19 August 2016

Tanzania: 75 Per Cent of Civil Servants Can Now Move to Dodoma, Says Mhagama

Photo: The Citizen
A view of Dodoma municipality Central Business District.

The government has revealed that it can currently move 75 per cent of its servants to Dodoma, following an assessment, which showed they will get housing and other social amenities without any problem.

This was revealed by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Ms Jenista Mhagama, during an interview on TBC1 on Wednesday, when she talked on the capital transfer programme.

Mr Mhagama said an assessment conducted by a special regional committee formed by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa also showed that 70 per cent of the government offices can presently move to the Capital City.

The special regional committee was formed by Mr Majaliwa to conduct an assessment on the government's decision to move to Dodoma within the remaining four years and four months of the first five-year term of the Fifth Phase Government.

"The assessment was conducted to ascertain Dodoma's capacity in accommodating the public servants as well as the current capacity of the public offices," she explained, adding that the move will be done in phases in the remaining first term of the 5th Phase Government.

She assured the public that implementation plans for the government's decision to move to Dodoma, which was kick-started 43 years ago, will not affect the 2016/17 national budget, stressing that the country's development plans still stand.

The process began in 1973 when Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairman of the then ruling party on the Mainland, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), which at its 16th General Meeting resolved to move to Dodoma. "So you can see that this did not start with the Fifth Phase Government but goes further way back.

The resolution has also been included in the ruling party's election manifesto ever since. During last year's general election campaign in Dodoma, President John Magufuli promised to fulfil this," she explained.

She added that when President Magufuli officially took over the chairmanship of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) last month and during his speech at the Heroes' Day commemoration in Dodoma, he reiterated his resolve to move the government to Dodoma.

"Preceding regimes have been laying the groundwork for implementation of the resolution, including infrastructure. We have four tarmac roads linking Dodoma to other regions already in place including Dodoma-Iringa, Dodoma- Singida, Dodoma-Dar es Salaam and Dodoma-Babati in Manyara Region," she observed.

Already several government meetings have been held with regard to implementation of the capital transfer programme, Ms Mhagama noted, adding that a cabinet meeting also took place to figure out the best way to implement the process without affecting other government responsibilities.

"We as ministers have already agreed on how we will move to the capital city designated," she reported.

The minister said that to ensure the infrastructure within the new capital city is able to accommodate the number of people who will move there, the government had taken steps to tarmac all roads in collaboration with the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Plans are also underway to build a Standard Gauge railway line that will pass through Dodoma, which will also reduce the hours of travel between Dodoma and Dar es Salaam to between 2 and 3 hours.

"The construction of the Central Railway Line to standard gauge is included in the 2016/17 budget while the Dodoma Master Plan is being reviewed to adhere to new government plans and modern-day demand," she added.

She said Dodoma has 61 million cubic litres of water, but due to the number of people living in the city, only 48 million cubic litres of water are being utilized.

"That means we have an excess of between 15 and 16 million cubic litres of water... what is needed to be addressed now is linking water to areas that do not have access to the utility, especially those areas that will see new residential and commercial buildings going up," she explained.

The minister noted that the government also has plans to increase the quantity of water in Dodoma by building a dam. It is estimated that by 2020, the population in the capital-designate will increase to one million.

On electricity, Ms Mhagama said the Zuzu Station (near Dodoma) is producing 48 megawatts daily whereas only 25 megawatts are being used, with an excess of another 23 megawatts.

On diplomatic missions, the minister revealed that China and Kuwait have expressed readiness in building embassies in Dodoma, expressing belief that other diplomatic missions will do the same.

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