Mwanza. Sengerema MP William Ngeleja said yesterday he was qualified to run for the presidency on account of his track record when he was a Cabinet minister.
Announcing his bid for the CCM ticket for the presidency, the former minister for energy and minerals also declared he was free of any scandal despite having been dropped from the government.
He said he was seeking the highest office in the land to form a government that would fight poverty, ignorance, corruption, disease and moral decline.
“I acknowledge that a great percentage of Tanzanians are poor. I’m therefore seeking this position so that I can fight poverty, ignorance, disease, corruption, embezzlement, laziness as well as the prevailing moral decadence,” said Mr Ngeleja.
Mr Ngeleja announced his intention at a packed Bank of Tanzania (BoT) hall in Mwanza to join a growing field of aspirants eying to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete through CCM.
He said a majority Tanzanians were eager to get a president who would walk the talk.
“I have a comprehensive strategy to clean up the Police Force, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Judiciary, PCCB and other agencies that are being accused of corruption. I will make sure we get a lasting solution to our most pressing problems,” he said.
Mr Ngeleja was in the company of his wife, Blandina, and Magu MP Festus Limbu. His supporterss filled the hall.
The former minister said considering the things he accomplished when he was deputy minister for energy and minerals between January 2007 and May 2012, and later a full minister, he had no doubt that he was “presidential material”.
“We initiated the Mtwara gas project in 2009 whose completion will help our nation save over Sh1.6 trillion currently being spent on fuel to generate electricity,” he said.
“The completion of Mtwara gas project will mark the end of power blackouts in our country.”
Mr Ngeleja also said he was involved in the establishment of the Rural Energy Agency (Rea) whose budget he raised from Sh27 billion to Sh137 billion by 2011.
“We started so many power projects including that of Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam, Somanga Fungu in Kilwa, Nyakato in Mwanza, with a combined target of 3000MW by 2016,” he said.
He also said he was among the originators of the idea to connect all regions to the national grid through the North-West Grid-from Shinyanga, Geita, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa to Mbeya, Makambako to Ruvuma as well as the North-East Grid-from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro.
He said he had reduced power connection charges for the rural people to just Sh27,000 .
Mr Ngeleja, who is a lawyer said, he was involved in drafting of the new Minerals Act in 2009 which was passed by the Parliament in 2010 to empower the State to own free shares in all the mining firms on behalf of the public.
His priorities he said would be a strong economy, good leadership, improved social services as well as infrastructure.
“Since independence, Tanzania has not enjoyed a strong economy. We have remained dependent on donors. Our country has now become a dumping place of foreign made goods because of a poor manufacturing base. This situation is detrimental to Tanzanians who have remained without jobs,” said Mr Ngeleja.
Mr Ngeleja vowed to ensure that both farmers and pastoralists are allocated surveyed land to undertake their activities and secure bank loans.