ACT-Wazalendo’s Bernard Membe outlines his priorities if elected President

Wednesday September 2 2020

ACT Wazalendo presidential candidate Bernard

ACT Wazalendo presidential candidate Bernard Membe speaks dur- ing the launch of the party’s campaign at the Mpilipili School grounds in Lindi yesterday. 

By Louis Kolumbia

Lindi.  The ACT-Wazalendo Presidential candidate, Bernard Membe yesterday outlined at least 10 points, detailing why he decided to seek the Presidency during the October 28 General Election.

The former Foreign Affairs minister told a public rally at Mpilipili Primary School grounds in Lindi that the first thing that he would do if elected the President of Tanzania would be to improve road linkage between Dar es Salaam and southern regions.

“Building a road from Dar es Salaam to Mbambabay in Ruvu- ma Region is not enough. We will ensure that roads leading to our villages remain good throughout the year,” he said.

The second thing, which he said forced him to seek the Presidency, was the fact that people in southern highlands were not receiving the right respect that they deserve from some leaders.

The third, he said, was because leaders come to ask for leadership positions on the ‘disguise’ that they will leave upon completion of their constitutional terms in office.

 However, he said, he was sure they will not leave until they are forced out through the ballot. Improving the wellbeing of farmers also ranks high in Mr Membe’s plea as he seeks to lead Tanzania.

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“ACT-Wazalendo will respect farmers. You sell and receive your money instantly,” he said. He said the ACT-led govern- ment will create an environment whereby all buyers of agricultural produce  including the infamous middlemen who are commonly known as Kangombas  will be recognised by the government.

“Why should we deal with a Kangomba from Lindi and Mtwara and leave those [middle- men] working with international companies scot free?” he queried.

 He said a government, under ACT-Wazalendo, will not tell farmers where to sell their pro- duce. They will do so at their own will.

“If ACT-Wazalendo wins the presidency, it will come up with a health insurance policy that will compel the government to pay for one-third of health costs for Tanzanians. When one dies while receiving treatment at a public hospital,” said Mr Membe, the deceased’s relatives will not be required to pay hospital costs anymore to access their departed relative’s body.

Public servants’ promotions and pay rises will not be con- ducted as a matter of the government’s will if Mr Membe is elected President on October 28, 2020.

He said some public servants have neither been promoted nor received salary increment for five years.

“When they ask for an increase, they are told the government was undertaking mega infrastructure projects. This cannot happen in an ACT- led government. There is no link between where you put our taxes into and our salaries,” he said.

 Fishermen will smile during the Mr Membe-led government because his administration, he said, will not set on fire fishing gear for fishermen as has been the case in lately.

A special unit will be set up, under the ministry of Industry and Trade, which will be specifically entrusted with the duty of going outside the country in search for markets for Tanzania’s products.

Tanzania, under Mr Membe, he said, will maintain cordial relations with other states in the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), African Union (AU) and the United Nations.

“Our President does not go to such meetings where global leaders meet…When you elect a seasoned diplomat [Mr Membe himself], things will change,” he said. Earlier, the ACT-Wazalendo party leader, Mr Zitto Kabwe said time was ripe for people in southern regions to start  evaluating the ruling party’s show in as far as implementation of the gas economy was concerned.

“Fine years ago, they went around Lindi, telling people that in five years, Tanzania will be a gas-economy and that Lindi and Mtwara would be the hub of the gas economy. Allow me to ask you now: In five years, have you seen the gas economy?” he queried as people responded with a resounding: “Noooooooo”.

He said the CCM-led government has failed people of Lindi and Mtwara with its handling of cashews nuts. “At one point, they even said they would whip your aunts and your uncles when the cashew nut topic was hot. It will be foolhardy for you to give them your votes,” he said.

During the 2015 General Election, CCM pledged to disburse Sh50 million to every village.

“Have you seen the Sh50 million in your village?” queried Zitto. According to Mr Zitto, the ruling party should first show Tanzanians the one million jobs that it had pledged during the 2015 campaigns before they can tell the nation about the eight million pledge as outlined in its (CCM’s) 2020 General Election manifesto.

ACT-Wazalendo, said Mr Zitto, was bringing to Tanzanians a manifesto that will see farmers receiving their money as soon as they sell their produce.

Through the party’s manifes- to, buyers will be competing for farmers’ produce. In his remarks, Mr Membe’s running mate Prof Omar Faki Hamad, said with Mr Membe, the country will come back to its civi- lised way of doing things.

 “Membe wants to revive a situation where by people can criticise each other without one reprimanding the other,” he said.

ACT-Wazalendo would ensure that the Lindi Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant would start immediately as soon as it assumes power. The $36 billion project, he said, would employ about five million people, mostly from Lindi and Mtwara regions.

If there were issues to be addressed, he said, it will have to be handled by elders in Lindi and Mtwara regions. On the Union, he said Tanzania was the fruit of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar and therefore, a government led by ACT-Wazalendo will ensure that there is a union of mutual trust and respect between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

Mr Membe and his running mate arrived at the Lindi Airport at Kikwetu at 1:35pm in the company of party leader, Mr Kabwe and national chairman Mr Seif Sharif Hamad.

Others in the list were: Vice chairperson for Zanzibar and Mainland Juma Duni Haji and Dorothy Semu respectively as well as Mr Membe’s wife Ms Dorcus Membe.

After leaving the airport, the convoy received a warm reception from party cadres, members and supporters at Mitwero area where bodaboda drivers led them all the way to the town centre.

The convoy later went to the Sea View Beach Hotel for a short break before proceeding to the Mlipili Primary School Grounds and arrived there at 3:45pm.