Friday, November 27, 2015

Magufuli vows to combat drug barons

PRESIDENT John Magufuli on Wednesday this wee declared a serious battle against drug abuse and corruption in the country, promising to establish a special court for the corrupt and embezzlers of public resources. I know the difficulties ahead because the war I am getting myself into is against powerful people. I need the support of the Parliament and all Tanzanians to win,” said Dr Magufuli in his speech to inaugurate the 11th Parliament on Friday this week. He said his fight against drugs will not focus on drug peddlers, but it will instead go for the drug barons who finance the business that has adverse impacts on particularly the young on whom the future of the nation relies. President Magufuli said there was nothing that Tanzanians hate most like corruption and that they are not ready to tolerate the government that embraces bribery. He said although his party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) denounces corruption, “I am not quite sure if today members within CCM don’t give and take bribes.” “I have decided to form the special court to handle corruption and embezzlement cases. And let me warn people whom I will appoint to various posts, I will fire you outright and hand you to prosecuting agencies if I find you engaging in corruption,” he said. The president decried sabotage in delivery of public services, citing employees of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) whom he accused of reducing water in dams to serve the interest of businesspeople who supply generators and oil to the power utility. “I know all about the sabotage at Mtera dam. Water is always below the required level for power generation because you release the water at night to help the business of people who bribe you. "We will deal with you … and I say I will personally deal with you,” said the president. He asked Members of Parliament (MPs) to accept the government amendments on the public procurement act, which he described as a serious problem in public procurement. “… that Act is a menace.

Tanzania's Newly elected President of the 5th phase, John Magufuli

We must amend it soon and please cooperate fully when it is brought here for amendments,” he said. Dr Magufuli maintained his stance on foreign travel, saying even where there is a pressing need for travel, only a few officials will be allowed. “Instead of sending people abroad for training, why don’t you bring the trainers here,” he queried, sending the House into laughter. He described as wastage of resources the 356bn/- that the government spent between 2013/14 and 2014/15 fiscal years on foreign trips, with Parliament, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Home Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office and National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) as the top spenders on overseas travel. Out of the money, 183bn/-, 104bn/- and 68bn/- was spent on air tickets, per Diems and training, respectively. “The 356bn/- that was spent on foreign trips could have constructed over 400 kilometres of tarmac road and imagine how many dispensaries, school desks for pupils and medicines could have been bought,” said President Magufuli. He also censured unjustified government expenditures on vehicles, querying the logic behind an engineer using the posh V8 car instead of a pickup to the project site.


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