This is what Dodoma’s new city status means

Summary

The decision, he said, was in line with the government’s commitment to shift its headquarters from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. Addressing the nation via a live broadcast to mark the 54th anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Dr Magufuli said Dodoma deserves a higher status, given its new role of hosting government activities.

Dodoma. President John Magufuli on Thursday gave a union gift to residents here after he elevated Dodoma Municipality into a City.

The decision, he said, was in line with the government’s commitment to shift its headquarters from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. Addressing the nation via a live broadcast to mark the 54th anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Dr Magufuli said Dodoma deserves a higher status, given its new role of hosting government activities.

“I asked myself, how many cities do we have in the country? I realized that we have a total of five but unfortunately, our new capital is only a municipality. I found it unacceptable. With effect from today, with the powers vested in me, I declare Dodoma a new city,” he announced, a decision which was warmly welcomed by local government leaders and residents.

Dodoma now has become the sixth city after Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Mbeya and Tanga.

With the new development Dr Magufuli approved that the Dodoma municipal executive director, Mr Godwin Kunambi, assume the role of the city executive director, instructing that all legal procedures of transforming the documentations should start immediately.

Commenting on the matter, the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Selemani Jafo, said the decision would simplify planning on development projects to be undertaken in the city.

“He has simplified our jobs. We now have to start thinking differently as a new city that also hosts government activities,” he said.

He said the new status would attract more investment and business opportunities from within and outside the country.

Although the municipal has been upgraded after the budget was approved, Mr Jafo said the government would continue engaging stakeholders to finance projects that would be needed.

“Right now, we have a budget that was approved to be spent at a capacity of municipal and we cannot change that. What would be done is to engage stakeholders and look at other alternatives to mobilize more money for development projects to be implemented,” he said.

Reacting to the move, Mr Kunambi said the decision has come at the right time, adding that they are determined to work hard and improve revenue collection.

“We have all the qualifications. Our population has increased from 450,000 in 2012 to almost 700,000 this year as per the recent projections. Our revenue collections have increased from Sh6 billion in 2016/17 to Sh20 billion in 2017/18,” he said.

According to him, out of the Sh20 billion target of 2017/18, authorities in Dodoma have collected Sh14 billion by February, signalling that the target could even be surpassed.

During the financial year 2018/19, Dodoma plans to collect Sh67 billion from its own revenue sources.

“In terms of revenue, we will be running behind Ilala Municipal in Dar es Salaam but Dodoma will beat all others cities,” he insisted.

Dodoma Regional Commissioner Dr Binilith Mahenge, said it would now be easy for them to build a country’s headquarters, adding they are waiting for legal documentations.