Dons find First Speech inspiring

In the speech, Dr Magufuli mentioned tax collection by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), electricity and water shortages; and lack of structural support for farmers as among the most pressing challenges.

Addressing academicians when officiating discussions on the president’s speech at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Mr Nape Nnauye, said it was a guidance towards solutions to challenges facing Tanzanians. “It is important for youth in this country to understand that they must be part of the transformation.

We must get away from the usual applauding and start building a culture of listening, analyzing and providing recommendations and way forward to build a better Tanzania,” he explained.

The debate was organised by the Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students’ Organisation (TAHLISO). Mr Nnauye noted that the president’s speech came at a time when Tanzanians were facing a lot of challenges, thereby providing the beginning of seeking answers to the challenges “and most so at a time when there are a lot of complaints on corruption and bureaucracy in the government’’.

He assured the public that Dr Magufuli’s speech was the beginning of major transformations in the government and the country in general. “I believe if everything contained in the speech will be well implemented, we will make major positive strides in development,” he pointed out.

The minister, however, stressed the need for academicians to also discuss ways to have these transformation included in the country’s system so that they can be sustained, further pointing out that where and when possible, the system must be pressed to accept such transformations.

Citing an example, Mr Nnauye said previously, the Controller and Auditor General’s (CAG) reports were presented to the president but during former President Jakaya Kikwete’s administration, a law was enacted to allow the reports to be presented and discussed in parliament. “President Kikwete has left office but these reports will continue to be discussed.

This is a good example of what I’m trying to say here. We must discuss these transformations contained in the president’s speech and be incorporated into the system. I assure you we will witness the good outcome from these,” he said.

Dr John Jingu from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam, told the audience that the speech illustrated a committed leader, willing to fight and address public plight.

Dr Jingu noted that what was contained in the president’s speech, including industrialising Tanzania, can be done if everyone would play his/her part, including creating a conducive working environment for the public sector.

Dr Honest Ngowi of Mzumbe University, said Dr Magufuli had started implementing what is contained in his speech to the House, citing collection of revenue as one of the examples. He, however, noted that implementation of the speech and transformations desired were the responsibility of everyone, especially the people -- and not Dr Magufuli alone.

Veteran diplomat, political strategist and regional commissioner, Ambassador Christopher Liundi, explained that the president’s speech provided the country’s development direction through fighting corruption within the government.

Ambassador Liundi stated that Dr Magufuli was the kind of president that many countries longed for with many waiting for centuries; citing the likes of the First President of the United States, George Washington. “Tanzania is very lucky to get such a president in such a short time, a president who is patriotic, has the interests of the public -- most so those in the lower levels, at heart.

He is a blessing indeed from God,” Ambassador Liundi stressed. He said the president’s acts on what he says, citing among others fighting graft and cutting costs by providing a lean cabinet of hardworking young ministers.

He stressed, however, that the ministers should now take the president’s mantle and follow on his footsteps. “We want to see the ministers follow his footsteps. And I am happy to note that they are indeed doing so. We all must give the president and his cabinet time, give him cooperation and accept the transformations that are coming,” he added.

The Kinondoni District Commissioner, Mr Paul Makonda, speaking in his capacity as a former president of the Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Student’s Organisation (TAHLISO), said much as Tanzanians welcomed the transformations, they should also accept the fact that as the government is fighting graft, close family members could be affected in one way or another.

“Corruption had become part of our lives such that when the government started taking steps to fight and end graft, many were shocked. We must accept that as the government intends to end corruption, family members will be affected. But all this is for the good of the country,” he noted.

Most of the participants, mostly students, hailed Dr Magufuli’s speech and performance but advised him to overhaul some government institutions such as Higher Education Students Loan Board (HESLB) and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).

In summing up, Dr Ayoub Rioba, who was the debate’s moderator, said: “Dr Magufuli is committed to implementing what is contained in his inaugural speech -- and his track record is a good testimony’’.

The don added that the president has the public interests at heart, is courageous and a patriotic leader who has instilled a sense of patriotism among Tanzanians within the short period he has been in office.
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