Dar es Salaam — The new ministers who were sworn into Office in Dar es Salaam yesterday have unveiled the priorities they have set themselves in seeking to match the lofty performance standards set by President John Magufuli for the fifth-phase Government.
The new top-echelon leaders are (with their portfolios shown in brackets): Mr George Mkuchika (Minister of State in the President's Office, Public Service and Good Governance); Mr Seleman Jafo (President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government); Dr Charles Tizeba (Agriculture); Mr Luhaga Mpina (Minister for Livestock and Fisheries); Dr Medard Kalemani (Energy); Ms Angellah Kairuki (Minerals); Dr Hamis Kigwangala (Natural Resources and Tourism), and Mr Isack Kamwelwe (Minister for Water and Irrigation).
Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony conducted at State House in Dar es Salaam, Dr Kigwangala revealed his three areas priority as Natural Resources and Tourism Minister as being to finally resolve the seemingly endless Loliondo land conflict in Arusha Region, to curb the ongoing rampant poaching and, third: to further invest in, and strengthen, promotion of the country's fabulous tourist attractions with a view to boosting Tanzanian tourism.
The minister took the opportunity to warn poachers.
"I will be very strict, and I make it quite clear that the government will not tolerate activities relating to poaching or sabotaging the country's natural resources in any way," the Minister warned.
For his part, George Mkuchika said that - as the Minister of State in the President's Office responsible for Public Service and Good Governance, he will spend most of his time fighting corruption. He will also seriously look into the possibility of incorporating 'anti-corruption' into academic curricula in Tanzania.
The objective of doing this, he said, is to ensure that young Tanzanians will be made to understand that access to services and opportunities for development must be through fairness rather than bribery. Another strategy is to work on incentives for public service workers, partly by putting in place the right working conditions for them, and clearing all outstanding payments due to public servants - including all those who were promoted but have not been paid accordingly, and in full.
The newly-sworn-in Minister for Minerals, Ms Angellah Kairuki, said she will start by improving relations with investors with a view to ensuring that the Mining sector as a whole contributes to its full capacity to Tanzania's economic growth.
Her second priority is to ensure efficacious implementation of the three Mining laws which entered into force in July this year. Doing this will no doubt pave the way for substantial increases in royalties on gold and other minerals.
To that end, it might be found necessary to revisit and overhaul some of the already existing contracts and other mining arrangements.
"On ensuring effective delivery of my targets, I will use the available experts, as I'm sure that they are also determined to increase productivity in the areas of their expertise," Minister Kairuki stated.
She also took the opportunity to reassure all and sundry that the prevailing investment climate is truly investor-friendly - and that the Tanzania government has always been ready to receive prospective investors with an open mind and open hands.
For his part, the new Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Luhaga Mpina, said he is very much looking forward to increasing the market for cattle and cattle products so as to ensure that the livestock industry does indeed have a positive impact upon pastoralists and other stakeholders in the sector.
"Secondly, I will ensure effective implementation of the fisheries laws, in order that marine species are protected," he said.
On the other hand, the new Minister for Water and Irrigation, Mr Isack Kamwelwe, said his priorities are, first: to closely supervise various water projects in Tanzania such as Lake Victoria to Tabora, Igunga, Nzega and Sikonge, the Sh15.8 billion water project in Longido District in Arusha Region, and the Ng'apa project in Lindi.
The second item on the Water Minister's agenda is to work closely with Members of Parliament on identifying areas suffering from water problems - and formulating ways and means of effectively addressing them for immediate results.
"I have been at the Water Ministry for about two years as Deputy Minister and, as such, I'm aware of the challenges," he said.
On to the Minister for Regional Administration & Local Government in the President's Office, Mr. Seleman Jafo, who told The Citizen that he would work close with Regional Commissioners (RCs), District Commissioners (DCs) and District Executive Directors (DEDs) across the country to bring socio-economic through Local Government Authorities. He also pledged to ensure that DEDs meet their set developmental targets as a matter of course!
"I have served the Government in the capacity of 'Deputy Minister' for two years, during which I travelled across the country to - among other things - learn of the challenges faced by our people," he revealed.