Sengerema. The ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli, yesterday warned Tanzanians not sell food cheaply for now, predicting more demand ahead due to the impact of Covid-19.
He said many countries, which introduced lockdowns as a measure of controlling the spread of the pandemic, will face food shortages and Tanzania is the tentative supplier.
“All people who were in lockdown did not produce enough and possibly will face food shortages. We did not lock down anyone in Tanzania and went on working hard,”
“Let’s preserve our food and if you are to sell then do it after the next harvest. That is a better time to sell and don’t sell at lower prices,” said Dr Magufuli, who added that already some buyers were approaching farmers with a view to buying their food produce.
“Let us be careful so that we don’t get any shortages. Produce like rice and maize are already in demand,” said Dr Magufuli as he campaigned in Sengerema District.
He also explained how the Sh699 billion bridge will benefit the people of various districts in Mwanza Region, saying it is an iconic project in the area.
Dr Magufuli, who spoke in separate rallies as he campaigned in the region, said the bridge will not only simplify transport services but will also attract tourism activities in the lake zone.
“This is the longest bridge in the East African region and will connect the districts,” he said adding that it is one of his priority projects if re-elected in the polls, which will be held on October 28.
“This project is being constructed by using our domestic resources. If you elect some other people who do not even know where we got the money, they can destroy the foundation work we have so far done,” he said at Mnadani grounds in Sengerema.
Dr Magufuli also said he wanted to ensure that the districts of Mwanza were well connected through roads and marine vessels as he reiterated his dream of making Mwanza an economic hub in the region.
Some residents said they were expecting more benefits from the 3.2 kilometre bridge under construction on Lake Victoria between Kigongo and Busisi areas to simplify their activities.
“Some of us are farmers who want our produce to easily reach markets where we can sell profitably. This bridge will hopefully trigger competitive prices of produce,” said Mary Massanja, who also attended the rally.
CCM parliamentary candidate for Sengerema Hamis Tabasam asked Dr Magufuli to make sure that he forms a township council and upgrade some roads to the tarmac level if both were voted in.
“You have done a lot for us in the last four years, but we still need water, tarmac roads as well as creating a township council,” said Mr Tabasam, who spent a few minutes to ask for votes.
“You managed to build a district hospital in Sengerema, some 45 years on since the district was formed. So, we believe all these issues we raise are also possible,” he added.
Dr Magufuli said some Sh27.2 billion water projects were being implemented in Sengerema and promised to work on other requests.
On his way to Geita, he stopped in different places including Misungwi, Sengerema, Buchosa and Geita Rural where he spoke with people who had gathered to wait for him.
Sengerema is the place where Dr Magufuli was first posted as a secondary school teacher and said he was “at home.”
Former MPs including Mr Charles Kitwanga (Misungwi), Dr Charles Tizeba (Buchosa) and Lawrence Masha who contested the Sengerema constituency during primaries also attended the rallies in separate locations.
Dr Magufuli said Tanzania was in a position to stand independent financially, citing an example of the General Election, which he said was financed using some domestic resources.
“All about Sh330 billion that we are using for the elections this year is our domestic resources. We can be self reliant and pursue our projects,” he said.