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What Samia’s repeated message on unity means

Dar es Salaam. Stakeholders have observed that President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s frequent appeals for promoting unity and maintaining peace come at a crucial time when Tanzania has witnessed polarising issues over various issues.

In fact, she repeated her call for peace and unity yesterday as she graced the commemoration of National Heroes Day in Dodoma.

“We must not allow any individual or group of people to divide us under any pretext. Tanzania is one, and it will never be divided,” President Hassan said.

However, this was not the first time the head of state had called for togetherness in the protection of peace, as she also hinted at the subject during the women’s conference to mark the Islamic New Year on July 16 in Zanzibar.

“The prevalence of peace and tranquillity will facilitate the implementation of many development initiatives and attract investors. If we scold and fight each other, those intending to come will change their mind,” she said.

And on July 14, 2023, as she was swearing in newly-appointed government officials at the state house, the President warned that while Tanzanians were bickering over the port issue, neighbours were grabbing opportunities.

This was in light of the ongoing debates and discussions regarding the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), with the Emirate of Dubai taking over the operations and development of the local ports.

“While we wrangle about who should be given the port, and so forth, and so forth… Our neighbours, after seeing our bickering, are trying to seize the opportunity. The same tower (Burj Khalifa) that displayed the Tanzanian flag has recently displayed their flag…” President Hassan was referring to the Kenyan government’s plans to court DP World to take over Mombasa and its other ports.


Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT)’s Karagwe Diocese Bishop Benson Bagonza expressed his support for the President’s stance.

“In her leadership, there is no Zanzibar or Tanganyika; she is the President of Unity. It is right that her words and actions must emphasise unity by bringing the citizens together instead of dividing them,” said Bishop Bagonza.

Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, a former executive director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), claimed that the President was aware that some people riding the wave of current debates over such issues as the controversy over IGA have stirred up tribal and religious sentiments.

Source: The Citizen