chairman, and my assistants we shall ensure that those traitors are dealt with severely. We cannot have members who are in CCM during the day and at night they are with Chadema,” he warned, categorically stating that the party did not need to have members who were only there because of some godfathers.
He promised to form a taskforce to take account of all party assets in the country with a view to ascertaining where they were , who held them and what the party was getting from them, among other issues.
According to the chairman, the party had a lot of assets and wealth, but it was regrettably still relying on handouts from sponsors, adding that a lot of party assets were in the hands of some untrustworthy members.
The new chairman thanked his predecessors for the good work they had done to steer the party up to where it was now. He specifically congratulated immediate former chairman Kikwete for having shown a high degree of tolerance.
He said the former president showed this at different occasions, but the one he witnessed was when he entered the NEC meeting last year only to be received by members singing in praise of “a certain traitor.”
“ I ask you to pray for me to have just half the measure of that level of tolerance, because I don’t know what I would have done in such a situation. I would have sacked all of them,” he noted amid cheers.