24 November 2012

Tanzania: Audit-Tainted DEDs Face Axe

Sumbawanga — ALL district executive directors (DEDs) whose councils have been found with dirty accounts in the records of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) will be summoned for financial mismanagement.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime's Office responsible for Regional Administration and Local Government (RALG), Mr Aggrey Mwanri, said here on Thursday that the government has now decided to act tough on all DED's implicated in CAG's annual reports. He was speaking at a rally held at the Msakila Grounds as part of a series of meetings organised during the ongoing visits to the regions by the CCM Secretary General, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, and his delegation.

Mr Mwanri said his office will not tolerate some of the officials in the local governments who keep on misusing public money and properties at the expense of social services meant to improve the living standards of the people. "All DEDs with dirty accounts reports and questionable records of financial management will be held accountable.

We will call them one to one and if satisfied they were involved in any misdeed, the way for them is -- out," he said. He was responding to queries by the residents who showed dissatisfaction over the execution of the government directives on a number of projects citing water and roads as an example as well cess charged to poor farmers.

The deputy minister lamented on the growing trend by officers in the local government of abusing government directives, saying that from now on, aggrieved parties should call his ministry direct to report such abuse for prompt action. In another development, Mr Mwanri insisted that schools are not allowed to expel students whose parents fail to contribute desks.

He wondered who gave school heads the mandate to punish students on matters that are above their capability to solve. He said his ministry was aware of a myriad of contributions imposed by schools, saying these should be monitored by special committees.

On cess levy, the deputy minister said the government has already issued directives that small farmers should not be harassed anymore, adding that only commercial farmers should be charged specific agreed amounts. Mr Mwanri also cautioned on the teachers at the government nursery schools who have been reported to be charging 25,000/- per child, ordering them to stop it since nursery school education is being offered free in all government schools.

Earlier, the Rukwa Regional Commissioner, Engineer Stella Manyanya, said in her brief report that farmers were allowed to start exporting their maize to the neighbouring countries and that there were no more problems on that area. On fertilizer from the Minjingu plant, which many residents complain is not good for agriculture, the RC said the government has done some studies on the same and that farmers should apply it on trial basis first.

"It is true farmers are complaining on the fertilizer but the government has assured us on its quality. It is better if they would try it first by applying it to at least one acre and check its quality," she said. On water projects, she said a lot has been done with a number of water projects going on and pledged that the services will be fully available within two tears.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Kinana said government officers countrywide have to change mindsets towards serving the people and cautioned to stop bureaucracies. He warned over the growing phenomenon where all the discussions were now focused on the 2015 general elections instead of concentrating on development programmes.

Saturday, Mr Kinana starts his tour of Geita Region and winds up his first upcountry trip in Arusha Region on Sunday.

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