Dar es Salaam Regional Elders said the government cannot bring development to the people on its own without investing and cooperating with the private sector.
They also called for the current negotiations over the initial development and operation of the port not to be a reason to divide Tanzanians.
The Chairman of the Elders of the Dar es Salaam Regional Advisory Council, Ramadan Matimba, spoke on behalf of the elders of the Dar es Salaam Regional District and other elders who have worked at the port, after visiting to see the port activities and improvements underway at Dar es Salaam Port.
Matimbwa noted that after the visit to the port, they have seen how the Port of Dar es Salaam has done great things and will continue to do much better than that, especially given the huge investment the government has made to improve it.
"The port of Dar es Salaam is a gateway to the economy and with the information that we have received 40% of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) revenue is from the port, but that revenue cannot increase if it is only dependent on the government to invest so the private sector must be involved... "What is the investor, he is the one who is capable," said Matimbwa.
For example, Maya said they had seen two turbines installed in the port to lower and lift containers on ships and that one machine costs Sh40 billion and requires 10 machines and billions of dollars the government cannot.
"We cannot say the entire budget of the Ministry of Construction and Transport is sent to the port. You heard the budget of Mbarawa, there are many things to improve infrastructure in various areas... In this case, it must be a personal responsibility... If anyone wants to learn they should come to the port to learn as we learned today (youth)," the chairman added.
According to Matimba, investment in the port has not started now and to give an example of the port was known as Bellbase, a Belgian company and then later TICTS that operated for 20 years and to this day the port has not been sold or water dry.
Regarding the ongoing debate over the potential of DP World in Dubai, he said no one disputes the company's efficiency and performance, adding that as elders they are concerned about the ongoing debate in the country and that seeks to divide Tanzanians.
"We don't like the old people and we don't want this to be dismissed. If we had accepted the British had divided Tanganyika or Tanzania would not have existed and neither would we be here today... Our unity in Tanzania is our pillar, we must not be divided," Matuma said.
He added: "As elders we say we are satisfied with the various actions the government and President Samia Suluhu Hassan took in relation to the initial development and operation of the port and later ratified by Parliament."
He said experts, academics, economists and well-wishers should submit to the relevant authorities so that in the end the government can make the right decisions for the interests and development of Tanzanians.
The elders called on citizens to use respectful language when contributing to the issue and especially to avoid tarnishing the President as doing so is a slur on themselves and that Tanzanians are respectful, understanding and united.
In the case of political leaders, elders urged them to contribute to the debate without inciting the public and the government to be responsive by taking the ideas of academics, experts and citizens so that the issue can be resolved quickly.
"As we continue to delay our competitors will carry our customers. As we have been told there are seven countries serving in our ports. But there are ports in Mombasa, Kenya and Beira, Mozambique wondering if there are countries that will flee us to go there... We must recognize when we are not at odds with our colleagues looking for efficiency and at the end of the day we will seek a witch or a witch ourselves," he said.
Earlier, Dar es Salaam Port Director Mrisho Mrisho walking the elders to Pier 0 which is used to lower vehicles and Pier <> used to lower and raise boxes, thanked President Samia for the significant investment including the installation of two modern container terminals and one to close the port of Mtwara.
Mrisho said that in many of the world's largest ports, they use modern machines capable of dropping containers 35 to 40 per hour, and in Tanzania they are also needed more, but the government cannot invest its entire budget in the port and that is why cooperation with the private sector is needed.
"The modern world of technology is racing, which is why it is important to work with the private sector to enter into good agreements and healthy and beneficial cooperation for the development of Tanzanians," Mrisho said.