... MPs say he has what it takes to steer SADC's quest for economic growth and socio-economic development
NATIONAL Assembly yesterday commended President John Magufuli for assuming the chairmanship of Southern African Development Community (SADC), expressing hope that he will lead the bloc in the struggles for economic liberation.
Members of Parliament supported the declaration to congratulate the Head of State read by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, Mr Mussa Azzan Zungu.
They said President Magufuli had what it takes to lead the southern African countries to attain sustainable and economic growth and socio-economic development in the region.
President Magufuli took over the SADC chair from President Hage Geingob of Namibia at the 39th SADC Ordinary Summit for Heads of State and Government in Dar es Salaam last month.
Former Chief Minister of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, said the declaration brought back memories of liberation movements for southern African countries which Tanzania played an important role in supporting.
Tanzania was a founding member of the Frontline States, a coalition of African countries in the 1970's committed to ending apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia.
It included Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Mr Nahodha, a Member of Parliament for Kijitoupele Constituency in Zanzibar, said it was also reminding them that the liberation agenda for southern African countries had not been completed with the threats for emergence of neo-colonialism in all its facets.
He said the declaration should serve to remind leaders in the southern African countries to implement the second phase for SADC which is for economic liberalisation, saying he was optimistic that President Magufuli would lead the region on that front.
"Our hopes are that President Magufuli will lead us in the struggle for economic liberation," said Mr Nahodha, who is also a former Minister for Home Affairs.
A special seats MP for CCM, Ms Anna Makilagi, said President Magufuli should be congratulated for managing to convince fellow SADC leaders to take up Kiswahili as SADC's fourth official language.
SADC member states agreed to adopt Kiswahili, Tanzania's national language, as one of its official languages at the Heads of State and Government summit in Dar es Salaam last month.
Kiswahili, the lingua franca for eastern Africa, will join English, French and Portuguese as official languages for SADC. President Magufuli becomes the second President from Tanzania to lead the 16-nation regional economic integration body.
The first time the East African nation led the group was in 2003 under former President Benjamin Mkapa.