Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); Joaquim Chissano, President of Mozambique; Kenneth Kaunda (President of Zambia) were all in attendance for CCM's 3rd National Congress that was held in October 22-31, 1987 in the nation's capital of Dodoma. During the Party National Executive Committee meetings that took place in May include amending of the CCM Constitution that provides for the Union President and his two Vice Presidents to sit in the Central Committee should they be elected from outside the NEC membership.
As Dr. Salim stated in his notes: "In many ways this was a historic Congress with significant decisions. The Party Programme (1987 - 2002). The Economic and Social Directives (1987 - 1992) adopted by the Congress marks a new era in the development of the Party. The re-election of Mwalimu confounded our detractors even if some ways surprised (some pleasantly so) some four friends -- the eleventh hours were not sure who will be the next Party Chairman."