Mbeya. The Minister of State Minister in the President’s Office (Special Duties), Prof Mark Mwandosya, yesterday announced his presidential bid as he revealed his priority if nominated by the ruling CCM will be to make sure that Tanzania becomes a middle income state by 2025.
Addressing thousands of people who thronged the Sokoine Stadium here, Prof Mwandosya said other priorities will be fighting grand corruption, improving health and education sectors.
He joined a chain of other CCM members who have announced their bid for the presidency, including former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Stephen Wasira and Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu.
Others are Deputy Minister for Finance Mwigulu Nchemba, the son of founding President, Makongoro Nyerere and Zanzibar diplomat Ali Karume.
According to Prof Mwandosya, if nominated by the ruling party and went on to win the October polls he would make sure that Tanzania realised the 2025 Development Vision of which he was part of the team that drafted the document in 2000.
In order to realise that, he said, his government would put emphasise in modern agriculture technology. He said his administration will subsidise agricultural inputs to enable majority of farmers who are poor to access them.
Prof Mwandosya added that emphasise will also be put in irrigation farming by improving irrigation infrastructures as well as roads in rural areas to enable farmers to transport their produce.
“I understand that most Tanzanians depend on agriculture for their livelihood, that’s why I’ll emphasise on modernising the sector in to enable majority of Tanzanians to overcome extreme poverty that they have been living in,” he said.
Prof Mwandosya further said his administration, in collaboration with the private sector, would build processing industries in rural areas to enable farmers to add value to their produce.
The veteran politician said his administration would also wage war against corruption. To succeed, Prof Mwandosya said, his government would start with the big fish.
“I recognise the efforts by President Kikwete to fight corruption, but we will pick from where he will have left. No one, regardless of his title, will be spared; my intention is to make Tanzania a corruption free country,” he said.
The minister also said he would revive Tanzania industries so as to protect Tanzania shilling which has been inferior to foreign currency.
According to Prof Mwandosya, the Tanzanian shilling has been on the decline recently because Tanzania has become much more of an importer than an exporter.
“Do you expect the Tanzanian shilling to be strong against foreign currencies while our industries are not operating? The answer is no. My priority will be in reviving local industries,” he said.
Other priorities would be to remove unnecessary bureaucracy for local and foreign investors as well as in improving tourism sector both for locals and foreigners.
He further promised to improve public service in order to enable civil servants to work harder with high integrity and dedication.
According to him, his administration will also work hard to improve the education sector. He said he would start by improving teachers’ welfare to motivate them.
“For any economy to grow you need quality education and that is what my administration will be prioritising,” said the Prof. Emphasis will also be in the health sector. If he will be nominated he pledged, he would put emphasise preventive rather than curative measures.
According to the minister who was the second runner-up during 2005 CCM presidential nomination, his government would continue to strengthen security and peace so as to make sure that Tanzanians remain united.
He also promised to protect the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar if he becomes president.
He also challenged young graduates who are unemployed to start self-employment.
Prof Mwandosya will collect the nomination forms tomorrow from CCM headquarters in Dodoma. A total of Sh10.729 million was raised by those who attended the rally to enable Prof Mwandosya to collect the nomination forms.
Reported by Lauden Mwambona and Brandy Nelson