Addis Ababa — ZAMBIA and South Africa have hailed Tanzania for the crucial role it played in their liberation. "Without the support of Tanzania, we (Zambia and South Africa) would not be here today.
You sacrificed for us. We thank you," said Zambian President Michael Sata. Mr Sata and the South African President Jacob Zuma showered their praise shortly after the presentation of Tanzania's African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report ahead of the African Union Summit here on Sunday.
The Zambian President said without the support of Tanzanian presidents right from the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere to President Jakaya Kikwete , Zambia would have not succeeded in its economic plans.
"Without Tanzania and their railway we would have perished. South Africa denied us support...we don't have a port...therefore by letting us use the Dar es Salaam port Tanzanians have helped us a lot," he said.
President Zuma on the other hand promised to send a team to Tanzania to study how the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and the Ethics Secretariat operate.
"I have been impressed by President Kikwete's presentation on accountability and the existence of a body which oversees public procurement. We don't have such an instrument. We believe it is the best mechanism to combat corruption... so is the Leadership Ethics Secretariat," he said.
President Zuma was speaking after President Jakaya Kikwete's remarks in response to issues raised in the country's APRM report. He said apart from supporting the liberation of Southern African countries, Tanzania has also played a crucial role in efforts to restore peace and stability in the Great Lakes Region.
He also commended Tanzania for upholding human rights by ensuring women have visible representation in decision making as well as in the eradication of poverty. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, lauded the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, saying it was a marriage worth emulating. He also commended the 'Kilimo Kwanza' programme which he said was a vital tool in bridging the gap between the have and the have not.
Meanwhile, the Zambain leader underscored the need for Africa to seriously address unemployment which he said was the source of violence and war. He said although he assumed office recently, he was not going to blame any one for his country's problems and instead would direct his efforts at finding lasting solutions.