From NASONGELYA KILYINGA, Songea, 1 1th October 2010 Source: Daily news THE Union Presidential aspirant on CCM ticket, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, has slammed opposition presidential candidates for spreading unrealistic propaganda on providing ‘free education' at all levels, saying a poor nation like Tanzania could not afford to provide every thing free of charge to its people. Mr Kikwete was reacting to recent remarks by several candidates vying for the president's post through opposition parties, who promised that they would provide free education and waive taxes if they succeeded in their presidential bids. Addressing a mammoth rally at Mtyangimbole village, Peramiho constituency, Songea Rural, Ruvuma region, Mr Kikwete was baffled by the opposition presidential candidate's promises, saying they were nothing but empty promises, asking the people to weigh the promises carefully before making decisions. He said it was true that the government under CCM provided free education to its people few years after independence, but said it was later found that the government could not shoulder the burden by itself and that was why they decided to introduce the cost sharing system. He said all these were agreed upon and implementated even when Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was still the party's chairman. "It was during Mwalimu era that the system of providing free education to people was reviewed and changed all together. We found it difficult to provide such services and there were realistic and strong reasons why we took such a decision. A poor country like Tanzania cannot afford to give everything free to its people," said the incumbent President. He also challenged the opposition leaders to stop what he described as spreading ‘blatant' lies and promises to people that they know quite well they can not fulfill. He did not see it to be realistic a promise made by one candidate that he would construct an Inter-City electronic railway that would see people traveling from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma in just three hours, instead of current state that takes at least three days to reach Kigoma from Dar es Salaam. "Such lies are quite unfair to people of this country," Kikwete said, adding that Mwalimu Nyerere once said "If you see an old person lying to the public, then that person has got problems and is taking other people for granted." Recently the Chama Cha Demokrasisa na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) presidential candidate Dr Willibrod Slaa said the money gained from the Richmond scam and other corrupt deals could have been used in providing free education. President Kikwete showered praise on the former immediate Peramiho Member of Parliament Jenister Mhagama for sticking to CCM manifesto that has seen the constituency making big progress in various sectors of development. He said CCM has fulfilled its pledges on improving education in the constituency, proved by the fact that more students have been enrolled in secondary schools within the past five years. He said during the period the number of students admitted to secondary schools rose to 8,660 from just 1,860. Ms Mhagama had told the president that her constituency has achieved promising progress in the education sector where the number of secondary schools had increased from just five in 2005 to 25 at present, while the pass rate had gone up from 48 to 100 per cent. She had told the president that food production has doubled in her constituency in the past three years, and thanked the government through the Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) for having in place proper arrangement to buy more than 200,000 tonnes of food following bumper harvest in many parts of the country. Mr Kikwete told the ecstatic crowd that the government would continue to ensure the provision of clean water to the people of Peramiho was boosted. He said to start with 13 villages will soon have access to clean water, and then 20 more villages will be added in the programme. He further said that the Peramiho district Hospital has now been promoted to referral Hospital, saying the government will set aside funds to ensure the promoted hospital gets all required support to improve services. He challenged authorities at Peramiho to construct another district hospital. He also promised to improve roads in Ruvuma. He said some 10bn/- has been set aside to tarmac level the road stretching from Songea to Namtumbo, which has already secured a contractor as well as the road which connect Tunduru to Mangaka. He said the Songea - Mbinga and Mbinga - Mbamba Bay road network will also be improved to tarmac level soon. In another development President Kikwete said the government will set aside more funds to improve education sector in the country. He said effective next year all ward secondary schools will get five teachers, saying such a step will, to some extent, curb the problem of shortage of teachers in many secondary schools countrywide. He said in the past five years the CCM government has seen the number university graduating teachers going up from a mere 600 to 12,124 annually, saying more teachers will graduate from the state-of-the –art Dodoma University within the coming few years. On teacher's houses, Kikwete said some 250 bn/- has been set aside to construct more houses for teachers countrywide in the next five years. He said each year the government will disburse 50bn/- for the project. The president proceeded to Mbinga district and Mbamba Bay for further campaign rallies on Monday. My Take: Kikwete sasa ameishiwa!!!!!!!!