Why Morogoro seeks city status

What you need to know:

  • Morogoro region is ranked fourth in terms of the size of the economy, after Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Mbeya, according to the Bank of Tanzania statistics.

Morogoro. The Morogoro Regional Commissioner Adam Malima (pictured) is now demanding to hasten the process of elevating the municipality to the status of a city.

Morogoro region is ranked fourth in terms of the size of the economy, after Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Mbeya, according to the Bank of Tanzania statistics.

The region is better in terms of the size of the gross domestic product (GDP) than Arusha, Tanga and Dodoma which already have the city status.

The size of the GDP was projected to grow from Sh7.5 trillion in 2021 to Sh8.1 trillion in 2022, according to the central bank.

Mr Malima said during a recent special meeting of the Morogoro municipal councillors to discuss queries raised by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).

 He said one of his strategies is to see Morogoro graduating into a city.

“The start of electric train services between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro will stimulate economic activities to raise the region’s profile to meet the requirements for a city status,” he said.

“I will keep pushing for this purpose,” he added, urging the councillors to also push for increased revenue collection as one of the criteria to qualify for a city.

Train services on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro started on June 14, 2024.

Similarly, last week’s start of express electric train services on the route means that Morogoro was closer to Dar es Salaam than it has never been before.

It means that it now takes only one hour and 40 minutes for one to travel between the two destinations, a massive decline from four hours by bus.

This also suggests that one can comfortably live in Morogoro and work in Dar es Salaam and vice versa.

It is against this background that Mr Malima said he wants the process to make Morogoro a city expedited.

“Morogoro municipality currently leads other districts in the region in terms of revenue collection, but you need to pull up your socks so as to qualify for a city status,” he urged the councillors.

A city is formed by looking at characteristics such as the population, contribution to the national economy, infrastructure development, availability of key social services such as health and clean water, and the overall economic development of the people within the area.

Morogoro District Commissioner Rebeca Nsemwa said although the municipality faces the challenge of cleanliness, the plan was in place to reorganise the town.

“The challenges will be addressed accordingly, but what lies ahead of us is to organise the municipality to make it more attractive and remove shanties that are not in order, with the aim of meeting the requirements to become a city,” said Ms Nsamwa.

Traders in the local market urged officials to do more in cleaning the municipality.

Businessman at the Mawenzi market in Morogoro region, Mr Alfredy Yasini, called on the municipality to improve the market’s infrastructure and to collect the waste generated within the market in a timely manner.

“Morogoro becoming a city is possible but there are still challenges with cleanliness, especially in this market. If you look at the environment here, it is dirty, and the municipal officials neglect us. The garbage around the market are not collected on time, and this is our biggest nuisance,” he said.

“If we want to become a city, we must be clean first,” said business woman in the same market, Ms Suzana Katielda.

She cited an example of sewage chambers which burst frequently, urging authorities to ensure the environment is always clean and educate public on their role.

The councillor of the central ward, Mr Samwel Msuya, said that in addition to the advice and instructions given by government officials regarding the municipality strengthening transportation, the residents of the municipality also have a responsibility to change their habits by stopping littering and discharging wastewater in their homes.

“The municipality can oversee cleanliness and come up with strategies to keep the city clean, but there are residents of this municipality who collect waste in their homes and later throw it in the streets and open areas. Others discharge dirty toilet water,” said Mr Msuya.