23 November 2012

Tanzania: Kigoda Defends Decision to Disband 'Ineffective' TBs Board

Photo: The Daily News
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda (third right) inspects a pharmaceutical factory in Dar es Salaam (file photo).

INEFFICIENCIES and lack of accountability in the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) have been cited as the major reasons for the dissolution of the board of directors, with the government pledging to form a new competent board soon.

The Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, told a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday that TBS is a sensitive institution dealing with crucial matters related to standards of goods in the country.

He said failure by TBS to perform its duties and responsibilities has adverse and direct impacts on people's lives.

"The decision to disband the TBS board of directors basically aims at enhancing productivity in regulating the standards of goods," he said, adding that, "We will be very keen in forming a new instrument that will deliver according to the set goals and objectives."

Standards facilitate everybody's access to products, structures and services. They include safety considerations, ergonomics and harmonized test methods all geared towards increasing accessibility.

The former head of standards watchdog, Mr Charles Ekelege, was suspended to pave way for investigations over a number of irregularities and financial mismanagement in TBS, based on the Controller and Auditor General (CAG)) report.

In an interview with the 'Daily News,' Mr Oliver Mhaiki, the chairman of the suspended board of directors said he was unaware of the reasons behind the minister's decision to disband the board, "We were performing our duties properly, I don't know the reasons that prompted the minister's decision."

With regards to the post of the board's chairperson, who is the presidential appointee, Mr Mhaiki said it was upon the authority to decide on his fate. Apart from the chairperson, other board members who comprised the disbanded board are Mr Donald Chidowu, Mr Rashid A Salim, Dr Bertha Maegga, Mr Odilo Majengo, Prof Ntengua Mdoe, Mr Peter Machunde, Mr Godfrey Mariki, Ms Suzy Laizer, Ms Elpina Mlaki, Mr George Simbachawene and the suspended director General.

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