President Jakaya Kikwete emerged from the closet of inertia amid the ongoing pre-election saga yesterday to sling mud on his political rivals in a style typical of an incumbent he was 10 years ago.
But he was addressing the audience of workers in the ministry of works, led by his anticipated successor Dr John Magufuli, who had invited to bid him farewell.
The outgoing president branded activities ahead of the October General elections within Ukawa, a coalition of four political parties in the opposition, as mere ‘house of cards syndrome’ apparently with a short life span.
In an obvious punitive remark addressed to a politician he avoided to mention, Kikwete said “one does not become President through self-imposed will, but God’s, and that the president does not compete with his minister.”
“I really wonder why and how one could boast oneself of an illusion that nothing could be done without him.
How can a minister forget that he became one because he was appointed by the President. It is the very President who placed him where he is,” Kikwete said.
“After all, you don’t have to carry a load of degrees to become President, but good organizational skills to lead your team into meeting the planned goals,” he said.
He called upon Tanzanians to support his successor, saying that he will be in charge of accomplishing what would be left by him.
In what appeared an advice to his successor, the President insisted on the need to load the Ministry of Works with budget funds saying the ministry was an engine of the national economy.
He said without putting emphasis on the development of infrastructure the national economy will remain paralysed.
Earlier in the farewell event Dr Magufuli had boasted of having achieved to connect all regions in the country with tarmac roads in his 15 year tenure as Minister of Works.
He said that in 2014 alone the Road Fund had its wallet swollen to Sh866.63bn from Sh73.08bn previous year.
The Chief Executive for Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) Patrick Mfugale told Kikwete that his agency has built more than 5,000 kilometers of tarmac road in the country in the past 10 years, pledging to finish the network of tarmac roads across the country by 2018 against the current 86 per cent of the work done.
Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) also under Dr Magufuli’s custodianship revealed to have built 1,732 staff houses and that 7,000 have been sold to the public in the past 10 years.
The Ministry of Work and its Agency such as Tanroads, TBA, Road Fund, The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency (TEMESA) , Engineers Registration Board and Architectures offered President Kikwete a gift of a tractor and a truck with a number of harvesting machines.
He said he will go back to his village to deal with agriculture following retirement come October.
However, Dr Magufuli could not do without waging a covert presidential campaign before his ministerial subordinates and a man whose blessings were a pre-requisite.