MPs advise govt to implement Magufuli's speech to the letter

27Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
MPs advise govt to implement Magufuli's speech to the letter

LAWMAKERS yesterday started debating President John Magufuli’s inaugural parliament speech challenging the government to implement it to the letter.

President John Magufuli

A cross section of the opposition bench was quick to identify areas that need immediate action, saying the head of state is yet to deal with critical matters that affect people directly.

Agricultural sector drew the attention of many of the legislators who said the government ought to give it more priorities.

They said it is high time the government revisited agricultural input voucher scheme, got rid of nuisance taxes on small scale farmers and traders on agricultural produce.

Pascal Ahonga (Mbozi, Chadema) pointed out that there is dire need to review the agricultural input voucher scheme, arguing that the current system was marred with corruption and other irregularities.
“Most needy farmers in the country missed the opportunity, thus the government should review the plan to have more farmers benefit,” he said.
He maintained that the government should provide subsidy to small scale farmers, most of whom are based in the villages.

Sixtus Mapunda Mbinga Urban counterpart, (CCM) echoeing the same message, said agricultural sector still lags behind despite being the backbone of the country’s economy and source of livelihood for many Tanzanians.
He called on the government to consider establishing agricultural research centres, arguing that it is difficult to transform the sector without scientific researches.

Their observations came shortly after the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa told the House that the government has started implementing some of the promises made by the president before the legislators in November last year.

“It is quite evident that the government has started implementing promises made by the head of state during the inaugural Parliament day,” he said, adding that they are working round the clock to implement all of them.
To ensure smoother implementation, he said, all ministries and public agencies have already mapped out strategies to guide them on delivering the government directives.

“All ministries and government department have received, read and understood the President’s speech and do not have any reason to fail to implement it,” the PM said, urging fellow legislators to have constructive debate on the speech.

He said President Magufuli’s speech gives a clear picture of what the fifth phase government was going to do to improve the lives of the people.

On November 20, last year, President Magufuli, among other things, declared that his government would do all it takes to tackle teething problems facing many citizens and ensure that natural resources in the country are fully used for the country’s development.

Some of the priorities he outlined included war against drugs, corruption, more funds to enhance free education, improved health and water supply services, as well as control of government expenditure.

Others included scraping of unnecessary foreign trips by government officials, stable power supply provision, construction of standard gauge railway network, and revival of defunct industries.

While the new government has been barely in office for three months, some MPs have questioned the implementation of the promises.

Abdallah Mtolea (Temeke, CUF) yesterday admittedly pointed out that President Magufuli has hit the ground running, adding that war against drugs and drug trafficking needed to be intensified.

He said that the government has not taken serious measures to deal with the problem, warning that the current trend on the streets shows that drug trafficking and use are on the increase.

He also advised the government to take immediate measures to improve health services in the country, especially in Dar es Salaam where three of its regional hospitals are in a pathetic state.