Tanga residents yesterday turned up in their thousands at the Chongoleani Village for the laying of a foundation stone to kick start the construction the Hoima-Tanga pipeline.
The ground at the village, where the project implementation will take place, was fully occupied by 7am as people started flocking to the place from as early as 6am.
The security was tight as well; people were checked at three different security check points before proceeding to the place of the event.
Traders took advantage of the big crowd to sell different food items and drinks, thus had all reasons to smile all the way to their homes after pocketing probably one of their highest incomes in the business.
The event was attended by several leaders led by the two Presidents, John Magufuli and Yoweri Museveni. Among others was Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and ministers from both Tanzania and Uganda.
The leaders started arriving at around 7am and the event officially kicked off when the two Presidents arrived at around 9am. President Magufuli was the first to arrive and welcomed his guest, President Museveni, who appeared about 15 minutes later.
Upon arrival, President Magufuli walked to the audience and waved. The gathering cheered. The event got blessings from various stakeholders, including the private sector which attended the launching.
In a dramatic scene, when addressing the gathering, President Magufuli called Mr Ruge Mutahaba, Director of Strategy and Programmes Development of Clouds Media Group (CMG) and Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda to the podium.
He asked them to iron out their differences as he told them to shake hands in public to show that they had buried the hatchet.
Recently, the two came out in the public and engaging in war of words, attacking each other. Before they turned into enemies, the two were close friends. It was only after Mr Mutahaba alleged that Mr Makonda stormed the headquarters of CMG.
The President's intervention yesterday saw the two leaving the podium as friends and joined the artists for dancing. The event was also attended by representatives of the three companies tendered to implement the construction and operation of the project - Tullow, Total, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).
The companies, which have been contracted to construct the pipeline, assured the two Presidents that the project construction will meet international standards. They also promised to complete the construction work within the given deadline, saying it was the trust of the two Presidents to them which resulted in their hiring.
One of the issues which normally emerge during the implementation of the projects was participation of locals, but the companies pledged that local content will be effectively considered to make them benefit from the project.