... Medal to be presented by ex-Mozambican President Chissano
FORMER Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano is expected to present an award to President John Magufuli after emerging winner of the African Liberation Medal, the award committee told the 'Daily News' yesterday.
The award is given to leaders for their contributions towards political and economic liberation in African countries.
The Chairman of the Dar es Salaam-based African Liberation Medal institution, Mr Mwebesa Rwebugia, said President Magufuli becomes forth President to scoop the award, after qualifying in 22 criteria out of 25 used to assess the leaders in the continent.
Mr Rwebugia explained that this year, the committee focused on economic liberation, which is the current struggle in African nations after independence.
Contacted over the award, the Government's Spokesperson Dr Hassan Abbas, confirmed the President Magufuli's win, after circulation of reports to that end in some online media platforms yesterday.
For the first time, the medal went to Tanzania's First President, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in 2014, which was subsequently placed in the custody of his family.
During the same year, Zambian First President Kenneth Kaunda won the medal which was presented to the Embassy of Zambia in Tanzania.
The two pioneer presidents won on the strength of being true icons in the fight for political liberation.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni became the third recipient of the medal last year for his remarkable contribution towards Africa liberation for peace and stability, considering his efforts to bring peace and harmony in some war-torn African countries such as DR Congo and South Sudan.
"Former President Chisano has confirmed to us through an email that he would be in the country at the end of this month to hand over the award to President Magufuli; we have already communicated with Presidential team of protocol on the matter," said Mr Rwebugia.
He said the institute had selected Mzee Chisano as a person to whom to hand over the medal, considering his exemplary leadership credentials.
He further explained how President Magufuli, saying the President's efforts in constructing road infrastructures connecting the regions since he was the Minister of Works had earned him a mileage.
"Generally, Dr Magufuli has been practically fighting the three enemies of development: poverty, ignorance and diseases.
He therefore deserves the award," he stated. Reached for comment, CCM's Ideology and Publicity Secretary Humphrey Polepole, said President Magufuli deserved the award on the strength of what he has accomplished within the short period of his leadership so far.
"Dr Magufuli has dared to fight corruption and harassment in all spheres of life without fear," he said, citing mining as one of the sectors deeply affected by the vice.