JPM: New ships shall end woes on Lake Tanganyika

19Sep 2020
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
JPM: New ships shall end woes on Lake Tanganyika

CCM presidential candidate Dr John Magufuli has pledged to end transportation woes on Lake Tanganyika once he is re-elected to serve another five-year term.

CCM presidential candidate Dr John Magufuli.

At campaign rally at Lake Tanganyika Stadium  here yesterday, Dr Magufuli said his government will buy two brand new ships and renovate another two ships plying in the lake in his final term.

“I am tired of being informed about frequent boat accidents in the lake,” he told the rally that flocked to the stadium to the brim, to thunderous applause.

In the televised speech,  the candidate who is on a marathon tour of regions said one of the two brand new ships will have capacity to ferry 600 passengers and 400 tonnes of cargo, while the other ship will be specifically for cargo, ferrying 4,000 tonnes.

He said 10bn/- will be spent on repairing MV Liemba and another 6bn/- will be spent on renovating MV Sangara.

The president noted that the purchase of the new ships and renovations will go in tandem with the construction of a major port in Kigoma.

Dr Magufuli is among 15 presidential candidates from 15 political parties contesting for the country’s highest office.

The National Electoral Commission says about 29.2m voters have registered to elect the president, members of legislative bodies and ward councilors. Tanzania has an estimated population of 57m.

In July, at least 10 people were killed and 87 rescued after a boat capsized in the lake, and slightly earlier

on June 25 nine people were killed and 51 injured after a boat capsized.

In another development, Dr Magufuli said the government has plans for massive cultivation of oil palm from October to end importation of edible oils.

He said he had sent Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to the region to inspect oil palm seedlings nursery at the Bulombora National Service camp farm.

The president told oil palm farmers in the region to get prepared for massive cultivation of the crop in the next five years as already1.8m seedlings have been grown for distribution to farmers.

In February last year premier Majaliwa announced that the government had set aside 4.3m dollars (around 10bn/-) to boost cultivation of oil palm as part of its strategy to end importation of edible oils.

Kigoma region accounts for more than 80 percent of local palm oil produce and has the potential to make Tanzania one of the world's leading producers and exporters of palm oil due to its soils and weather.

Tanzania imports almost half of its edible oils needs despite having a vast and promising production potential in palm oil and sunflower..

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