Dar: a remarkable commercial city in the making

24Sep 2016
The Guardian
Dar: a remarkable commercial city in the making

ANY doubting Thomas should by now have realised that the current administration’s decision to relocate the capital to Dodoma would not lead to turning Dar es Salaam into a sluggish city of whatever status.

Initially, there had been unwavering efforts to confuse the public that declaring a brisk government relocation to the designated would have had dire social-economic consequences to the city.

Now that through a flamboyantly firm political will, Dodoma is faster realising its deserved glory of serving the entire nation as capital city – beaming its power to all sides of the vast country with less distance as it was being beamed from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam.

While it was too demanding for someone from as far as Ujiji in the western town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika or Bukoba on the shores of Lake Victoria to reach Dar es Salaam on official or private assignments, it would now be a relief to reach Dodoma.

A couple of days ago, one of the country’s credible Swahili newspaper carried an article depicting a significant increase of flights making trips to Dodoma in daily basis. Actually from one or none flight a day to an average of 10 commercial flights from Dar es Salaam a day. This means there is an increase of business activities in the designated capital.

What ought to blame is a series of unrealistic promises by previous regimes to relocate to Dodoma. The promises seemed more or less like unfulfilled hence making so many people in both public and private spheres being unprepared to accept the firm relocation decree by President John Pombe Magufuli, over 40 years since Dodoma – centrally relocated town declared the capital city by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

As Dodoma shines with boundless opportunities, Dar es Salaam continue to flourish still embracing a myriad of social-economic projects, including merger infrastructure projects such as multiple flyovers, extension of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), health facilities such as Mlongazila Hospital and one in Chanika, improvement of city railway systems, just to name but a few. Yet a major new terminal at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) is nearing completion.

The imminent construction of the state-of-the-art Selander Bridge in the city of five million people is yet another architectural landmark.

For those who believe in ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’ slogan would agree with us that time for empty promises have literally gone, at least under this particular regime and those projects are perfectly accomplished. In his usual assurance tone, President John Magufuli said on Thursday that funds to build the bridge were already available.

We commend JPM for his philosophy that has won a worldwide accolade. Various global opinions and commentaries speak on our behalf of the kind of the captain we have as a nation that had known before no project being accomplished without being linked to a major scandal. So when he said that he would bring in commercial aircraft for revamping the ailing national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited, many ended up rebuking him – certainly not believing in him.

But look at the pace the deal was done to the delivery time – as promised one of the two planes landed at JNIA on 20th September 2016. And through such philosophical leadership, the government is redrawing a Master Plan for Dar es Salaam as a commercial hub.

The move would ensure proper use of land and other resources as well as change the face of the city’s Water Front into a lavish seashore the likes of Beira, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town – thus contributing significantly to the nation’s economy through tourism and other leisure activities.

Nevertheless, we believe the master plan would turn the city into the country’s more advanced industrial city developing various parks thus creating huge employment. As we support every developmental initiatives being created or implemented under this regime, we appeal to those who are fond of rebuking these initiatives to relent, at least for now just as the saying goes—If you can’t fight them join them.

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