18 December 2012

Tanzania: Employ Registered Engineers Only, Magufuli Tells Districts

WORKS Minister Dr John Magufuli has directed the Tanzania Road Fund (Tanroads) Board of Directors not to disburse funds for maintenance of roads in district councils without registered engineers.

Dr Magufuli expressed concerns yesterday that most district and municipal councils have been reluctant to employ registered engineers and instead employ low cadre professionals who lead to shoddy work.

"There are about 11,400 registered engineers in the country but almost 46 per cent of councils do not have registered engineers," the minister noted in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

He made the remarks during an occasion to launch new Boards of Directors for the Tanzania Road Fund (TRF) and Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS). Almost 90 per cent of funds collected through the Road Fund are used for maintenance purposes in the 161 district and municipal councils countrywide.

Dr Magufuli also ordered the TANROADS' board of directors to fire regional managers and project engineers in road projects that will be proved to be shoddy. "If we want to realize value for money in road projects that are undertaken countrywide, we should take actions on TANROADS officials who are charged to supervise them.

The officials should be held responsible for substandard work," he said. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Eng. Omar Chambo, who is by virtue of his position a board member of Road Fund, had earlier decried embezzlement of funds disbursed to local councils for maintenance of roads.

Mr Chambo showered praises on the previous Road Fund's board of directors for making a thorough follow up on maintenance projects countrywide to curb misuse of funds. In another development, the Minister blamed TANROADS for delaying the expansion of a stretch of road from Mwenge to Morocco area in Dar es Salaam. The single-lane stretch of road is supposed to be expanded to two-lane.

"I don't know why TANROADS has kept on dilly-dallying on this project despite the fact that the government has allocated funds for compensation for people with structures along the road. "Those buildings should have been demolished long time ago to pave way for the expansion since Japan has already dished money for its implementation.

Those who deserve compensation should be paid", he ordered. The Minister also pointed accusing fingers at TANROADS officials stationed at weighing bridges and those in the procurement department for involving themselves in corrupt deals and thus called for actions against them.

Meanwhile, Dr Magufuli cited the Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) and the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology as the leading government institutions with government vehicles registered with private numbers.

"In the recent months a total of 974 government vehicles that had private registrations have been registered by TEMESA (Tanzania Mechanical and Electrical Services Agency) while 746 vehicles are still out there," the minister said.

Dr James Wanyancha is the new board chair of Road Fund taking over from Mr Philip Magani while Ms Hawa Mmanga is the new board chair of TANROADS, replacing Mr Abel Mwaisumo.

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