Lowassa calls for dialogue on political activities

01Aug 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Lowassa calls for dialogue on political activities

FORMER Prime Minister Edward Lowassa has called for dialogue between the government and the opposition to reach a common ground over restrictions on political activities in the country.

Speaking during a live television interview in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Lowassa who defected from the ruling CCM and became the main opposition Chadema’s presidential candidate in last year’s General Election said “dictatorial orders” would not solve anything.

“Politics is about dialogue. Without dialogue there is no peace or consensus, and that is what is missing,” he said.
“Let’s talk and talk and talk; we will finally understand each other,” he stressed.

The Chadema Central Committee member was responding to a question on why his party was pursuing what it calls ‘day of defiance,’ scheduled for September 1 this year.

Asked about President Magufuli’s recent statement to the effect that politicking should be stopped until the 2020 elections so that people could engage in productive activities, Lowassa argued that the Head of State was not walking his own talk because his current tour of the Lake Zone to ‘thank voters’ was political.

“There is no problem for politicians to hold political rallies… that’s their job,” Lowassa noted.“If someone wants to disrupt development, they do so by disrupting political activities,” he added.

Lowassa also faulted President John Magufuli’s ongoing nationwide desks drive, saying the teachers’ welfare should have been looked at first.

He said if he were the President, he would have started with the wellbeing of educators to improve the quality of education in the country.

“If you do not prioritise the teachers’ welfare, you cannot achieve anything,” Lowassa said.He said demand for improvement of the welfare of teachers in the country was one of the long-standing issues which should have been given enough attention.

“To achieve real transformation in the education sector, parents’ participation is key in order to instill a sense of ownership,” he explained.

Although he agreed in principle that inadequacy of desks in schools was one of the challenges facing the education sector, Lowassa – however - maintained that “desks are not education, but just an essential part of it.”

Sending a reminder of his role in the building of ward-level secondary schools in the country while serving as the PM, Lowassa noted that although the institutions were generally doing well, they were likely to perform far better if the teachers’ welfare and other challenges were addressed.