CIVIC United Front (CUF) National Chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba has advised the government to ensure that revenue realised from natural resources is handed out to poor people to end household poverty.
Prof Lipumba said in Dar es Salaam during a public rally as part of the party's Vision for Change (V4C) campaign which will be conducted countrywide as preparations for the 2015 general elections. "The current system where revenue is chanelled to various projects has been benefiting a few individuals and the only way to make even distribution of the revenues obtained from natural resources is through cash disbursement to poor Tanzanians," he said.
Prof Lipumba noted that the system has proved effective in Alaska, Libya and Mongolia where people have been benefiting from cash given to individuals by the state. He suggested that to ensure other sectors are not paralysed, the government should set aside a small percentage of the revenue to remain in government coffers and the rest be given to people.
He also criticised giving tax holidays to multinational companies investing in Tanzania, saying that the practice has had negative impact to the economy. "Studies have shown that countries like Uganda that do not have the resources that we do have made major strides in some areas and are ahead in others. We have to be keen on how we benefit from our natural resources," he said.
Prof Lipumba told the gathering that when they air their views on the new constitution they should also demand that it should clearly state that natural resources ought to benefit all people equally. He noted that efforts on the agricultural sector which is referred to as the backbone of the economy should be focused on smallholder farmers.
"We cannot improve the lives of our people through empowerment of large scale farmers, the best way is through empowering smallholder farmers, if they adopt modern methods they will be able to improve their families' incomes and livelihoods," he said.
He also called on all CUF supporters to participate in charity walk in Dar es Salaam from Buguruni to Jangwani grounds next Sunday. He noted that the walk will be a precursor of other similar activities in Arusha, Kagera and the rest of the country.