Members of Parliament and the general public have hailed the maiden speech delivered by President Jakaya Kikwete on Thursday. However, they cautioned that the inaugural speech may remain a white elephant if no plan of action is designed and reflected in the coming new budget.
“There are things to add to the speech but in my view the speech is encouraging. Its content is balanced because it has touched almost all areas of the economy,” said Ibrahim Sanya (CUF-Mji Mkongwe).
Kigoma Urban MP Peter Serukamba said the cabinet, to be formed, ought to implement it as it addresses and responds to the needs of the public in general. “Generally this is a good start. The speech has showed that the President has great capacity of looking at things and putting them in perspective,” he said.
The Registrar of Political Parties John Tendwa said the fact that the speech covered all areas of the economy, the only thing that remained was to come up with good implementation plan and evaluation.
“Currently we are discussing East African Community (EAC) going federal. I am happy that the speech has also dwelt on education, something that will enable our children to compete squarely in the regional labour market,” he said.
On his part CUF national chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba said the government should come up with short, medium and long term plans of implementing it, adding that that would be achieved by forming ethical and hardworking cabinet.
In his maiden speech on Thursday President Kikwete listed 13 priorities that his government would dwell on. According to him, unity, peace and security would be on top of the agenda.
He said the government would step up efforts towards economic growth and poverty reduction by implementing quick measures that would bring about reforms in agriculture, fishing, livestock keeping and industrial development.
The agenda includes strengthening the private sector, enabling small and medium entrepreneurs to grow, judiciously exploiting benefits of the country’s geographical set up, especially in transit trade, exploiting fully the natural resources that the country is endowed with, improving revenue collection, expanding education opportunities for youth, expanding and improving means of economy such as ports, energy, railways and improving provision of social services such as water and health .
Maintaining and improving the country’s relations with the international organisations and neighbours, including searching for other friends in the outside world. Also in the agenda is the stepping up efforts of conserving environment.
Kikwete said he would form a cabinet of hardworking, skilful, ethical and devoted ministers. The president said he needed the lineup that could lead the nation in the right direction by implementing development plans as articulated in the ruling party’s 2010/2015 election manifesto.
He said he wanted ministers who would be closer to the public, who are approachable and who will cooperate with Members of Parliament, irrespective to their political affiliation.