Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hoseah sacked for ‘inefficiency’

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has revoked the appointment of the Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Dr Edward Hoseah, replacing him with his deputy, Mr Valentino Mlowola, in an acting capacity. Dr Magufuli’s move follows what has been stated as “unsatisfactory performance of the PCCB in tackling corruption cases’’, especially in preventing loss of government revenue at the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA). In a statement issued to the media on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam, the Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, said President Magufuli made the decision after satisfying himself that “under Dr Hoseah, PCCB will not keep up the pace that the president wants in fighting graft’’. “One of the areas where the government is losing a lot of money is at the TPA and TRA; so the president has stressed that despite reports of corruption at the two operational offices for a long time, PCCB’s slow speed in addressing the issue will not keep up with his work pace,’’ Ambassador Sefue noted. 

Former Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Dr Edward Hoseah, 

Meanwhile, President Magufuli has directed the suspension of four principal officers with the PCCB who travelled out of the country despite the president’s ban on foreign travel by government employees. The four are Ms Mary Mosha, Ms Ekwabi Mujungu, Ms Doreen Kapwani and Ms Rukia Nikitas who travelled outside the country despite being denied permission from the president or chief secretary. Ambassador Sefue has called on all civil servants to abide by the president’s directive, stressing that stern measures will be taken against those who will defy them. Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr Jumanne Sagini, has suspended the Babati District Executive Director, Mr Mussa Natty, who before being transferred to Babati was the Kinondoni Municipal Council Director. Mr Sagini said Mr Natty should report back to Kinondoni Municipal Council to await a probe on the various allegations leveled against him. The allegations include poor supervision that led to the construction of sub-standard roads in the municipality, failure to take action against his subordinates involved in the construction of the roads. Others include unethical behaviour that has led to widespread public outcry on the privatization of the Coco Beach in Dar es Salaam arising out of poor supervision of urban and land use planning.

Nchemba issues one week to end problem

THE Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, has issued a one-week ultimatum to officers in his ministry to outline problems mostly troubling wananchi and suggest solutions. Nchemba who reported to the office, said members of the public have greater expectations on the fifth government, so their wishes must be fulfilled; otherwise they will be disappointed and decide never to vote. “I want each department to prepare a summary of quick leads of all the problems facing the general public, as each department is aware of those problems,” he directed. He added, “Each should also give views on those problems and give out solutions,” The Minister said that as each person was aware of their duties, fulfilling them was a must, adding that most of the officials have been working in the ministry for a long time and are aware of all the problems, it was high time to solve them. 

THE Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, talking with the ministry's staff members when he made a familiarization tour of the ministry immeduiately after his appointment.

He added that instead of giving excuses they should work together to find long lasting solutions. If the problems are related to budget issues they should also be analysed. Mr Nchemba gave an example of a football coach saying no matter how good he is, if the players will not play well it is worthless. Adding, teamwork was crucial in finding solutions to public grievances. Earlier, Deputy Minister in the Ministry, Mr William Nashe, said 95 per cent of food production comes from rural Tanzania, adding the ministry was very important to the country. “We must all comply with President John Magufuli philosophy, we have all witnessed what he has been doing and heard all the speeches so far,” he said. Mr Nashe noted that, the President has directed them to remind all officials to fulfill their responsibilities and stop business as usual attitude. He further insisted that some of the words should be removed from their vocabularies including, ‘preparing reports and process is underway’ and rather they should accomplish their duties on time. The Deputy Minister insisted that all officials should focus on results based performance, saying performing their duties was not enough but doing something for the interest of public was crucial. He noted that as in the ministry there are many experts and they should focus on finding best solutions to communities’ problems.

Police to undertake security control at all major ports

Police force in the country has been ordered back to provide security at all of the country’s major ports to check against rising cases of loss of government revenue through corruption. The Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Kitwanga made an order on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam by giving reasons that they should take charge of security at the country’s main ports to plug loopholes which had led to loss of billions in government revenue. Kitwanga whose order comes at a time when the police and Tanzania Revenue Authority are busy investigating loss of billions of shillings in import duty and wharfage not paid by importers. “I wonder why we are still using private security companies in our main ports while we have enough state security machinery to take charge of the role,” the newly appointed minister noted as the Director of Criminal Investigations moves to interrogate more Tanzania Ports Authority officials of the so called wharfage committee formed by former acting Director General, Madeni Kipande in 2013. 

Tanzania's Minister for Home Affairs Mr. Charles Kitwanga responding questions by journalists (unseen in the picture) at a press conference in Dar es Salaam.

