WITH the campaign marathon kicking off in two weeks President John Magufuli’s reelection bid has received a major boost with more Tanzanians rallying behind the CCM flag-bearer.
The Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania (FEMATA) and the Tanzania Higher Learning Institution Students’ Organization (TAHLISO) have publicly declared their support to Dr Magufuli’s second five years’ re-election.
FEMATA, A Non-Profit Organisation, said yesterday that President Magufuli, who collected presidential nomination forms last week, deserves another term in the country’s top most office, thanks to his outstanding leadership and major transformations he has introduced in the Mining sector.
“President Magufuli truly deserves another term in office, and as artisanal miners we are ready to vote for him come October this year,” explained Mr Lister Balegele who is FEMATA Secretary General.
Mr Balegele described Dr Magufuli as ‘Heaven-sent’, reserving special praise for him for steering the Mining Sector to greater heights.
“The sector has grown in leaps and bounds since he assumed office five years ago, the success registered in the industry is out there for all to see”, he said.
The FEMATA Secretary General assured President Magufuli that the artisanal miners will work diligently in contributing to the lucrative sector.
During his leadership, revenue collection in the sector soared to a record 470bn/- from an annual average of 196bn/-in the past four years after the government put in place plans to boost the mining sector by establishing more than 25 mineral trading hubs across the country in a bid to eliminate illegal exporting and crack down on tax evasion.
Such hubs have so far earned the country billions of shillings.
The sector also witnessed construction of the 24.5 kilometer Great Mirerani Perimeter wall, which sought to prevent smuggling of the precious violet-blue stones, which are unique to Tanzania.
The extractive industry remains one of the key economic sectors, with a lot of potential to lift Tanzania’s economic status.
Currently, the mining sector’s contribution to GDP is estimated at 3.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, at a general meeting yesterday, TAHLISO said Dr Magufuli’s re-election could help to fast track ongoing social, economic and political programmes.
The organisation Chairman Mr Peter Niboye seized the opportunity to declare the organisation's support to President Magufuli’s presidential bid, saying the students have confidence he can perform more than what he had done so far.
The meeting was officially launched by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.
The Premier Mr Majaliwa told the general meeting that President Magufuli administration has worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of the people and foster economic growth.
Citing the economic developments, the Prime Minister said the economy under the leadership of President Magufuli has registered a growth rate of 6.9 per cent between 2016 and 2020.
The gross domestic product (GDP), he said had risen to 139.9trn/- in 2019 up from 94.3trn/- in 2015.
“The country’s average revenue collection stands at 1.3trn/- a month in 2018/19 from 825bn/- in 2014/15...these developments have facilitated the country to ascend into a lower middle-income economy five years ahead of schedule,” he told the general meeting.
On the education sector, the prime minister explained that the government had managed to increase higher education student’s loans and subsequently beneficiaries.
He noted that the state had moved to improve infrastructures of public institutions such as laboratories, hostels and classrooms.
The premier acknowledged the contribution of Tahliso on maintaining peace and order among the higher learning institution students.
He said for the past five years there have not been reports of student boycotts across the country.
He challenged the ministry of education, science and technology to continue working with the organisation in seeking a solution to challenges facing the group.
He urged, however, the organisation to help link the universities, colleges, government institutions and students in resolving concerns facing each group.
Meanwhile, Mr Niboye told the PM that the students were affected by the delay of payments of students’ loan to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) thus delaying them access to healthcare services.
The Chairman suggested that the government pay directly to the fund instead of allowing universities to complete the transactions.
Nonetheless the chairman requested the government to have special students’ representatives in all key students-related government institutions such as Higher Education Students’ Loan Board (HESLB), Tanzania University Commission (TCU) and the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).
Dr Ave-Maria Semakafu Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said education was a key to an industrial powered economy.
She said the government was committed to addressing challenges facing students in higher learning institutions across the country.
The Deputy PS added that the ministry would be meeting with the leaders of the Tanzania Higher Learning Institutions Students Organisation (Tahliso) to deliberate on how best the government can help coordinate relations between the government, universities and the students.