Monday, August 26, 2013
Sitta dismisses claims leveled against Rwanda and Uganda
THE Minister for East African Cooperation Samwel Sitta has dismissed rumors which have spread within the East African Community (EAC) regional bloc that, Rwanda and Uganda member states are planning to boycott Dar es Salaam port with effect from September this year. Minister Sitta made clarification in Dar es Salaam last week in an on the spot interview when cornered by journalists who attended the swearing in ceremony of the newly appointed 8 Permanent Secretaries and 14 deputies of various ministries at State House grounds. He told journalists that, his office has not yet received official documentation as related with the withdrawal of the two EAC landlocked member countries from using Dar es Salaam port as earlier speculated, and that are planning to shift to Mombasa port for cargo handling of their goods. However, he declined to say anything further when questioned to tell the truth about the details of the current status of the two countries and their political tension as related with the recent UN report that revealed their relationships of the M23 rebel groups in Eastern DRC. On the trade link between Tanzania and the two countries, Minister Sitta said that, his Ministry has tried a bit enough to reduce the number of barriers from 43 to currently 15 along main roads linking the two countries in the country since 2011. However, Minister Sitta who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Urambo constituency and former Tanzania’s National Assembly speaker noted that, many barriers have been noticed to be disturbing traders while transporting their goods an aspect that results into high inflation. He has thanked the Minister for Transport Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe who has played a bigger role to ward off the menace which before that was contributing to a slow pace towards the achievement of the economic development of the EAC member countries. He noted that, in order to facilitate smooth operation of the trade movements within the region, his office has put in future plans to reduce the barriers and remain with only 3 by 2020. The occasion of swearing in newly appointed Permanent Secretaries was witnessed by almost all Ministers of the designated portfolios. Also in attendance were leaders of the opposition parties in the country, close relatives of the appointees including other invited government officials. The sworn secretaries have pledged to take charge of their new positions and work effortlessly in order to ensure the government’s concept of achieving the big results now. Consolata Mgimba the new deputy permanent secretary of the ministry of Education and Vocational Training said that, as she is taking a new ministry, she is prepared to work in collaboration with close subordinates so as to ensure that, the education sector comes up with good reputation.
Tanzania's Minister for East African Cooperation, Mr. Samwel Sitta
However, she has pledged to make sure that, she advices her boss in the office to ward off the on-going controversy over poor educational standards in the country. She has also pledged to work on the results to be issued by the recent commission formed by the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda to investigative the real cause of this year’s massive failure of the National form four students. Dorothy Mwanyika of the Finance Ministry has noted to work on the impending challenges that constraints the development of the entire ministry and promised to bring changes upon working closely with the stakeholders to ensure a success. On Tuesday this week, President Jakaya Kikwete announced a major reshuffle of permanent secretaries, promoting 10 deputies and dropping three others. The President also moved three permanent secretaries to new portfolios and tapped Prof Sifuni Mchome from the Tanzania Commission of Universities as the new Education Permanent Secretary in changes that saw the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Patrick Rutabanzibwa stepping down voluntarily. President Kikwete also picked 14 new deputy PSs and shuffled five in a decision that saw the return of a suspended chief medical officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Deodatus Mtasiwa who now will head the ministry of Local Government Authority and Regional Administration. Those dropped were Sethi Kamuhanda from the Ministry of Information, Omar Chambo from Transport and Mrs Kijakazi Mtengwa from Community Development, Women and Children. Announcing the changes at a news conference on Tuesday evening at State House in Dar es Salaam, Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue, said the three dropped PSs will be re-assigned to other duties but were not specified.