Bukoba — CCM presidential candidate John Magufuli yesterday pledged to solve challenges around coffee as he took his campaign to Kagera Region.
Dr Magufuli said he will address challenges facing the cash crop including the unpredictable markets that prompt smuggling. Coffee is a strategic cash crop for the region. "I'm aware of the challenges around coffee growers in this region, but I promise to address them in the coming years if I win," he said at Kemondo where he stopped as he headed to Bukoba.
"My assistants including the minister for Industry and Trade are here noting this so that they can take appropriate actions," said Dr Magufuli.
He arrived in Bukoba where he is expected to hold a rally on Wednesday.
Dr Magufuli, who is seeking re-election, said it was time to address all the challenges facing the crop which is the main source of income for the region adding that his government was committed to ensuring that farmers in the region were benefiting.
He also promised to improve transport and communications including building ports and railways and buying aircraft to ease people's means of transport.
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"We have rehabilitated old ships and a new big ship is under construction. I will buy five more aircraft, build standard gauge railway and expand airports. I want people to chose their preferred mode of transport whenever they want to travel anywhere. This is the kind of Tanzania I want," he said.
He said he wants to transform Kemondo into a Port area so that people of the area can benefit hence improve their economic lives.
He said he knows the challenges facing people of the area and it was due to this that he sent an engineer from the same area to construct a road from Katerero across Ngono River. "We want people from Kemondo to move to Mwanza, Jinja in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya then Musoma in Mara Region and back to their home freely after the coming of the new ship," said Dr Magufuli.
He reiterated his stance that he has no intention of extending his term beyond a total of 10 years, five years already gone plus the next five years, if he wins in the October vote.
"Presidency is really stressful and needs commitment and sacrifice for your people. That is why I cannot extend even a single day after my second term," he said.
CCM's Bukoba Rural parliamentary aspirant Jason Rweikiza requested Dr Magufuli to connect Bukoba Rural District to the national grid, something to which Magufuli said he would address once he is sworn in if he wins the polls.
Dr Magufuli said it was sad that Kemondo was just on the shores of Lake Victoria but had no safe drinking water.
promising that upon re-election he will address the challenge.
He said his government upon re-election will appoint people in the ministry of water who will quickly address water challenges in Kagera.