Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday graced the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School at Kibaha.
Speaking during the function President Magufuli, who is the CCM chairman, said the school should consider providing education beyond politics.
The project is estimated to cost $45 million (approximately Sh100 billion) and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The project is funded by the Chinese government through the Communist Party of China (CPC), CCM and five southern Africa liberation parties, namely ANC (South Africa), Swapo (Namibia), MPLA (Angola), Zanu-PF (Zimbabwe) and Frelimo (Mozambique).
Speaking during the event, President Magufuli said apart from leadership and ideological studies, secretaries-general from the six political parties should consider development issues.
“Let’s consider widening the school’s education boundaries by providing education on development and strategic studies,” he said.
“We shouldn’t think of admitting people from the six political parties alone...let’s consider welcoming other political parties with vision and ideologies similar to us.”
Dr Magufuli said the secretaries generals would be charged with preparing curriculums, recruiting staff and raising funds, which will be used to run the school.
He challenged the contractor, China Railway Construction Engineering Group, to complete the project on time or even before the scheduled deadline.
“There is no reason for delaying the implementation of the project, while funds are available. The contractor should also use manpower from Kibaha to enable local residents to benefit from the project,” he noted.
President Magufuli said Tanzanians should seek employment opportunities during and after the implementation of the project.
“The project has come to the region that is at the forefront of building industries in the country. Continue building industries to create jobs for our people,” he noted.
He commended the secretaries-general for naming the school after the late father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, saying the decision was aimed at honouring the country’s contribution to the liberation struggle.
Dr Magufuli said the countries should now focus on bringing about economic liberation, adding that the school would give these efforts fresh impetus.
According to him, most political parties on the continent had leaders who were not conversant with the parties’ ideologies. The school would address this anomaly, he added.
Speaking during the occasion, Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa said that it was time for countries which share common ideals to come together and promoted what the nations’ founding fathers stood for.
“We are here to cement our liberation history and also enhance the sustainability of our liberation fathers’ determination to transform our African countries,” she said.
“The China-Africa cooperation especially with political parties which share great historical relations, is commendable for the sustainability of our nations...we will support the move.”
Frelimo secretary-general Rock Silver said that it was a special day that heralds a new beginning.
“We believe that this project will bear fruit and strengthen our relations. We will support this movement because it will help us continue liberating our people from economic bondage,” he said.
MPLA secretary-general Antonio Paul said the occasion was very essential for the continuous liberation of the people from both parties.
“The construction that we are all ready to support here today, will be a pillar to improve our diplomatic relations and the Communist Party of China (CPC) has come at the right time where we need transformation in the basic areas of our society, including poverty reduction, “ he said.