By Correspondent – President Jakaya Kikwete have been urged Tanzanians to use the coming elections to show the world that it remains a model of peace and tranquility in Africa.
Kikwete has also said that it is everyone’s duty, including the security organs, to ensure that the ongoing election campaigns are peaceful and free from religious and tribal instigation.
Addressing the nation from the Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma on Thursday at celebrations to mark the end of this year’s Uhuru Torch race, the president noted the presence of a few unscrupulous politicians who preached violence and discrimination.
He gave high marks to Tanzanians whom he praised for their love for peace and unity. Mr Kikwete called on Tanzanians to uphold the country’s firm foundations for unity and peace and rise above political intrigues.
He said all Tanzanians were equal irrespective of tribe, faith and political ideology. He gave the example of the bloody upheavals in Rwanda and Burundi brought about by tribalism and wondered where Tanzanians would flee to given the country’s size and population.
He assured the nation that the defense and security organs were well organized and prepared to reinforce security at this time when the country is inching towards the general elections.
“It is their duty to be on the alert; so please let them do so,’’ the president urged Tanzanians. “It is only those who do not wish the country well who want the government to leave them alone even when they preach violence,’’ Mr Kikwete pointed out.
He said the police force cannot just stand and watch, for example, CHADEMA and CCM members fighting each other without intervening to restore order.
The president appealed to the people to fully participate in the election process, including attending campaign rallies, saying it is through such rallies that they will be able to make informed choices on election day.
He said it is every citizen’s right to cast his or her vote for a candidate of his/her choice. He gave the example of a British cabinet minister who was born in Mtwara who wanted to know the secret behind the political tolerance among Tanzanians, saying that he has advised him to come to Tanzania and see for himself how it is done.
President Kikwete used the occasion to remind Tanzanians to cherish the teachings of the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, whose 11th memorial anniversary was marked countrywide on Thursday.
He said Mwalimu was the architect of the unity, peace and tranquillity that Tanzanians are enjoying today.
“Eleven years after Mwalimu’s death, his legacy remains to be significant and valid as ever before,” said Mr Kikwete.