Former presidents, prime ministers and leaders of opposition political parties yesterday praised the fifth-phase government for its relentless execution of strategic development projects and maintenance of peace and harmony.

The country's past and current leaders made the remarks after being invited to the podium to greet residents during the 58th Independence Anniversary at CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza. 

The leaders include former Presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa and former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who in 2015 contested for presidential seat via the coalition of opposition parties, an election won by Dr Magufuli.

"President Magufuli is doing a remarkable job; a lot of achievements will be realised if you continue to rule for the second term," eulogised Mr Lowassa, a staunch CCM cadre who defected to opposition party Chadema in 2015 before returning to his old party early this year.

The former PM further hailed Dr Magufuli for upholding peace and harmony, which he described as major pillars for fostering development.

President of Zanzibar, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, on his side urged Tanzanians in both sides of the union to continue cherishing the fruits of independence and union. "Let me take this opportunity to convey to you greetings from the people in Zanzibar; the fruits of independence are for us all. Dr Magufuli is doing a very good job and thus we should support him," Dr Shein told the gathering at the 30,000-seater Kirumba Stadium.

Mr Mkapa briefly stated after greeting the crowd; "I wish good health to you all, peace, unity and the zeal on development."

For his part, second phase President Mwinyi urged Tanzanians to pray for Magufuli against the prophets of doom and praised him for steering the country to new heights.

The chorus of praises also came in from former Prime Ministers John Malecela, Mizengo Pinda and Fredrick Sumaye. "Manifestation of the good work steered by Dr Magufuli is vividly exhibited in the capital city of Dodoma. It is our duty to support him in the endeavour to bring more development to the country," the senior citizen commented.

The National Chairman of Chadema, Mr Freeman Mbowe, who has been conspicuously absent at the celebrations during the past four years, said he decided to attend the event this year to open doors of reconciliation.