Friday, April 28, 2017
Magufuli inspects Union parade celebrations for the first time
PRESIDENT John Magufuli on Wednesday this week made his maiden address at the climax of 53 years of the Union celebrations, making a moving plea to his compatriots to maintain peace and unity to ensure a one strong, peaceful nation. “The truth of the matter is, in order to strengthen and grow as one nation. “We need peace and unity to reign,” the President and Commander-in-Chief, said when addressing the climax of the Union festivities, marked at Dodoma’s designated capital city for the first time. Dr Magufuli said protecting the Union had not been easy, but vowed his government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to safeguard the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; these once sovereign nations merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania on April 26, 1964, merely one year after Zanzibar gained her independence in 1963 and about four years since Tanganyika was declared independent in 1961. At the event held with the new capital as lynchpin, President Magufuli said the vision of the founders of the nation was to have one strong nation and “it’s our vision to continue realizing that union.” “If some had even failed to protect their marriage … today we celebrate 53 years … this calls for an appraisal to those who have made it possible.” “Our founders, Presidents Julius Nyerere and Abeid Aman Karma who signed the Union documents my predecessors, Presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa, and immediate former President, Dr Jakaya Kikwete and their Zanzibaris counterparts,” he said. He added: “President Ali Mohamed Shein and I … we will uphold the good practices to protect this union.” More than 15,000 delegates including government officials, members of diplomatic corps, political and religious leaders were in Jamhuri Stadium. Thousands others were outside the stadium monitoring through a live-telecast projected at two big screen and others across the country followed up the proceeding through radio, online and Tvs that broadcast live. According to Magufuli, the nation must reflect where it’s coming from, its current state and where we’re headed, 53 years after the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
A large number of the Tanzanian population was born after the Union and figures suggest it could be as large as 90 per cent. On this score, the head of state seized ‘the hour’ to showcase his own score-card: Improved infrastructure, simplified access to social services and strengthened democracy. “We have a joint committee charged with Union matters under the Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan … and all ministers are enjoined to the committee. I am equally optimistic that the committee is working hard to ensure all Union issues are resolved expeditiously,” he said. Apparently, the president said the government was well committed to achieving the promises made by the founders … to move the administrative capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. To date, at least 3,000 civil servants have moved from Dar es Salaam and it is expected that, come 2020, all government administrative offices including the President’s Office would have moved camp. President Magufuli announced yesterday over 200bn/- had been allocated during FY2017/18 specifically to finance the Dar-Dodoma state migration process. In the meantime, the government is moving to invest in infrastructure development to accommodate the new demands for the capital, he added. Thousands of people, some armed with plastic cloaks and others holding umbrellas, gathered at Jamhuri Stadium here yesterday defying heavy rain to watch the 53rd Union anniversary celebrations.