By Own Correspondent – THE Civic United Front (CUF) Union presidential candidate, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, on Thursday defended his party’s policy of giving free education to all if elected this Sunday, saying his government would increase revenue collection to 22 per cent to finance the plan.
Prof Lipumba who was speaking at the closing of his election campaigns in Dar es Salaam said his government would also make sure the country retains 30 per cent of revenue from the mining sector to facilitate development.
“We want to raise revenue collection from the mining sector from the current 3 per cent to 30 per cent. This is possible because in countries like Botswana they retain up to 60 per cent of the revenue from the sector,” he said.
He also vowed to remove tax holidays which he claimed make the country suffer a loss of over 100bn/- a year. Prof Lipumba whose speech focused much on economic aspects, further said that his government would minimize state visits and official tours abroad to cut down costs.
More communication with other countries, he said, will be done through embassies. He also noted that according to President Jakaya Kikwete, some 30 per cent of the government
expenditures were stolen every year, adding that in just five years about 11.8tr/-, the government monies ended up in people’s pockets.
Prof Lipumba further emphasized on the formation of the government of national unity
that will have a small cabinet of between 15 and 20 ministries only, as another way of reducing government expenditures.
In another development, Prof Lipumba promised to arrest all corruption suspects starting with those who were alleged to have involved in a radar scandal and make sure the money stolen from the government is returned to treasury.
He also noted that without having reliable electricity supply in the country it would be very difficult to create meaningful employment opportunities, pledging to uncover more sources of energy in his tenure if elected.
Prof Lipumba also promised to adopt the United Nations call to governments to introduce the system of ‘each student, one laptop’ saying that if elected students would start to enjoy
such ICT facilities in their schools.
He admitted that the government has constructed more schools and increased enrolment but noted that the quality of education was still alarming and that his government would give quality education.