PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday commended religious institutions for their great role in social service delivery, promising that the government will continually work with the Godly houses.
“The Roman Catholic in particular has invested heavily in educating Tanzanians,” President Magufuli said in a speech read on his behalf by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa at the installation of Archbishop Renatus Nkwande for Mwanza Archdiocese in the lakeside city.
With statistics, the president appreciated the church’s heavy investment in education, saying the Roman Catholic owns 204 out of the country’s 17,659 primary schools and 266 out of 4,883 secondary schools.
The church also has immense contribution in tertiary education through its higher learning institutions, including Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), he acknowledged.
At the live televised ceremony, Dr Magufuli said religious institutions were generally doing great job in supporting the country’s education, health, water and infrastructure sectors.
He urged religious leaders to continue preaching peace, solidarity and cohesion among their followers, saying Tanzania has been for long time prized for peace.
There are many positives resulting from sustained peace, including attraction of foreigners visiting the country for various purposes like tourism and investment.
Premier Majaliwa said the country recently received 1,000 tourists from Israel, thanks to Tanzania’s peace and tranquility.
Added the premier, “Today, I will be in Arusha to receive 336 Chinese tourists, they are part of the 2,000 visitors we expect from the Asian economic giant in the near future.”
“Definitely, it’s peace that attracts them to come. I therefore urge you to continue preaching peace and tranquility.” He also called on religious leaders to support the government’s ‘hard working spirit’ by encouraging their followers to work hard to attain their personal and national development.
Mr Majaliwa said preachers have critical role to play in eradicating poverty, ignorance, moral decay as well as laziness in the society, promising, “The government will continue collaborating with religious institutions to bring about social services.”
Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) President Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga thanked the government for the opportunity the Roman Catholic Church has had to support in the provision of social services in various areas, especially in education and health sectors.
“TEC encourages solidarity between the government and the church to bring about productivity of the offered mother, child and youth protection services.
Such kind of productivity will be available through improving infrastructures,” said Archbishop Nyaisonga.
He implored the Roman Catholic believers in the Lake Zone to remain cohesive and cooperate with the newly installed Archbishop Nkwande.