STRONG economy has enabled Tanzania to hold its first ever donor-free general election under multiparty system, President John Magufuli boasted on Tuesday.
The country will on October 28, this year stage its sixth general election under multiparty democracy, with the previous elections partly bankrolled by donors.
Massive economic strides in recent years have seen the nation change its status, rising from low to middle income country.
Consequently, the government has afforded to fully finance strategic projects and other key social, economic and political programmes, including the upcoming presidential, parliamentary and councillors elections.
Addressing a campaign rally at Mnadani grounds in Sengerema District, Mwanza Region, Dr Magufuli apparently assured a successful domestically funded polls.
He said his government has already allocated funds for the whole process, insisting that there is no single cent from donors in the budget.
“This means our economy is strong and we have good plans for our own programmes,” said Dr Magufuli, who will be seeking reelection for his second term in the country’s highest post.
Key preparations for the much-awaited elections are right on track, according to the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
The commission said recently it had already started to dispatch to all councils some of the tools and equipment to be used in the upcoming elections.
NEC’s Assistant Director of Voter Education and Public Information, Dr Cosmas Mwaisobwa made the statement during special election training for Tanzania Standard Newspapers (TSN) staff last month.
He said the commission is making all necessary preparations to ensure the election is conducted as planned, and insisted that all needed equipment and tools will be ready on time.
A 331.7bn/- budget was already allocated to cover the costs of the October polls, in accordance with Section 122 of the National Election Act.
During his campaign rally yesterday, Dr Magufuli asked Sengerema residents and Tanzanians in general to vote for him and all other candidates on CCM tickets, saying their decision would be rewarded with diligent performance in the implementation of various development projects.
He said his party’s 2020- 2025 election manifesto categorically explains the strategies and plans that will be implemented by his government if elected to power in the October polls.
On his way to Geita from Sengerema, Dr Magufuli stopped at Buchosa and Nyehunge where he pledged to improve infrastructure by constructing tarmac roads that provide a link between Mwanza and Geita regions.
He said it was necessary for the government to work on infrastructural projects given its crucial role in facilitating trade and interaction among people.
Dr Magufuli commended the outgoing Buchosa MP Dr Charles Tizeba, saying he did a great job that would now be taken over by Mr Erick Shigongo, if elected in the coming election.
The CCM presidential candidate maintained that completion of the road project would open up Buchosa and Sengerema constituencies and boost the economies of the surrounding communities.
When he stopped at Nyehunge, Dr Magufuli phoned Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) Eng Patrick Mfugale, where he instructed him to announce the tender for construction of a 46 kilometres of road from Sengerema to Nyehunge for it to be constructed at tarmac level.
He instructed that the tender should be announced immediately and the construction has to start by December, this year, as the government has enough money to fund the project.
Dr Magufuli was of the view that, for a long time, residents of Sengerema district that has two constituencies Buchosa and Sengerema didn’t have good infrastructure, and that if re-elected, the government would address the challenge.
He also pledged to ensure accessibility to water and improved health services in the district, saying the government would do everything possible to address the challenges.