He said it was a big mistake to remove state security officers from Dar es Salaam port three years ago because since then, the security situation had deteriorated as crooks collude with importers to dodge taxes. “Some 2,431 containers passed through Dar es Salaam port without paying wharfage while another 349 did not pay any taxes,” Kitwanga said, saying dishonest employees at both TPA and TRA were behind the loss in government revenue. Meanwhile, members of the committee formed by Kipande to take charge of all cargo destined for inland container depots and cargo freight stations were blamed for loss of billions in wharfage fees and were now facing police interrogation. So far the Police have only detained, Rajah Mdoe who was Deputy Director General and Director of Finance for the unpaid wharfage of thousands of containers and motor vehicles which disappeared from inland container depots and cargo freight stations between 2013 and 2015. Police spokesperson Advera Bulembo said they were interrogating a number of TPA former and current employees but declined to mention names. “If we start mentioning them then it’s obviously that it was not going to be an investigation, we will let you know at later stage,” Bulembo said. Sources at the Dar es Salaam Port Said, the acting Port Manager, Hebel Mhanga who chaired Kipande’s committee since 2013, was summoned by investigators at the Director of Criminal Investigations earlier this week. Mhanga is also accused of sitting on an audit report which was submitted last June by TPA Internal Audit Manager, Amina Makoko. Mhanga sat on the audit report which was leaked to the media last week because his committee was directly responsible for the loss.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Board concerned over TAZARA business plan

BOARD of Directors of the Tanzania - Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has directed the management to prepare a bankable business plan for the troubled railway line to stand on its own as shareholding government find it increasingly difficult to continue bailing it out. The directives are contained in a communiqué issued after a TAZARA board of Director meeting held in Lusaka two weeks ago. The board said it was concerned that the authority continued to underperform and depend on subventions from shareholding governments despite directives that it should strive to be self-sustaining in its operations. “Both Governments find it difficult to justify the continuation of any subventions to TAZARA, which is otherwise a potentially viable company, and insist that the Authority must stand on its own going forward,” a statement issued by TAZARA spokesperson Conrad Simuchile said. “We noted that the operational performance of the Authority has fallen to record low levels of less than 90,000 tons of freight per year in the Financial Year 2014/2015 from 208,538 tons recorded in the Financial Year 2013/2014.” 

The board directed the management to be proactive in handling challenges they face and develop a clear marketing strategy for the railway company so as to retain the current customers as well as win back old ones. According to the statement, the management should consider the possibility of inviting the private sector to invest and manage the Dar es Salaam Commuter Train, which is currently a very popular service that is alleviating the transport challenges in the city but remains a loss-making one. The board also approved a freight tonnage of 200,000 tons of freight and 1,980,000 passengers to be transported in the Financial Year 2015/2016 after considering the proposed budget for the Financial Year 2015/2016 and, taking into account the recent acquisition of new locomotives and wagons. The statement further noted that it was expecting a net operating profit of 1,689,544.00 US dollars from a total projected revenue of 45,808,960.00 US dollars against the total expenditure of 43,619,416.00 US dollars for the Financial Year 2015/2016.

Mkapa advocates rule of law

Africa can only develop if it manages to fight poverty with zeal and vigor while promoting good governance and the rule of law. The statement was made last week by the former President Benjamin Mkapa at a two-day National Rule of Law stakeholders’ forum that was organized by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) over the weekend in Dar es Salaam. The former president described the rule of law as a guiding necessary in creating wealth and sharing the benefits to society. “It is further envisaged that the society will be empowered with capacity to hold their leaders accountable, promote good governance, reward good performance and curb corruption,” he told the gathering. “There is limited institutional capacity to ensure full accountability from both government and the citizen,” he admitted. “The governments are also constrained by pre-established and widely accepted sets of rules of political engagement,” he added noting that the forum would empower the public such that the citizenry understands their share of responsibility and demand for government compliance to the principles of due process. He further pointed out the main challenge in the endeavour to strengthen the rule of law is limited due to meager resources for legal reform.

Retired third phase President of Tanzania, Mr. Benjamin Mkapa

“So African countries seek support from development partners but unfortunately, most of this support for rule of law reform has been coming with agendas that take little account of the local context,” he said. “Too often, the result has been technical solutions that fail to match local needs...” he said emphasizing that “ is crucial for legal reform processes be country driven.” He went on to cite that Many facets of the rule of law form essential components of sustainable development. “This was evident to me when in 2002  was appointed, together with the President of Finland, to Chair the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation...this conviction, grew even further after my joining the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor in of the highlights of the Commission’s work was the issue of rule of law and good governance,” he detailed. “After three years of intensive research and consultations, we proposed strategies for creating inclusive development initiatives that would empower those living in poverty through increased protections and rights,” he said. “In our final 2008 Report entitled Making the Law Work for everyone, we argued that as many as 4 billion people worldwide are robbed of the chance to better their lives and climb out of poverty, because they are excluded from the rule of law,” the former president concluded.