Monday, August 30, 2010

Slaa`s Top Six Agenda

Slaa`s Top Six Agenda

"The Guardian," Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

By Polycarp Machira

29th August 2010

Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) launched its election campaign yesterday, by outlining six top areas on which it would address attention, pledging to deal with pending grand corruption cases within 100 days.

However, the campaign speech by the party’s presidential contest flag bearer, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, couldn’t be televised live by the State broadcaster, as the latter claimed that the opposition leaders used insulting and abusive language against the government as well as top leaders of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

Dr Slaa told mammoth rally attendants at the Jangwani grounds in Dar es Salam that his party plans to restore the lost national glory the country enjoyed during the era of founding president Julius Nyerere.

Improved better education for all Tanzanians tops the aspiring president’s agenda. He said his government will make high school education compulsory and free for all students.

Provision of better health facilities and improvement of agriculture are among the projected ambitions, accusing the current government of failing to effect significant changes in the sectors.

On agriculture, specifically, he said a Chadema-led government would go beyond the power tillers that the current government emphasises, and focus on better tractors that can enhance production.

“Tanzania is losing political, social and economic direction as days go by. This started immediately after the two fathers of the nation, Mzee Nyerere and his successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi stepped, aside. It is now time to liberate the country through our manifesto,” he said.

The outgoing Karatu MP also promised that his party will build a strong economy that provides for the needs of Tanzanians, aiming at moving the country towards tertiary industry to support agriculture.

He lamented that the country had become a dumping ground for foreign companies where cotton is grown locally but the final products are exported from overseas countries. Tanzania, according to the Chadema manifesto, will be a heavy industrialisation point for Africa.

His fifth agenda would be to create more employment opportunities to meet the increased job demand . Dr Slaa blamed the government for failure to provide better jobs for graduates from the universities and other learning institutions.

“University graduates are jobless but the CCM government brags of creating 1,300 jobs in five years, including those of street water vendors. There is need to ensure that educated youths get the right jobs that match their education, ” he stressed.

His top last agenda would be to sports, culture and arts as another way of boosting youths in the country, saying artists in the country need government support. On this, he said he would not opt for a foreign coach for the national team but provide training for local coaches to take such opportunities.

Dr Slaa also said he will trim the cabinet from the current 40 plus ministers to less than 20. Comparatively, he said it is quite ridiculous for a country like Tanzania with a population of 40 million people to have 40 ministers while the US with over 100 million people has less than 14 ministers.

He promised that his government would do away with district commissioners and assign the current office bearers other posts.

Other promises include establishment of subway trains by 2020 and liberate the country from a poor transport system that he said retarded national development. He added that workers’ problems will be solved within 100 days in office.

He praised former CCM MPs who defected to Chadema, saying they have finally seen the light and joined the ‘commanders’ of change in the war to liberate the nation from corrupt a government.

Dr Slaa’s running mate, Said Mzee Said, told the gathering that their government will create three governments. There would be governments of Zanzibar, Tanganyika and the union government, saying by so doing; the current contentious matters of the union will be solved.

He said “Let us come together and vote Dr Slaa to State House to bring about the long-awaited changes,” he said, adding that by voting yes to his party, all problems of the union will find lasting solutions rather than forming interim governments.

On his part, Party Chairman, Freeman Mbowe, said Chadema is like Real Madrid under the tutorship of Jose Mourinho. “Chadema just liked Real Madrid Football Club collects all talented leaders in the country,” he remarked.

He said the party was keen to work in partnership with a serious party on this road to save the nation from what he described as the hands of a few individuals who do not have the nation at heart.

Meanwhile, a prominent Dar es Salaam lawyer and opposition activist Mabere Nyaucho Marando yesterday issued unproved damning attacks about what really transpired during the Central Bank of Tanzania’s External Payments Arrears $131million loot(Sh200 billion).

Though the authenticity of his allegations could not be established beyond reasonable doubt, they revive sharp memories on how taxpayers’ billions were looted during the third phase regime.

Marando who is among early reformers during the introduction of the multiparty system in 1990s told the campaign rally at Jangwani grounds that the popular ‘EPA scam’ was a special project initiated to support election campaign by some of the ruling party leaders.

According to Marando, a former spy turned politician, contrary to what the public was told earlier, EPA was a well calculated move to raise billions of shillings using some vetted businesspeople between July and October 2005.

Marando was reacting to recent media reports, which claimed that he wasn’t the right man to fight corruption because he is currently defence counsel of Jeetu Patel who is one of those accused of looting EPA billions through the Bank of Tanzania.

Marando made very damning attacks about the key individuals behind the scam before the public broadcaster, TBC1, suspended its live coverage of Chadema’s official campaign rally in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

According to Marando, though the government has arrested and charged some suspects in connection to the EPA loot, the truth about what had happened was beyond what the public was told.

Marando claimed that he has official documents signed by some top party officials instructing the BoT to release the payments as agreed.

EPA was one of the scandals that rocked the fourth phase government, forcing it to award an international auditing firm, Ernst and Young in 2007 to audit the Bank of Tanzania.

Ernst and Young in its auditing revealed how a total of the 22 companies looted $131 million using fake and forged documents under the supervision of the former governor, the late Daudi Balali.

Of those involved, 13 local companies got Sh90, 359,078,804 using forged documents during the 2005/6 financial year. The report also showed that nine unregistered companies were irregularly paid Sh42 billion.



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