News From Parliament
- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 01:19
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter in Dodoma
- Hits: 285
MANYONI East MP, Capt. John Chiligati (CCM) has urged the government to consider reintroducing 24-hour passenger transport by lifting a ban on long distance buses to travel at night. This will enable Tanzania compete favourably with counterparts in the East African Community (EAC).
In his contribution to the budget estimates for the Ministry of Transport for fiscal year 2012/2013, the MP said it was high time 24hrs transport was reintroduced in par with other EAC member states.
Tanzania banned long distance buses from operating during the night in the early 90s due to high incidences of accidents and robberies. However, Capt. Chiligati argued that accidents and robberies should not be left to be an obstacle for road transport at night, particularly for buses.
"The Ministry of Transport should partner with the Ministry of Home Affairs to chart ways of addressing the challenges. There is no way we can compete fairly with our counterparts in EAC who operate 24-hour passenger transport," the MP said.
In another development, Kigoma South MP, Mr David Kafulila (NCCR-Mageuzi) said Tanzania could become a transport hub if adequate investments were made in the sector. He cited a research by the Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) conducted in 2007 which showed that the transport sector could generate more revenue than any other sector of the economy.
"The budget for the transport sector should have been much higher to improve ports, railway and air transport," charged the opposition MP.
The Kigoma South MP went on to accuse the World Bank and other international organizations for stalling Tanzania's efforts to improve the railway network from metre to standard gauge.
He said given the strategic geographical location of Tanzania, the Dar es Salaam Port could be a transport hub for the region rather than a feeder port as it is now.
"However, we cannot be a transport hub if we do not improve the port and the railway network to serve our neighbouring landlocked countries," Mr Kafulila said.
He complained that the government has not invested heavily in the transport sector, particularly in the railway network which was constructed during the pre-independence days.
Moving the budget estimates on Thursday, Transport Minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe had asked the National Assembly to approve a budget of 317.7bn/- out of which 252.8bn/- would be channelled to development projects while 64.9bn/- would go to recurrent expenditures.