Iconic Slaa ‘wills’ to serve under Magufuli govt

By Daily News

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FORMER Secretary General of the opposition Chadema, now Ambassador-Designate, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, has assured President John Magufuli that he is ready and committed to serve in his new position for the interests of the nation.

“I am humbled for the trust you have bestowed upon me with the appointment as an ambassador … I’m ready and willing to fulfill all responsibilities assigned to me,” the former opposition icon told Dr Magufuli after a meeting at State House in Dar es Salaam. In a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications yesterday, Dr Slaa is quoted to have praised President Magufuli for his visionary and bold leadership in executing development projects for national interest.

The Ambassador-in-waiting cited the projects as the upgrading (construction) of the central railway line to standard- gauge and the ongoing construction of a flyover at the junction of Nyerere Road and Mandela Expressway at Tazara area. Dr Slaa also cited the ongoing erection of an interchange at the busy Ubungo junction; theenvisaged Stieglers’ Gorge hydropower plant on the Rufiji River; and the anti-graft fight by the Fifth Phase Government, as issues which have highly impressed him.

“Frankly speaking, I am very delighted that the Fifth Phase government is implementing … step-by-step … all the crucial issues that we had been advocating for during the past 20 years; I was very vocal because there were a number of weaknesses then.

“As I speak today, I’m glad that all the issues that we were advocating for are being implemented and are clearly visible. There are those who think politics is all about misleading people but the truth of politics is science,” Dr Slaa remarked.

Adding; “Frenzied politics has no place since it is not productive. As science, politics has its basics. If we had a problem in power generation there are now plans to construct Stieglers’ power plant as well as other projects, these are the fundamental issues.”

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Magufuli spoke highly of the Ambassador-Designate for his patriotic spirit, disclosing on the other hand that he had decided to appoint Dr Slaa as an ambassador knowing that he will fight for Tanzania’s interests wherever he will be posted to. “Dr Slaa had informed me that he will be jetting in the country and that he would want to meet me to which I responded in affirmative. Dr Slaa is an honest person who speaks from his heart.

His disdain for corruption and thieving of public resources is well known.We dwelt on a number of issues during our meeting and he has assured me that he will represent us well in a country where he will be assigned to,”Dr Magufuli was quoted as saying in the statement.

Dr Slaa quit active politics few months to the General Election in 2015 due to internal wrangles within Chadema and the coalition of opposition parties under the umbrella of UKAWA which had fronted former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa for presidency, after he (Lowassa) had crossed over to Chadema from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

Meanwhile, President Magufuli who is also the Commander- in-Chief of the armed forces yesterday bade farewell to high-ranking officers of the Tanzania Peoples’ Defense Force (TPDF) and National Service, who have retired from service.

The officers include the outgoing TPDF’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen James Mwakibolwa and the outgoing Commander of the National Service, Maj Gen Michael Isamuhyo.

The ranks also included Brig Gen Aron Lukyaa, Brig Gen William Kivuyo, Brig Gen Elizaphani Marembo and Col Peter Samegi. Lt Gen Mwakibolwa thanked President Magufuli for the appointment to the position.

The outgoing Chief of Staff assured the Commander-in-Chief that he was retiring and leaving behind a disciplined, patriotic, loyal and professional army.