Tanzania: Magufuli - I Have Made Enemies By Putting the National Interest First

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.

Dar es Salaam — The Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli, yesterday reminded voters of the hard times he faced in making decisions during the last five years - and said he had become the Number One enemy of the "imperialists" affected by the government reforms.

Dr Magufuli - who was campaigning in the Kinyerezi area of Dar es Salaam - said he had sacrificed much for Tanzanians and now he seeks a second presidential term to finish his agenda.

"Many people ogle our country because of its rich resources and some ongoing development projects which they did not expect," said Dr Magufuli when addressing a campaign rally.

He mentioned some of the projects that his government pursued, but which were not well-received by people who considered him an enemy.

These include the reforms in the mining sector, such as banning exportation of concentrates, fencing of the tanzanite mining area, building the much-resisted Nyerere Hydropower project in the Selous, and tackling the Covid-19 pandemic without applying lock-downs.

"Those who were benefiting from our natural resources are not happy with the changes, and I'm their number one enemy. I only took the decisions for the benefit of Tanzanians and that is my mistake - if any," Dr Magufuli said, calling on Tanzanians to vote for him on October 28.

"When we wanted to construct the Nyerere hydropower project, it was highly-resisted in the name of environmental protection. But inside the Selous, we found some 47 hunting blocks and 38 airstrips. Definitely we shook their business."

"We requested a loan to implement the project - but they refused. We decided to go ahead with the project using local resources. You need to be strong enough to make these tough decisions," he said.

This was Dr Magufuli's second day of campaigning in the commercial capital after the first rally on Friday.

He will also address another rally at Mburahati on Tuesday - and the last one at the Tanganyika Packers grounds in Kawe on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he starts another round of campaigning in the northern zone regions of Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara.

Dr Magufuli - who is seeking re-election - promised to address some challenges in Dar es Salaam, including containing floods, building 11 fly-overs and defending petty traders. He said some Sh32 billion was already in place for some development activities around Msimbazi river which causes floods in the city.

Under the project, efforts are under way to reduce the possibility of floods resulting from the river and enable people near it to live peacefully.

He also ordered the Water ministry to ensure that the water project under implementation is completed before December 2020 so as to benefit the people of Kinyerezi, Bonyokwa and Kifuru in Segerea constituency.

The rally yesterday was attended by parliamentary aspirants for Ilala, Ukonga and Segerea constituencies.

The gathering was entertained by some artistes from the city.

As a sign of appreciation, Dr Magufuli gave his hat to former Ilala mayor from the political opposition, Mr Omary Kumbilamoto, who rejoined the ruling party.

Another hat was also given to the Wasafi Classic Band artiste, Mbosso, following his live performance after Magufuli had completed addressing the throngs.

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