1 January 2013

Tanzania: Kikwete Rails At Religious Disharmony

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has expressed disappointment in connection with the security threats orchestrated by some religious and political leaders and their followers.

He said evening that despite the fact that Tanzania is entering 2013 with a clean sheet of peace and harmony, there are isolated incidents that threaten the security of the country.

In his New Year Speech to the nation, the president stated that for the first time the country was put under test of security and harmony following inflammatory remarks from such religious leaders and their followers.

"Frankly, for the first time our country is on the verge of division or civil war due to religious affiliations. Fortunately, God Almighty has so far protected the nation from such disasters", he explained. The president reiterated his call to political and religious leaders to refrain from uttering inflammatory remarks and indulging in activities that may plunge the country into violence and chaos.

He reminded such leaders and their followers that they had the noble role and responsibility of ensuring that Tanzanians enjoy peace, harmony and solidarity, regardless of their religious denominations, political affiliations, tribes and races. "This is the merit (peace and harmony) which other countries miss.

Some are envious of our situation. Peace and harmony are a treasure that we should not afford to lose," stressed Mr Kikwete. He warned such leaders and their followers that the government would never tolerate their misconduct and unlawful activities.

Speaking on the discovery of gas in Mtwara and Lindi regions (in the wake of complaints of residents in Mtwara), the president said that all Tanzanians have the rights to benefit from the gas. He however, said that residents in the two regions would benefit accordingly and that their leaders are aware of plans to prepare people in Mtwara and Lindi to benefit from gas economy.

"But the condition that the gas should not be transported to other areas is unacceptable. Natural resources available in this country are the nation's wealth and should be used for the entire nation's welfare," he insisted.

President Kikwete assured the nation that the government was committed to solving electricity problems and that since 2006/07 it has enabled TANESCO to establish three power stations with a total capacity of 245MW. He wished all Tanzanians a happy and prosperous 2013.

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