Mwanza/Dodoma. Two Cabinet ministers yesterday declared their intention to seek nomination as CCM’s candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Stephen Wasira and Finance deputy minister Mwigulu Nchemba said at different venues that they were eying the top post to serve Tanzanians and improve their lives.
Speaking at a packed Bank of Tanzania (BoT) hall in Mwanza, Mr Wasira said if nominated by his party and election on October 25, his government will focus on four main issues.
He said the implementation of various policies would be achieved through strong institutions that would work in the public interest.
Mr Wasira added that his government would also consider motivation as the best way to boost hard work.
He said his government will also focus on boosting and supporting creativity in building the economy and improving people’s lives.
Mr Wasira said he has been working in the government system since 1970 and that if nominated and elected, his government will stand for accountability, equality and national unity.
“I would like to warn my fellow Tanzanians to avoid supporting corrupt politicians. If elected, such people could sell State House.”
Mr Wasira reminded CCM members to understand their roles and responsibilities in nominating candidates, saying this year’s General Election would be a tough competition following recent corruption scandals in the country.
“This is going to be one of most challenging election for the party because the CCM and the government has been facing various challenges, especially those related to corruption scandals,” he said.
Mr Wasira said that in order for the party to be safe and able to overcome the challenges, CCM members must select a clean candidate who has never been involved in corruption.
“CCM needs to pick a person who is not facing corruption accusations...he or she must be conversant with this country’s history. He or she must be able to know where the country comes from and where it is going,” said Mr Wasira.
He added: “ I’m heading the Ministry for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives. If I were corrupt, I would have stolen and sold your fertiliser. We should stop joking about corruption. When someone condemns corruption, he or she should be sincere.”
On infrastructure, Mr Wasira said there could be no development without building and improving infrastructure. He said the country needs proper means of water supply, reliable electricity, airports, roads, ports, railways and telephone communication for it to develop.
“My government will give priority to infrastructure so as to reduce production costs and enable consumers to get products at affordable prices. This will help to improve people’s economic status and boost development,” said Mr Wasira.
According to Mr Wasira, his government would construct railways to enable easy transportation of cargo. He added that by 2025, his government would make sure Tanzania produces a total of 7,000 MW of electricity from various sources.
On the health sector, Mr Wasira plans to improve health services by making sure every Tanzanian has a National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) card.
He said there was a need to improve health services and that his government will give priority to the area.
“After, more than 50 years of independence, we are still facing challenges in the health sector. I will make sure the number of doctors and other health officials are increased along with health equipment,” said Mr Wasira.
On education, he said there was a need to put in place a new system that will help to produce competent and skilled graduates.
“We need to establish a system that will consider quality at all levels of education. There is a need to invest in teachers and create good environments for teachers and students.” On the economy, Mr Wasira said his government would focus on building a strong and inclusive economy.
He said Tanzania economy would grow by 12 per cent annually and that his government would ensure decent employment for all qualified people.
Mr Wasira added that his government would revive industries and ensure production in addition to developing agriculture and improving fishing.
In Dodoma, Mr Nchemba who declared his intention to vie for Presidential seat in Dodoma said it was high time CCM members pick strong, focused and patriotic member for the top post in the country.
Mr Nchemba, who was accompanied by his wife and three children, said if nominated by his party and elected in October, he will fight corruption, selfishness and ensure equality among Tanzanians.
He said if elected, he will make sure Tanzania is moving to middle income country and that every Tanzanian will be involved fully in various development programmes.
“It is high time Tanzania becomes economic independent, this could be possible by involving the people in building their economy, fighting corruption and ensuring equal distribution of resources,” he said.
Mr Nchemba promised to bring major changes in the economic sector by creating employment opportunities, improving agriculture, trade and developing industries.
Moreover, Mr Nchemba responded to some CCM members who were challenging him of lacking political experience saying a good leader does not need many years of experience.
“ For those who think experience matters on this are wrong, a person who stays on leadership posts for a long time, tend to forget people’s problems, the first thing here is to understand needs of the people, and this is what makes a good leader,” said Mr Nchemba.
He said former Prime Minister Moringe Sokoine served the country for a short time but his name has been in books because he was a strong and visionary leader.
According to Mr Nchemba, age and experience could not stop him from pursuing his dream since there are many examples of young leaders who successfully lead their countries.
“We all understand that Mwalimu Nyerere became the first President of Tanganyika when he was only 40 years old...he was just a secondary school teacher before taking the post,” said Mr Nchemba.
Reported by Midraj Ibrahim and Aidan Mhando in Mwanza; and Fidelis Butahe, Sharon Sauwa and Habel Chidawali in Dodoma