Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Job Yustino Ndugai, resigned from his position on Thursday, citing personal reasons.
Ndugai, a member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, in a brief statement and letter to the CCM secretary-general, said: “This is a personal decision. I have taken this decision considering the wider interests of the nation, the government and my CCM party.”
Analysts, however, suggested his resignation suggests a power struggle within CCM, which has ruled the East African country since its independence from Britain in 1961.
Ndugai thanked his fellow legislators, the president, the government, and his voters for their support.
There has been increasing pressure on the speaker to resign following his remarks regarding the rising national debt.
Samia Suluhu Hassan, who serves as the chairman of the CCM, launched a public scathing attack on Ndugai for his remarks that “the country risks being auctioned” due to rising national debt.
Ndugai, however, reversed his unusual remarks and apologized publicly to the president, claiming that the incident had been exaggerated.
“If I stated anything to discourage the president in her efforts to reconstruct the country, I apologize to her and to all Tanzanians,” Ndugai said on Monday.
According to analysts, the speaker’s bizarre remarks foreshadowed a schism within the ruling party’s ranks before the 2025 election.
The government and CCM’s publicity and ideology secretary, Shaka Shaka, did not respond immediately.
Hassan, Tanzania’s first female president, who assumed office after the sudden death of her predecessor, John Magufuli, is expected to seek election in March.
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