Simanjiro — Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday threatened tough punitive measures against people bent on inciting deadly violence in the country.
"The government will never put up with people bent on inciting violence; we will squarely deal with the agitators," charged the premier when he addressed a public rally at Kiteto district's Kibaya Township on Wednesday evening.
He condemned in the strongest words some people whom he accused of branding Kiteto as Soweto or Kosovo, saying: "This is Tanzania... we cannot segregate against one another."
Speaking on the first day of his working tour of Manyara Region, Mr Majaliwa asked the area residents to respect decisions by elders whose efforts to quell the hostilities between the pastoralists and peasants, he highly appreciated.
"I highly appreciate former Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda who formed a commission to restore peace in the district... after assuming this position I made follow ups and learnt that the conflicts were brewed by few people," observed Mr Majaliwa.
Earlier, traditional leaders in Kiteto handed over to the premier a club, a small hand-hoe and a leaf, 'elisibie' in Maasai, as a sign of peace and ending of clashes between peasants and pastoralists. Mr Majaliwa also participated in religious leadersled prayers. A 65-year old Mbambile Oloi Kurkur who claimed to be the custodian of Maasai tradition, said God had listened to the residents' prayers to restore peace.
"God created this mystique tree which remains green during the whole year even during times of extreme drought; we have given you the 'elisibie' leaf as the sign of everlasting agreement," remarked the senior citizen.
Chairman of Kiteto District Peace Committee Abubakar Mrisho, said the 70-member group of elders conducted public awareness campaign in all the seven divisions and 23 villages in the district on the importance of preserving peace. He said the peace committee formed the group of elders from Maasai, Wanguu, Wakamba and Wagogo communities, in a traditional ceremony to protect the land from bloodshed.
In another development, Mr Majaliwa reaffirmed the government commitment to provide the residents of Simanjiro, one of the largest districts in the country, with better roads and modern communication infrastructure.
The Premier had inspected construction works on the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) - Mirerani road, shortly after talking to government officials at Orkesumet and addressing the public rally at Mirerani Hills, home to the rare Tanzanite Gemstones.
"The only way to serve people is to actually reach and directly hear from them instead of waiting for reports at the comfort of your offices," he told the district officials at Orkesumet. The PM later travelled to Mirerani and inspected the road works.
Mirerani is the only location in the district where the tarmac road is under works. The 26-kilometre road which links KIA entrance and Mirerani Hills in Simanjiro District is scheduled for completion at the end of this month, according to the official Road Board Meeting report of Manyara Region. China Henan International Cooperation Group Company is constructing the historic tarmac road in the district at 32.2bn/-.
President John Magufuli, as Minister of Works, laid the foundation stone for the KIAMirerani stretch in August 2015. The premier ordered speedy execution of the anticipated 89-kilometre road that connects Bonga location in Babati with Mela in Dodoma region.
The project is scheduled for completion by October 2017. Currently, construction works on Babati-Kondoa road has reached 60 per cent, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and African Development Bank funding the over 83bn/- project.