- Samia becomes first ever sitting president to grace main opposition party’s meeting
- Underlines the need for political pluralism
- Urges politicians to avoid divisive, dirty politics
- Casts light on new constitution debate
- Touts women empowerment strides
- Insist country is thriving economically
PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has engraved her name in the history books by being the first leader to attend an opposition party’s event since the ushering in of multiparty system.
As Chadema National Chairman Freeman Mbowe clearly put it, many took it as a joke when the politician announced that Dr Samia would grace the event.
Yesterday’s gesture by the president was akin to extending an olive branch to the opposition, which has for many years played second fiddle to the ruling party.
It is also her clear intention of realising her self-crafted 4Rs philosophy (Reconciliation, Resilience, Reform and Rebuild), which she has repeatedly touted as impressive pillars for multiparty democracy as well as for the economic prosperity.
As she had once stated, reconciliation was key for building a society that enjoys equal rights before the law without discrimination and that provides equal economic opportunities for all.
And, for the second time in a month’s time, President Samia hinted on the possible constitutional reforms for the betterment of the country’s political landscape.
While addressing Chadema’s Women Wing (BAWACHA) International Women’s Day gathering here yesterday, Dr Samia disclosed that she will in the near future commission a team charged with the reforms.
The multi-faceted team will also feature members from the opposition, according to the CCM Chairperson.
“Very soon we will make the committee public,” she said.
Dr Samia insisted that no one in the government nor the ruling party was in objection to such an idea.
“Nobody is opposing that, even CCM fancies a new constitution,” said the president amidst thunderous applause from over 3,000 Chadema members who thronged Kuringe Social Hall.
Despite her appearance which elicited joy from the Chadema members, Dr Samia didn’t shy from urging the main opposition party members to exercise sobriety while doing politics in their quest of taking the reins.
President Samia also urged all politicians to avoid divisive, dirty politics and instead embrace political pluralism. She reminded the main opposition outfit that politics was a thought-engaging platform, where those in play poke holes on each other, with an ultimate goal of calling the shots.
The president also aimed a jibe at the opposition party, saying they weren’t ready to assume power as long as she was in total control of the country.
“You lack that drive of taking the reins because you know that I’m still around,” the President joked.
She urged politicians to safeguard peace, noting that the society was witnessing an unprecedented moral decadence, a reality which was tainting the country’s image.
Dr Samia appealed to Tanzanians to cherish and treasure the existing traditions and customs while sieving those which are brought from outside the country.
“Let’s not accept everything that is thrown our away, our country needs to return where it was,” she observed.
In the same vein, Dr Samia assured Tanzanians that the country was thriving economically, citing the amount of foreign reserves stashed in the state coffers.
According to the president, the amount of foreign currency in the country was enough to sustain Tanzania for the next four months, compared to other countries, whom she said were in dire shortage of foreign reserves to last for even a month.
She also used the platform to insist on women empowerment strides from grassroots to the top level.
President Samia was however non-committal on the fate of the group of 19 female Chadema legislators, categorically stating the matter was now being handled by the Courts of law.
Earlier on, Chadema National Chairman Freeman Mbowe said the opposition outfit was willing to let bygones be bygones, but urged her counterpart to crack the whip on leaders who go astray.
The politician also thanked Dr Samia for honoring their invitation, deeming it a good gesture towards the implementation of the 4Rs philosophy.
President Samia also visited the ruling party CCM’s regional office and addressed hundreds of party members, who thronged the venue to welcome their Chairperson. Dr Samia highlighted to them why she opted to attend the opposition meeting, saying it was important to cement reconciliation.