AT its public rally in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), through several government and party leaders, made a number of promises that made very good reading.
In a sharp u-turn from the usual politicking, the ruling party devoted time to briefing Tanzanians on plans by the government to address the various problems that they face. They expressed the government's determination to bring down the prices of essential commodities, including those of staples such as maize flour and rice.
They revealed plans to invest heavily on agricultural production, mentioning ambitious plans to turn the Kilombero Valley into the "Amazon of Africa" that many believe could alone feed the rest of the continent. The rally also heard about plans to develop the transport network across the country through such improvements as bituminization of major roads that would link all regions.
Other pledges included the introduction of train services to serve Dar es Salaam, a welcome move given the ever-increasing population in the city and the already overwhelmed road network. All the challenges and the pledges mentioned here and all others made during the mammoth rally is a reflection of the real situation on the ground.
Contrary to statements or allegations from a section of the Opposition, CCM is fully aware of the myriad of problems that millions of Tanzanians face and has in fact been trying its best to solve them. It has not reneged on them as claimed. CCM has always been a party that walks the talk. Being the governing party, they need time to implement its pledges.
In fact, the CCM-ruled government has already initiated a number of measures aimed at revamping the economy, ease inflation and by extension improve the living standards of the people. It is true that the ever-increasing food prices are hurting the people despite ongoing efforts to increase food production.
The purchasing power of the people has rapidly diminished in the wake of higher prices of various essential commodities. Transport is a nightmare in Dar es Salaam. Plans to introduce a railway network to supplement city commuter services are, therefore, most welcome and so are plans to upgrade pan territorial roads to bituminous standards. All this can be done given the highest degree of devotion and commitment.