Dodoma — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has condemned Monday's religion linked violence at Buseresere in Geita Region which left two people dead.
He emphasized the need for tolerance among all denominations in the country. Mr Kikwete said here that he was saddened by the prevalence of conflicts among religious followers and instructed leaders to make sure tensions are contained before they erupt. "We have lived peacefully for the past 50 years, since Independence.
We have to maintain the same spirit. Religious wars have no winners at all," observed Mr Kikwete when introducing newly elected National Executive Committee (NEC) members. The Head of State also said the government will immediately meet with banks and other financial institutions for discussions in connection with reduction of interest rates in a bid to enable the majority poor entrepreneurs to acquire loans.
The president said that negotiations with financial institutions on the matter are part of the resolutions the NEC has drawn. He said that NEC had seen a hitch in its efforts to create employment particularly for the informal sector in the country if the issue of interest rates charged by banks is not solved first. "NEC has directed the government to address this problem and we will act soon.
The Finance Minister was there and we discussed a lot. Consequently, we look forward to a sustainable solution," he noted. In its meeting, which ended on Tuesday, the NEC also elected 14 members of the Central Committee who were introduced to members on Tuesday.
They include Ms Pindi Chana, Mr Adam Kimbisa, Mr William Lukuvi, Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi, Mr Jerry Silaa, Prof Anna Tibaijuka and Mr Stephenn Wasira from Tanzania Mainland.
The seven members from Zanzibar are Mr Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, Prof Makame Mbarawa, Ms Maua Daftari, Ms Samia Sululu Hassan, Ms Hadija Aboud and Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, who was proposed by the Chairman, President Kikwete.
President Kikwete said NEC also called for a special push in self-employment skills and directed the Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) to provide skills to entrepreneurs who enter the informal sector but lack basic skills.
On ethics, the National Chairman said that NEC was open to some of the party members particularly NEC members on the increasing trend of some of them using political platforms for their own personal political gains.
"We were very open on these people. We told them that it was unethical to use their forums for their own interests and personal motives. "NEC members have to convey the right messages to the people and should not have personal motives at all," he stressed.
The president minced no words as he turned to the youth wing of the party, warning them to stop divisive and dirty campaigns that were destructive to the party. He said that formation of the current CC was not an easy task but thanked God the mission was finally accomplished and that the party is now back at work for the people.
Meanwhile, the newly elected members of CC, Prof Anna Tibaijuka and Jerry Silaa, said they took the new development as a challenge and that they were ready to serve the party. Prof Tibaijuka said her election was part of the responsibilities she was ready to undertake as she left the UN and promised to build the nation.
"Our task is now helping the government to boost the economy and deal with social pressure," she said jubilantly.