Defence forces on call to embrace industrial economy
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PRESIDENT John Magufuli decorates Lieutenant General Venance Mabeyo with the General and Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) titles during the swearing-in ceremony at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday. (Photo by Mohamed Mambo)

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DEFENCE and security organs were yesterday told to embrace the government championed industrial economy, through setting up of factories to add value to locally produced raw materials.

“Why should we import uniforms for members of the armed forces and yet we produce cotton in large quantities? Even if it means producing garments from locally available sisal, let it be so,” President John Magufuli ordered in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

He said it was high time the security organs embarked on manufacturing of goods for the domestic market to avoid turning Tanzania into a “dumping ground” for cheap imports.“You could as well give specifications of your garments to textile industries to produce the uniforms, domestically.

Other countries in Africa are doing the same and they even produce their equipment, why not us,” he queried. Dr Magufuli was confident as well that the security organs could produce dynamites required by the forces rather than relying on imports.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces issued the order at the swearing-in of the newly appointed Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Venance Mabeyo and Chief of Staff Lieutenant General James Mwakibolwa.

At the event, Inspector General of Police (IGP) also swore in the new Director of Criminal Investigations Commissioner of Police (CP) Boaz Mikomwanga. Dr Magufuli instructed the newly confirmed Commissioner General of Prisons to ensure prisoners, particularly those serving long sentences, work and produce for the nation through participation in infrastructure projects.

President Magufuli on the other hand explained that the firstphase construction of the 300-kilometre Central Railway line to standard gauge will be implemented using local funds.

It will be undertaken in 30 months from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro. “I am quite sure that prisoners can be used to crash stones and take part in other tasks in the project. A total of two trillion will be used for the project to be undertaken by Turkish and Portuguese contractors.

“The current train travels at an average of 30 kilometres per hour but the envisaged standard gauge railway (SGR) train will have a speed of between 160 and 180 kilometres per hour,” he explained.

According to President Magufuli, the SGR in Tanzania will have the capacity to carry 38 tonnes per axle compared to 25 tonnes in other East African nations. He revealed as well that the tender for construction of the second phase of the SGR covering Morogoro to Dodoma will be floated in April, this year.

At the occasion, Dr Magufuli urged the new Tanzanian envoy to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ambassador Paul Mella to attract more cargo from the landlocked country to pass through the port of Dar es Salaam.

President Magufuli also challenged the Ambassador Shelukindo, who has been posted to Paris, France, to woo investors from the European country.

Speaking after the swearingin ceremony, the former CDF, General Davis Mwamunyange said he was happy to have served in TPDF, rising from a junior army officer to the highest position.

“The army has won esteem from the public and we did a good job in peace keeping missions in DRC, Lebanon and Darfur,” the soft-spoken army general recalled.

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