Tanzania: JPM Fulfills His Parliament Inauguration Pledges

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has walked the talk by fulfilling about 20 promises he made while inaugurating the 11th Parliament in 2015, the 'Daily News' can reveal.

In the speech, the President mentioned issues that his Fifth Phase Government would focus on to drive the country to a middle economy and improve lives of the citizens.

Dr Magufuli argued that those were issues, which Tanzanians raised during the General Election campaigns in 2015.

As he made the speech for dissolving the Parliament, about five years down the line, the 'Daily News' revisited his speech aired on 20th November 2015, and established that most of the pledges, with few others still under implementation, particularly were of strategic importance to the nation.

The speech, considered as his roadmap during his fiveyear term of leadership, Dr Magufuli said corruption was something which citizens complained most against.

He promised to deal with corruption among public officials and introduce special court to handle them. For the past four years plus, the country witnessed several corrupt officials facing the music without fear or favour.

Many officials were sent to court and others lost jobs over corruption. This enabled reinstallation of discipline in the public offices.

The President said local governments were losing lots of money due to failure to effectively collect revenues and misuse of funds.

When he ascended to power, Dr Magufuli decided to transfer responsibility of collecting revenues in the regional and local governments to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), which has advanced means of collecting them on behalf of the local governments, especially the property tax.

On land issue, his speech raised concern over farmerpastoralists conflict in different parts of the country and a rampant trend, where some people monopolised pieces of land without necessarily developing them.

In different occasions, the President annulled ownership of undeveloped lands and handed them over to villagers to cultivate.

The President also worked to find remedy to chronic theft and bureaucracy at the Dar es Salaam Port.

He was personally making impromptu visits at the port after getting information over irregularities and uncovered several shortfalls, including imported goods diverging taxes.

The Parliament also heard about inadequate water, a challenge which the President pledged to work on during his tenure.

In his four years of presidency, water availability in rural areas increased from 46 per cent to 65 per cent and in urban areas the figure shot to over 80 per cent from 65 per cent.

He further vowed to strengthen the TRA capacity in collecting taxes along with fighting bureaucracy, corruption and loss of revenues.

Upon his pledge, several managerial changes were made to the TRA during this term to ensure efficiency of the taxman.

Some top officials who were allegedly engaging in corruption faced legal actions. The measures enabled the authority raise annual revenues collections.

In bringing health services to the people, the government has built about 360 health centres so far, with a target to build health centre at each ward countrywide.

This is implementation of his promise after realising that people were struggling to access health services because the facilities were located far from them.

Presence of few health facilities caused congestion at the centres. In education sector, the President had told the Parliament over existing over lots of financial contributions from parents to schools.

Therefore, Dr Magufuli resorted to implementing the free education policy which enables students enjoy free education up to secondary level.

He further noted with concern over outdated country's railway infrastructures and poor performance of the stateowned airline, the ATCL.

Four years of his leadership saw a revamp of the railway infrastructures with ongoing construction project to upgrade the railway to Standard Gauge.

With his intent to revive the ATCL, Dr Magufuli acted on his speech, with the purchase of new seven planes.

The President went on making things a reality on his pledge to construct road infrastructures, connecting regions and districts.

In Dar es Salaam, Tazara flyover has been completed and launched several roads in the regions to ease transportation.

In taking the country to middle economy status, President Magufuli focused on encouraging investment in industries, with thousands of new industries established countrywide.

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