Magufuli to grace his first Uhuru parade today

PRESIDENT John Magufuli and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is today scheduled to grace the 55th independence anniversary celebrations, the first since he came into power on November 5, 2015.

Dr Magufuli cancelled fanfares for his first Independence Day in office last year, saving the 4bn/- budget, which he directed to the expansion of a Dar es Salaam road and instead dedicated the day to the countrywide cleanup campaign.

The celebrations scheduled for this morning at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam will be coloured by various activities, including military parade, choirs and traditional dances.

Special parade mounted by members of the defence forces, traditional dances from Mbeya, Coast, Lindi and Zanzibar as well as dances from Bongo Flavour artists, among others, will colour the event. Presidents and Heads of State from eight African countries are expected to attend the commemoration of the country’s 55 years of independence.

They are Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni from Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Piere Nkurunzinza and Edgar Lungu from Burundi and Zambia, respectively. Others are Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Joseph Kabila (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Dennis Sassou Nguesso (Republic of Congo).

The Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone, in collaboration with other state defence and security organs, have beefed up security to ensure peaceful and harmonious celebrations of the great day. The Zone’s Commander Simon Siro said yesterday that there would be patrols by all police units, around Uhuru Stadium and all over Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, Dr Magufuli yesterday challenged South Sudanese to have a collective responsibility of restoring peace and security in their country, advising the conflicting parties to embrace an inclusive dialogue in the interest of the youngest nation.

President Magufuli who also chairs the East African Community (EAC) bloc gave the advice at State House in Dar es Salaam when he hosted long servicing South Sudan politician and widow of the late founding farther, Ms Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior.

The president said he was saddened with the political turmoil in South Sudan but insisted that the country’s leaders and the general public had the responsibility of upholding peace and security.

“I am concerned with the new developments in South Sudan ... but, I urge all the conflicting parties to clear their differences peacefully for sustainable development of South Sudan,” he said. But the South Sudan Presidential advisor urged the regional chair and other heads of states to help in the restoration of peace and security in the country.

She said she moved to Dar es Salaam to update the regional chair on the current trend of the humanitarian and political crisis in South Sudan.

“We are happy to be here at the State House in Tanzania to appeal to Dr Magufuli as the regional chairman to help South Sudan to become peaceful ... we just want peace in our country ... this is what disturbs us for now,” she told the president.

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