Kilolo MP on CCM ticket Prof Peter Msolla has criticised the government over what he expressed as failure to have strategic planning in construction of highways to and from Tanzania’s major cities and towns.
Giving an example, Msolla said since independence in 1961 the government failed to have an alternative bridge across Ruvu River, in case the current one is rendered dysfunctional for whatever reasons.
The former higher education minister was contributing to the Budget Speech for the Ministry of Works on Thursday evening tabled by Minister John Magufuli
He said depending on a single bridge, in Coast Region, was dangerous for the country’s security and its people. “We must have strategic planning when building roads,” he said.
If an accident occurs along Morogoro- Dar es Salaam highway to the extent of blocking the road, motorists cannot find an alternative route to and from Dar es Salaam, he said.
Accidents that occur along Chlalize- Dar es Salaam stretch have always disrupted traffic as there is not an alternative route to and from Dar es Salaam.
Prof Msolla also gave an example of dependence on a single road from Iringa to Morogoro, saying traffic would not flow in case of any blockade between Dar es Salaam and Southern Highlands and Southern African countries such Malawi and Zambia.
Kitonga Hill in Iringa Region is the most dangerous for the Morogoro-Iringa Highway, he observed, adding that if something wrong happens there motorists would be compelled to pass via Dodoma, thereby elongating the journey by over 200 kilometres.
Mosolla’s observation was echoed by Kibaha Urban MP Sylvester Koka who said his district had several alternative routes to Dar es Salaam but relevant authorities including Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and Kibaha District Council were doing nothing to improve them.
Meanwhile, John Cheyo (UDP-Bariadi East),cautioned the government against awarding road construction tenders to companies originating from one country.
He said this is improper because such companies could decide to organise a cartel that would plunge Tanzania into trouble.
Cheyo noted that failure of some countries to provide financial aid to Tanzania for the roads sector could be a result of dependence on companies from one country. He did not mention any country by name.
“There could be other development partners wishing to finance construction of roads but how can they do that if they are aware the funds will benefit construction companies from one nation?” Cheyo queried.