Tanzania: A Crusade Against Foreign Dependence For Magufuli

By Mohammed M. Mupenda

President Magufuli inaugurating a water project
President Magufuli inaugurating a water project

Tanzanian president Dr. John P. Magufuli has urged citizens to stop looking at foreigners as people they can depend on but always sacrifice themselves, work hard, and develop their country.

The president was addressing hundreds of Arusha and Meru residents earlier this month where he told them that foreigners who pretend to support Tanzanians do not love them but rather, they are money-makers and business oriented.

“There is no development that comes in an easy way, it is important that we struggle,” he told participants.

“I beg you Tanzanians, let’s wake up, there is no one on earth who will come to support you and there is nothing for free, these {Foreign} people are money makers and business oriented,” he added.

He told residents from Meru, Arusha and Tanzanians in general to always sacrifice themselves and work hard to liberate themselves from economic dependency.

“We have got our independence and that is good news, but we are yet to be economically independent, we have got to fight, that is why we have requested a loan to construct the rail gauge, they never gave it to us, we requested funds to increase electricity coverage, we have been rejected, they cannot offer,” he said.

It is important we wake up, love our country and let us stop calling ourselves poor, our country is rich,” he added.

He said that the country has achieved a lot over the years and assured that a lot was yet to be achieved, should they combine work together as one.

“We can go far together and where there is a will there is a way, my colleagues, I want to assure you God is there with us, I can’t stand in front of people and say, we depend on you, I am a driver on my own,” he assured residents amid applause.

He urged Tanzanians to always strive to work hard even if there are people who do not get well with that knowing that they are doing it for the good of their country.

“It requires a true sacrifice and that is why I said I am grateful to the almighty God and I am grateful to you patriots for praying for me and giving heart, I am grateful for God to stand with our country, we have got an exemplary nation,” he noted.

He assured them that it is only by fighting the economic struggle that Tanzania would be among the top developed countries worldwide.

He said that the country was rich thanks to natural resources such as minerals and can be economically independent if more efforts were invested.

“We have targeted to collect 194 billion shillings and surpassed that thus collecting 301billion shillings,… that why I always tell you that our country is rich and people do not understand this, every time we wonder who will support us, but we need to support ourselves because you are rich,” the East African country president said.

Lenders Confident

The president Magufuli told residents that money lenders were confident in them and agreed to offer loans just because they are sure such loans would be serviced.

“If you want a loan, you need to be conversant on how you will service it, that is why the African Development Bank is willing to lend us money because they are sure we will service the loan,” he said.

“But revenues collected internally are the ones we can use to build rail gauges from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, that construction is worth 7 trillion,” he added.

He said that Tanzania had spent many years without having Air Tanzania and every time nationals wanted to fly, they flew with planes from other countries.

“That is why we decided to buy planes and we bought seven, other two planes are coming in December carrying 150 people each and are brand new from Swissland. We will be the first in Africa to have such planes,” he said amid applause.

Reducing the cost of electricity

Magufuli said that while the country has done a lot in availing electricity to citizens, the current power capacity is not equivalent to the number of people using it and that makes the price higher and not affordable by many.

“We had an issue of electricity, we have power in the whole country but the coverage is not 49% but the issue is now the cost of electricity, our plant generates 1560MW but looking at the number of people who need electricity, the cost is high as it $11 per unit while in Europe it 0.12 per unit,” he said.

He said this makes business tough and very expensive if you compared local products with those coming from overseas.

“We need to look for other water resources so that we can build other hydropower plants as they are affordable, that is why we decided to build a mega power plant that will generate additional 1200MW” he concluded.

He said that availability of power and other alternatives would also help stop cutting trees as a source of cooking which is a threat to the forest and biodiversity in general.

Tanzania is one of five East African countries with a population of over 56 million. It was in June this year declared by the World Bank, the second middle income country in the region.

*Culled from September Issue of PAV Magazine

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