The President has been making speeches on an almost daily basis during the last few months. The following extracts from some of his recent speeches give an indication of the flavour of Tanzania’s present policies:
Speaking at an Eid Baraza in Arusha: “The government cannot tolerate stubborn clerics. We will be keen to restrict the operations of these people …I want to warn potential preachers of hatred.” He said the government would continue protecting the freedom of worship.
Speaking at a seminar in Arusha: “I have directed the government to recruit doctors and nurses without wasting time on interviews. If need be the public service law should be amended”. He also recommended that retired medical personnel be retained on contract terms as long as they are capable of and are willing to working – Mtanzania..
President Kikwete With George Bush in Washington
Following accusations that he had damaged relations with Kenya by accusing it of instability during talks with President Bush in Washington in September he said: “President Bush raised the issue of Kenya’s political situation as a good friend who would not like to see anything bad happen to the country.” Kenyan Assistant Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula had earlier protested, saying it was unacceptable for Kenya to be discussed by other countries, especially Tanzania, a member of the East African Community.
Interviewed by the ‘Boston Globe’ he launched a blistering attack on developed countries for imposing difficult lending conditions on developing countries. He said aid in the form of grants and loans was usually tied to outrageous conditions. “We’re poor countries. Poverty is an obvious qualification for aid…. Tanzania had qualified for the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) after working extremely hard to meet set conditions… but some conditions imposed on developing countries were “mere humiliation.” – The Guardian.
Speaking at a travel forum in New York in September he urged Americans to invest in Tanzania to promote industry and welcomed them to visit the country as tourists for their ‘dream’ holidays. After mentioning the main tourist attractions including the national parks, Mount Kilimanjaro and pristine beaches, he also invited tourists to trace the footsteps of 19th century explorers like Dr David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, as well as those seeking to look into ancient civilizations dating back to the 13th century in Bagamoyo, Zanzibar and Kilwa. Several people who attended the forum were said to have been thrilled by Mr Kikwete’s presentation. “He is a super statesman, simple and very eloquent,” a don at New York University told the ‘Daily News’.
Speaking at the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces Lugalo camp he said that the government would employ all possible means to build a small but competent, professional and powerful army. He pledged to double its budgetary allocations and work with friendly partner countries for professional training
Speaking to RC’s and DC’s in Arusha he said that his government would not write off debts caused by dishonest individuals within co-operative unions. It was high time that members of the cooperatives held their leaders responsible when they were in the red. “These are independent organisations not answerable to the government. Members freely elect their leaders who embezzle funds and then they ask us to bail them out. We are telling the embezzlers their days are numbered” – Mtanzania
“Innocent citizens should not be made to pay for the irresponsibility of senior workers in local governments. The President said the current laws on management of public funds, particularly on embezzlement, should be amended. He said from his personal point of view, the law governing the use of public funds wrongly dealt with suspected swindlers as disciplinary cases. ’This is a serious joke! Public funds tricksters are charged as disciplinary offenders, while in actual fact, they are criminals or economic saboteurs,” he said. The President also questioned the logic behind public funds swindlers being investigated by the Prevention of Corruption Bureau (PCB). “The PCB is specifically charged with dealing with corruption cases and not theft,” he said. He called on the concerned authorities to rectify the situation forthwith – Guardian.
A thirteen-year-old boy who benefited from President Kikwete’s benevolence after incurring severe burns, made a passionate appeal to the nation to make him life president. Hassan, who hails from Tabora incurred severe burns in a 1999 fire accident. When Kikwete was on the campaign trail ahead of the last general election, Hassan braved the shoving and scuffling of the mammoth crowd to reach the dais where Kikwete was seated to appeal for medical assistance. Touched, Kikwete, then Foreign Minister, responded by ordering the regional administration to ensure that Hassan was taken to hospital for specialised treatment. His mother, Aziza Hassan, said she had lost hope that her son would ever lead a normal life because she is poor and could not afford specialised treatment. She was very grateful to President Kikwete after he lived up to his promise of footing her son’s medical bills – .