THE ruling party CCM will remain firm in ensuring all pledges including the plan to develop the Dar es Salaam Port as highlighted in its 2020/2025 election manifesto are effectively executed as planned.
In the course, it has called upon relevant authorities to fast-track necessary steps required in the development of the Dar es Salaam Port for the country to start realising the benefits.
CCM Secretary General, Mr Daniel Chongolo revealed this during the party’s public meeting which convened at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, yesterday to raise public awareness on the importance of the port development in the country.
Based on this, Mr Chongolo directed the government to carry out a review and see the possibility of adopting all constructive views for the agreement to bring desired gains to the nation.
“CCM will not tolerate any ill-fated propaganda with the aim of preventing us from reaching the goal…the foundation of port development is in line with our election manifesto. On this, we shall unite in ensuring no propaganda derail our efforts,” said Mr Chongolo.
According to him, this was not the first time that projects of similar importance to the nation were contested, but eventually after their implementation, huge gains have been reaped in the course.
He cited an example of such projects as including Malagarasi Hydropower Project, Kihansi Hydropower Dam Project and the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which connects Hoima part of Uganda to Chongeleani in Tanga.
Others are the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the 2115-megawatt Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP).
“Those contesting the implementation of this project in the country do not want to see Tanzania moving forward, instead, they want to continue oppressing and exploiting us…they are very unfortunate that Tanzania has taken huge steps in those lanes,” stressed the CCM Secretary General.
He stressed on the need to stay and execute what is good for the people and not otherwise.
For his part, Minister for Planning and Investment Prof Kitila Mkumbo said the Dar es Salaam Port improvement has huge and direct benefits to the Lake Zone regions.
Prof Mkumbo, who is also the Ubungo Member of Parliament (CCM) said that experts suggest with a good investment at the port will trigger cargo capacity from the present 22 million tonnes and win lion’s share of in-transit cargo that currently stands at 70 million tonnes.
Dr Mkumbo said that increase in cargo implies additional income generating activities.
“There is no way that Dar es Salaam Port will benefit from this huge cargo without Mwanza and five regions within the Lake Zone benefitting from the trickle-down effects. These will help you to easily export your cotton without passing through other ports,” noted the minister.
He observed that the Parliament and government had taken into consideration that the port development project is safe as it has been in other projects.
“In two years alone, the government has implemented 293 projects worth over 10tri/-, where Mwanza accumulates 25 projects,” he noted, while maintaining that the government is well versed in all issues relating to investment with enough expertise, who at all times ensure the interests of the nation is protected.
Regarding public views on the issue, Prof Mkumbo said that the government has taken note of all views before, during and after endorsing the Parliamentary Resolution on the Dar es Salaam Port Development.
He categorised the opinions in three groups where others were saying…the investment is good and the agreement has no problem, the second group claims that the investment was good and should be taken to the next step, but some of the section should be re-looked to ensure maximum security for the country and last group saying the investment was not good.
He added: “The government has no problem with the views of the first and second group…as identified by lawyers that globally all agreements have room for amendment, therefore this particular agreement attracts such a requirement.”
Expounding further the minister noted that the third group claiming that the government has sold the ports, their arguments do not hold water and their aim was only to incite the public.
Veteran Politician and Ex-Minister who served in various previous regimes, Mr Steven Wasira called upon the people with valuable inputs to bring them forward, maintaining that the government has received all the opinions and that they should give the State a chance to work on them.