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April 04 2004
Mongella will Contest for her Ukerewe Seat in 2005

Hundreds of Ukerewe residents, including the District Commissioner, Pastory Mwibule Kazi, turned up to welcome Gertrude Mongella who was returning home after being elected president of the African Union. Ukerewe island has been described as a paradise where people have a healthy interaction with the environment, with nice fishing villages, lovely beaches, water birds and a wonderful forest. The island, which is the 7th largest lake island in the world, covers 205 square miles and has a population of 150,000.

Addressing hundreds of people at the Gertrude Mongella Stadium in Nansio, Ukerewe District, over the weekend, President Mongella said the local Parliamentary seat was now very essential to support her in her new role as president. “I want to tell you that, this honour I have been given is because of you. I wouldn’t be elected as Member of the Pan-African Parliament without being a national MP,” she told multitudes of Ukerewe residents who had turned up at the stadium to welcome her.

She told the people that the reception she got ever since she came back from Addis Ababa has been "extraordinary". The AU constitutent republic of Tanzania, where Ukerewe is located, is gearing up for state elections in 2005. Prior to her election as president of Africa, many people were hoping she would run for state president. She had to explain to her constituents that she now needs to be re-elected in Ukerewe in order to remain president of the African Union.

“If you will not re-elect me your MP, you will oust me as the President of the Pan-African Parliament. Therefore, if you want me to carry on with my new job you should re-elect me.” President Mongella told the gathering that the new position didn’t mean that she had more responsibilities that require her to relinquish her duties as Ukerewe MP.

“To me this position is a big challenge because I have to serve you, my voters, the nation and my continent. I want to assure you that I will do my best to serve you diligently”.

“What I am sure of now is to defend my parliamentary seat and thus my new position as President of the Pan-African Parliament,” she said to reporters when they asked to comment about the 2005 state elections for president of the AU constituent republic of Tanzania. She said the issue of the presidency in the state of Tanzania is something on which she "cannot comment now".