Tuesday, January 6, 2009



Dar es Salaam,

January 5, 2009

The NCCR-Mageuzi national chairman, Mr James Mbatia, has defended former president Benjamin Mkapa, and castigated those who are demanding his prosecution.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam during the party’s general meeting, Mr Mbatia, who retained his post, said removing immunity to Mkapa, so that he could be prosecuted, would result in chaos in the long run.

Many people have been baying for Mkapa’s blood, saying the former president should be prosecuted for personal deals that he accomplished when serving as a statesman.

In the centre stage is Mr Mkapa’s involvement in the privatisation of the Kiwira Coal Mine in Mbeya region.

Available information indicate that the plant was sold to people closely related to Mr Mkapa and a cabinet Minister, when they were all serving in the third phase Government.

Likewise, Mr Mbatia spoke against the much acclaimed high profile cases against influential people in the public, noting that in the long run, the cases would also have negative impact to the country.

Sweeping speech

In a sweeping speech, Mr Mbatia accused both the government and political parties of not serving the nation as they were supposed to.

He said there was a need to organise a national debate for Tanzanians to discuss current problems facing the nation and chart out possible lasting solutions to the problems.

He also said that there was a need to re-look at privatisation, as the general feeling now was that the process had not benefited the majority of Tanzanians.

Privatisation has always been a source of hot debate in the country, with many Tanzanians believing that they have been short changed in the process.

Many people have been using prior examples on privatisation of sensitive institutions, the National Bank of Commerce, Tanzania Railway Cooperation (TRC) and Air Tanzania Cooperation (ATC), to show the Government has allegedly messed in the process.

These examples are frequently quoted when cautioning the Government on its moves aimed at deposing more public entities such as the Harbour and Tanesco.

Mr Mbatia said government officials were using their positions to make decisions which favour their personal goals instead of looking at the interest of the nation.

“These officials are the cause of chaos and conflicts in our country. And if we don’t act on them, one day we may reach a point where Tanzanians would be killing one another just as we witness in other countries,” he said.