AfricaPress-Tanzania: PRESIDENT John Magufuli on Friday inaugurates the 12th Parliament after his re-election last month for the second and final five-year term.
He won a landslide victory after scooping 84.4 per cent votes cast in the general election held on October 28, defeating 14 other presidential contenders who fought on the ticket of opposition parties other than the mighty ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi.
The parliament inauguration ceremony marks the beginning of a Herculean task for the House business in which the president will outline his government’s bold goals for the next five years that cut across the social and economic constraints that inhibit the potential of this great country and so deny its citizens a decent and dignified existence.
The president will inform Members of Parliament, the watching and listening public on the economic reform agenda and strategies for wooing investments in the economy as enunciated in the 2020-2025 Chama Cha Mapinduzi Election Manifesto.
The focus of State of the Nation Address, which the president delivers before parliamentarians at the opening of every regular sessions of the legislature, will centre on revitalising the economy to enable generate employment for the majority unemployed youth who roam the streets of Tanzanian town and cities in search of salaried jobs.
High profile dignitaries who will attend the ceremony include Vice- President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Second Vice-President Hemed Suleiman Abdalla, Chief Justice Prof Ibrahim Hamis Juma, Speaker of the House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid, Chief Justice of Zanzibar Omar Othman Makungu and East African Liegislative Assembly Speaker Ngoga Martin.
Inauguration of the Parliament follows the completion of other legal requirements such as election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker to lead the House for five years, the swearing-in of Members of Parliament as well as the endorsement of the name of the Prime Minister submitted by the President Magufuli before the House.
The legislators endorsed Kongwa veteran MP Job Ndugai as Speaker of the National Assembly and Mbeya Urban legislator Dr Tulia Ackson as his Deputy Speaker. Ruangwa MP Kassim Majaliwa was also yesterday endorsed as the Prime Minister who will lead government businesses in the House.
Article 90 (1) of the Constitution states that: “After General Elections, the President shall summon a New Parliament to meet before the expiration of seven days following the declaration of the results of the General Elections in all constituencies, save in those constituencies where the elections are countermanded and commenced afresh.”
The convening of Parliament follows the Government Notice (GN) of President John Magufuli of November 5, Number 942 (A), through which he summoned the House to business.
The 12th Parliament is composed of majority parliamentarians from CCM compared to the 11th Parliament. CCM won 256 elective seats in the October 28 polls and gained 94 additional Special Seats for its women members.
However, National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai has assured the public that the House will be effective despite the majority MPs being from CCM.
“Despite having majority MPs from CCM, it does not warrant them to agree or disagree with anything presented by the government,” he said.
Among the issues highlighted in the 2020-2025 CCM Election Manifesto include improvement of social services that directly touch the lives of ordinary Tanzanians. Such sectors as water, electricity, health, education, transport are expected to undergo structural adjustments to fulfill the needs of the majority people.
Dr Magufuli has always reiterated that his government would strengthen the health services by ensuring all Tanzanians become beneficiaries of the health insurance.
According to the CCM 2020-2025 manifestos, plans are already in place to ensure all Tanzanians become beneficiaries of health insurance and enjoy the fruits of independence.
The implementation of the policy will enable every Tanzanian to access health services easily in all identified hospitals across the country.
Also, Dr Magufuli promised to continue with the construction of hospitals, health centres and dispensaries along with the purchase of modern medical equipment, offering training to medical staff and enroll new students to various medical schools in the country.
The Fifth-Phase Government has recorded tremendous achievements in improving the delivery of health services to Tanzanians, which is translated in the great success in fulfilling the 2015-2020 manifesto pledges of ensuring the provision of quality health care to the citizens.
In the past five years, the government has invested heavily in the country’s health sector by enhancing the availability of not only routine health services but also specialised healthcare. This has positioned Tanzania as a healthcare hub for medical tourism.
Dr Magufuli, among other things, is expected to highlight key areas for bringing economic changes most of them being the continuation of the 2015/2020 Election Manifesto. That demands the creation of eight million jobs for the youths in both formal and informal sectors.
Other areas for concentration in propelling economic growth include strengthening the financial sector, the inclusion of the private sector in economic development, fighting poverty at both individual and national levels, improvement of entrepreneurship and strengthening Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).
On the development of the blue economy, according to the 2020-2025 election manifesto the government will ensure sustainable use of the marine resources for economic growth.
It accentuates the significance and the potentials of the marine and coastal environment in the country, which should not only rely on fisheries but also on other sectors such as maritime transport, coastal tourism and natural gas, which can contribute significantly towards national socio-economic development.