JPM promises lasting solution for challenges facing tobacco farming

Tuesday September 22 2020

 

By Alawi Masare

Tabora. The veteran ruling political party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli, yesterday slammed the federal governing system proposed in apolitical opposition manifesto, claiming it would destroy national unity and increase inequality in Tanzania.

Dr Magufuli, who was campaigning in Tabora Region, also promised to solve challenges the tobacco farmers were facing, which include wanting market access, delayed payment and fluctuating prices.

Dr Magufuli, who is seeking vote for the second presidential term, is in Tabora Region since Sunday and yesterday he addressed two rallies at Urambo and Tabora town.

“It’s a big sin to campaign for the federal government system after Tanzania managed to unite its people and kicked out tribalism,” said Dr Magufuli at the crowded Ali Hassan Mwinyi Stadium in Tabora.

“The father of our nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, built a strong foundation of unity; but some people want to campaign against that. That kind of decentralisation will fuel tribalism, division, inequality of the regions and of course a possibility for a civil war,” he said.

Chadema touts the federal system, which intends to ordinary citizens power to decided on how to solve their challenges.

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Under the party’s philosophy of “people’s power,” Chadema states that if it wins, it will form the federal government responsible for general issues while some independent states will collect revenue from own sources and provide social services such as education, health and water in their localities.

To counter their argument, Dr Magufuli said the system is a threat to the national unity.

“Let us all not accept to be divided,” he stressed.

Tobacco challenges

CCM’s main campaign trail started at Urambo where Dr Magufuli and his team addressed a rally and aired some promises such as roads and address challenges of tobacco farmers in the region.

The cash crop, which was once among the country’s leading export, is mainly produced in Tabora.

However, the farmers were challenged by difficulties in accessing the markets, lower prices and delayed payments.

“I will deal with these issues and they will no longer resurface. I’m here with the deputy minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe who will take notes and do the needful as soon as possible,” said Dr Magufuli.

Mr Bashe said a lot of strategies were being implemented as far as developing agriculture is concerned.

He said the price of fertilisers had gone down from $61 to $37 per bag in the last five years.

“From what we are doing in the agriculture sector, there is no more rejected tobacco. Traders will buy all varieties of different grades,” said Mr Bashe.

Dr Magufuli also asked Tabora government officials to stop forcing petty traders to pay Sh20,000 for the entrepreneurship identity card as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the town, Mr Emmanuel Mwakasaka, complained that they were forced to buy it.

“That is a big disturbance here,” said Mr Mwakasaka.

Dr Magufuli ordered the District Commissioner to stop forcing and, instead, educate the traders on the importance of the ID.