President Jakaya Kikwete has revealed that he had turned down the previous proposal sent to him from the Arusha Municipal hall, wanting him to endorse a city comprising three municipalities.
"The proposal was to the effect that, the new Arusha City should be made up of three councils; the Arusha Municipality, Arumeru East and Arumeru West Councils so as to form a vast urban center but I nullified the proposal because at best it was impractical but at worse that was a serious joke," said the head of state.
Speaking to residents here, during the occasion to launch the new 'Arusha City' at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium, last weekend, President Kikwete explained that, the only area which resembled a modern urban center was just the Municipality, the other councils were mere scattered villages full of cattle and farms.
"Take areas like Oldonyosambu, King'ori or Ngaramtoni, these are essentially empty landscapes with very few if any, settlements and the only life found there is that of cattle being grazed. There was no way I was going to approve them to be parts of the city," maintained the head of state.
The President however admitted that it was rather idyllic to have a city with three Municipal Mayors, but unfortunately the other two parts just did not qualify. Besides, according to the President, turning Meru and Arusha-Rural districts into parts of the city, meant that all villages certificates had to be revoked in addition to banning farms and livestock grazing in the precincts.
He however advised Municipal elders to annex some parts of Arumeru District and add them to Arusha-Urban in order to boost the latter's size and its population currently being estimated to be 500,000.
"Today therefore, I have the honour of officially inaugurating the resulting City which has also undergone major infrastructural development in terms of town roads through World Bank funded projects," said Mr Kikwete. The Arusha City certificate the head of state handled to the local mayor indicated that the urban centre was passed into a city on August 15, this year.
The Municipal Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo presented the key to the city to President Kikwete which now makes the latter an official resident of Arusha and on receiving it, the head of state called for proper town planning with emphasis of areas for investments.
"I was in Mwanza recently where the city authorities prided themselves for surveying over 2000 residential plots but when I asked them where the areas for investments were, they got flabbergasted," he said.
According to the President, many urban centers rush to map areas for residential settlements and totally forgetting plots for commercial activities, production and industries and as a result, people get plots but without investments to provide them with jobs or earnings.
"That is why the country is full of bitter people; we need to provide them with jobs first and foremost before worrying about other things," Mr Kikwete pointed out.