Monday, January 19, 2015

Wasira defends his stay in Board’s house

The Minister of State in President’s Office (Policy and Coordination) Steven Wasira has said that, the issues of letting him move out of the Sugar Board house located at Masaki in Dar es Salaam city which he occupied since 2006 is entirely to be organized by the State House Chief Secretary. Minister Wasira made a remark yesterday in a telephone interview when contacted for comments to see his reactions over the claims raised by the Standing Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who queried the rationale of his illegal stay in a house without paying rent. The remarks by Minister Wasira has come a day after the PAC Chairman and the MP for Kigoma South (Chadema) Zitto Kabwe issued a directive to the Chairman of the Sugar Board in the country to facilitate his removal from the Board’s house. The decision by the PAC committee members is among the six deliberations which it has sanctioned to be accomplished by the sugar Board in their meeting that lasted for two hours. The PAC members arrived in such a decision after having discovered that Minister Wasira has been staying in a house free of charge since he occupied it up to now.  

The Minister of State in President’s Office (Policy and Coordination) Steven Wasira 

In the meeting, the Director General of the Sugar Board in the country Henry Semwanza admitted before the PAC members that, Minister Wasira was offered a house to stay in during the time he was serving as a Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Co-operatives since 2006 up to 2010 when he was appointed into the current ministerial position. Elaborating more on his stay, Zitto noted that, “this is illegal as he is supposed to pay the house rent for the house does not belong to the government but rather to the Executive sugar Board which is a different entity”. In line with PAC’s decision, it has also instructed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture to write a letter to the Chief Secretary of State to settle the outstanding house rents which could not be established, a copy of which should reach him after 72 hours from Friday. Otherwise, he also noted that, after paying the money and if the state or the government would like his minister continue staying in the house, an agreement between the State House and the sugar Board should be made so as to let the minister continue paying the house rent as usual instead of staying free of charge. Efforts by this paper to reach the State House Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue for clarification over the matter proved futile as his mobile phone kept on ringing without dual response.

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