Tanzania: We Must Learn From Past Mistakes - Magufuli

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has asked leaders and the general public to learn from erroneous decisions made in the past to improve the present and future.

Dr Magufuli made the call yesterday in Arusha when he delivered his speech during the ceremony to officially launch operations of Tanzania Railway Cooperation (TRC) from Dar es Salaam- Tanga-Kilimanjaro to Arusha.

He was referring to some decisions made by the government in the past, specific to errors made in privatising some state-owned industries and corporations.

Dr Magufuli, who was referring to Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) observed that such infamous decisions should serve the country as lasting lessons as far as Tanzania's economy was concerned.

"That was a grave mistake that the country had committed... why privatise such corporations when Tanzanians were capable of running and managing them," queried the President while inaugurating the Dar es Salaam-Arusha train route.

The CCM Presidential Candidate further revealed how he was convinced to revive TRC, a decision he said was rewarding the country handsomely.

"There came a time when the government forked out five billion to revive the company," he explained.

The national carrier was established as Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) in 1977 after the dissolution of East African Airways, and has been a member of the African Airlines Association since its inception.

It was once wholly owned by the Tanzanian government until 2002 when it was partially privatised as per the directive of the Bretton Woods Institutions to implement the country's Structural Adjustment Programme while TRC was privatised in mid 90s.

On the other hand, the president singled out praise for individuals who were behind the revival of the once-ailing company, saying the country didn't look any further for such a bold decision.

He particularly commended the TRC boss, Masanja Kadogosa for his unwavering efforts of keeping the company up and running despite facing challenges.

Dr Magufuli insisted that he was eager to see TRC becoming a leading train company in the continent.

Lack of adequate infrastructure, according to the ruling party Presidential candidate, reduced the country's income by two per cent.

The TRC Director General on his part, informed Dr Magufuli that a whopping 14bn/- had been spent in rehabilitating the railway network across the country.

"If all goes to plan, we will start transporting goods and products from the Tanga port," disclosed Mr Kadogosa.

The company has rolled out a one-month offer for Arusha and Dar es Salaam residents, where prospective travellers will now be parting ways with 16,000/- instead of 18,700/.

The TRC boss further revealed that plans were underway to establish a daily Moshi-Arusha route at 1,500/-.

The train was due to return to Dar es Salaam yesterday afternoon.

In Tanzania, railway network covers almost all key economic zones.

According to economists, railway transport remains a crucial mode of transport for economic growth of any country.

This is attested by the fact that more cargo can be hauled at one time and the fact that it is safer compared to using roads.

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