Mara — THE more than 1.5bn/- released by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) as compensation for villagers affected by the rural electrification project has fallen into many wrong hands, District Council Executive Director (DED), Mr Athuman Akalama has said.
"We found out that almost more than 50 per cent of the people entitled to be compensated were excluded from the list and we had to do fresh verification to remove the fake names," the DED said recently.
The council's top government executive made the revelation at a full council meeting in Tarime on Wednesday. The DED was responding to concerns raised by councillors who accused the district council for delaying payments to eligible villagers.
"The money was meant for residents who were affected by construction of the power project, payments have not been disbursed for so long that a conflict has erupted in the villages," one of the councillors, Mr Luis Marwa Thomas from Ganyange ward (CCM) said.
He was addressing the packed full council meeting attended by representatives from about 30 councils and many government officials based in the area.
The council received the money in May from Tanesco but disbursing it has been delayed by what Mr Akalam described as "a lot of shortcomings."
He did not make it clear how the money was approved and sent to Tarime District basing on a list that contained more than 50 per cent fictitious names. The council has of late formed a team of experts to identify people who have the right to be compensated.
"Verification was completed yesterday (Tuesday) and if all goes well we will start paying out next week," the DED told the meeting chaired by Tarime District Council Chairman, Amos Sagara. The councillors demanded immediate payment to the affected families.
Some of them are worried that the council leaders are causing unnecessary delays in favour of their personal interests, something which was strongly refuted by the council chairman, Mr Sagara.
They also elected Mr Sylvester Marwa Kisieri, the new Tarime District Council Vice-Chairman during the meeting.
Mr Kisieri, who is the councillor for Komaswa Ward (CCM) defeated his opponent from the opposition Chadema, Mr Mustafa Masiani, after he scooped 17 votes. The Chadema candidate got 11 votes.
Last week Tarime was officially spilt into two councils (namely Tarime District Council and Tarime Town Council), a move that is designed to speed up social and economic development in the area.
A number of councillors from Tarime town wards and the neigbouring wards have moved to Tarime Town Council. On Tuesday they elected Kitare ward councillor Daudi Wangwe (CCM), the first chairman of the new town council.