21 September 2012

Tanzania: Kikwete Denies Selling Kigamboni to Bush

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has dismissed rumours that the Kigamboni has been sold to the United States former president George W Bush.

Laying the foundation stone for construction of the Kigamboni Bridge in Dar es Salaam , Mr Kikwete called upon the public to be wary of politicians whose agenda is to spread lies.

He assured Tanzanians that all promises he made during his campaign and those under the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) manifesto were put in place for particular reasons by experts and that he will ensure they are fulfilled before he leaves office."I know there are many lies circulating in the streets, that I have sold Kigamboni to former US president Bush. The funny thing is -- what will Bush come and do in Kigamboni?" queried President Kikwete.

Mr Kikwete said a section of opposition party politicians were not happy with government efforts to turn Kigamboni into a modern satellite city and had decided to spread lies about the project. He said the government decided to build a modern satellite city in Kigamboni as a strategy to build independent cities outside the city centre complete with all social and economic infrastructures to reduce congestion at the Dar es Salaam city centre.

He said the Kigamboni Satellite city will have the necessary infrastructure including schools, health centres, banks and offices, adding that Mabwepande is another area that the plan will be implemented for now. On fulfilling his promises, President Kikwete noted that everything in the CCM manifesto will be implemented, citing construction of ward secondary schools, the University of Dodoma and construction of the Kigamboni Bridge as examples.

"I know this does not please our colleagues. They probably do not want this bridge to be constructed. In fact, there are more projects that we promised to do and we are going to deliver on the promises," he explained. The Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli, commended the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for being in the frontline to contribute towards developmental projects in the country.

Dr Magufuli appealed to the president to award NSSF director Ramadhan Dau for his good work. "It's unfortunate that you only give awards to those serving in the military, but ministers and directors doing a good job deserve such awards. Dau has shown a good example. It would be appropriate to find something for him," he explained.

On his part, Mr Dau said the Kigamboni Bridge will cost 214.6bn/-.  It's a suspension bridge with a length of 680 metres. He added that NSSF will cough up 60 per cent of the total construction costs and the government will contribute the remaining 40 per cent including compensation for those relocated to pave way.

The Director for Tanzania Roads Agency (Tanroads), Eng. Patrick Mfugale, said the bridge will have six lanes, three on each side, and on the Kurasini side, it will be linked to Mandela expressway through a flyover at Tazara. Eng. Mfugale said vehicles that will cross the bridge -- expected to be completed in 2015 -- will be charged a fee. However pedestrians and cyclists will use it for free.

The Minister for Labour and Employment, Ms Gaudentia Kabaka, said that 3,000 direct jobs for youths, will result from construction of the Kigamboni Bridge.

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