Tanzania's government capital to move from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma

DAR ES SALAAM - Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Monday his office will move from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam to the political capital Dodoma in September 2016.

The government's resolve to move to Dodoma was made public by President John Magufuli on Saturday shortly after he was elected chairman of the east African nation's ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

President Magufuli said he will make sure that the government moved to Dodoma within five years of his presidential term which ends in 2020.

Addressing a rally on Heroes' Day Celebrations in Dodoma, Prime Minister Majaliwa said:"Once my office moves to Dodoma, ministers, their deputies and other government officials will have to follow suit."

He said he had directed relevant authorities to complete renovation of his house in Dodoma.

However, the Director General of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Paskasi Muragili, said about 500 million U.S. dollars was needed to move the government seat from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. CDA was the government's implementing agency for the shift.

"This grand plan entails putting up of offices, houses for servants, roads, shopping malls, schools and hotels, among others," said Muragili.

Dodoma was founded in 1907 by German colonists during construction of the Tanzania central railway line.

In 1973, the Tanzanian government announced that the capital would be moved from Dar es Salaam to a more central location to better serve the needs of the people.

In the same year, the government under the leadership of founding President Julius Nyerere, decided to shift its capital city from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, when it was envisaged that the move would take 10 years, and that the cost could be justified when set against a long-term perspective.

But four decades later the move could not be implemented on various reasons, including poor infrastructure and economic difficulties.

Xhinua