Tanzania: New Dawn for Dar es Salaam Politics

Poll agents check their names on lists posted at the Ubungo Ward Office in Kinondoni District (file photo).

IN what might have reshaped the country's political landscape and perceptions, President John Magufuli yesterday held dialogues with various leaders of opposition parties at State House in Dar es Salaam.

The secret talks held separately with veteran politician Seif Sharif Hamad of ACT Wazalendo, NCCR-Mageuzi Chairman, James Mbatia, and CUF Chairman, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba marked a new dawn for multiparty politics ahead of the 2020 general elections.

Significantly, the talks not only signified one of Tanzania's national values, unity, as Seif acknowledged but also opened way for the moral participation of the opposition in the country's muchlauded development endeavours fronted by President Magufuli's fifth-phase regime.

Speaking after the talks, the three politicians applauded the socio-economic successes recorded under President Magufuli.

They appreciated the fact that the government has transformed the country's economy and improved delivery of social services.

Former Zanzibar Vice- President Hamad, while expressing his delight to get an audience with the Head of State, underscored the importance of upholding national unity, peace and political harmony as prerequisites for the country's development.

Mr Hamad, who is also former CUF secretary general, hailed President Magufuli as an open-minded leader, who is ready to listen to his citizens, saying they were able to discuss a number of issues which aimed at building the nation.

"I am happy that the president has invited us and listened to our views... we have discussed various issues on national interests such as upholding peace, unity and tranquility," he said.

Prof Lipumba, a renowned economist, commended the government's fight on corruption, good control of public expenditure, protection of the country's resources, improvement of education and health services as well as spearheading economic growth.

The CUF Chairman called upon Tanzanians to embed the spirit of patriotism and nationalism by upholding the prevailing peace and principles of good governance.

Prof Lipumba faulted politicians who have been criticising everything being done by the government.

"The fifth phase under the leadership of Dr Magufuli has addressed a number of issues which were major concerns of opposition parties ... it is not right for the parties to criticize things which the government has resolved for example amendment of Mining Laws and fight against corruption," Prof Lipumba said.

He called upon his party members to be prepared for the coming general election scheduled for later this year following the president's assurance of holding peaceful polls.

For his side, NCCR-Mageuzi leader, Mr Mbatia urged fellow politicians to appreciate the great job done by the current government instead of mocking the success recorded.

He commended the government for improving various sectors despite the fact that there were some people who mocked the successes recorded.

Mr Mbatia called upon politicians to stop sending negative images on the country and government and rather recognise the notable achievements under the current regime, such as improvement of education sector and countrywide electrification.

He was buoyed by the president's assurance that the forthcoming general election will be free and fair, a statement he issued when addressing members of the diplomatic corps and reiterated during yesterday's meeting.

He said it is upon all stakeholders; citizens and political parties to avoid issues which will disrupt the country's peace.

Addressing diplomats during a sherry party held at State House in the commercial city in January this year Dr Magufuli said the government will also allow international agencies and observers to come and monitor the polls procedure.

The general election slated for October, this year will be held to elect the President, Members of Parliament and Councillors. "General election is mandatory for any democratic nation like Tanzania.

Therefore, the government is determined to embrace justice, transparency and freedom during the election," said President Magufuli.

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