How relocation to Dodoma began

THE process of relocating the seat of government from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma began about five decades ago, and it was a democratic one that went through several levels of the then-ruling party, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), before reaching a decision.

When detailing the process, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said that similar to many narratives about Tanzania, this one begins with Nyerere, but not the Nyerere you may anticipate.

In 1966, Joseph Nyerere, the Founding Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s younger brother, who was a Member of Parliament for Musoma at that time, presented a private motion in the National Assembly for the seat of government to be shifted to Dodoma; however, the motion was thwarted, according to Dr Samia.

Speaking during the inauguration of the new State House in Chamwino, Dodoma, she remarked that in 1972, the TANU working committee for the Mwanza region brought up the subject again and presented it before the party’s National Executive Committee, which was led by Mwalimu Nyerere.

“The committee decided that the proposal should be discussed in all the 1,859 TANU branches that existed at that time whereby 842 branches disagreed but 1,017 supported the idea to relocate,” she said.

As a result, TANU declared in August 1973 that a full relocation to Dodoma should take place within 10 years.The effort to develop Dodoma city, according to Dr Samia, started, but it was difficult because of a number of factors, including financial limitations.

“Instead of the 10 years that were predicted when the process began, the journey has now lasted around 50 years,” she said.

She added,” The task was never simpler, and each phase that came into power either aided it or started the construction of different structures so that Dodoma assumes the form of the government headquarters,”

According to her, each regime carried out the process and permitted the construction of houses and temporary offices for the State House, but the headquarters of the ruling party and some public buildings, including the Tanzanian parliament, offices for the Regional Administration and Local Government, the University of Dodoma, Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, and Jakaya Kikwete’s hall, were constructed before the fifth phase.

Dr Samia further said the implementation of the government’s intention to relocate to Dodoma received increased momentum during the fifth phase of governance under the late John Pombe Magufuli.

President Samia stated that on July 23, 2016, during the CCM general congress, Magufuli announced the decision to formally move government operations from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. Two days later, on July 25, 2016, during a speech honouring Heroes Day, he reaffirmed his commitment to putting that decision into action.

She said that following that, Dodoma City continued to undertake numerous initiatives, including the development and enlargement of the Chamwino State House, whose size was enlarged from 66 acres to 8,473 acres, after which the building’s construction got underway.

“As I promised when I was given the reins of our nation, I will keep up the good work already being done, make improvements as needed, and bring in new good projects under the motto of ‘Kazi Iendelee,” she stated.

The Tanzanite Bridge in Dar es Salaam was the first project to be finished under her administration, and she said that the construction of the Chamwino State House was another accomplishment, the tasks she inherited from Magufuli.

The Chamwino State House has been constructed by the government, a task that was carried out by SUMAJKT and Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) as well as other contractors.

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