9 February 2018

Tanzania: Dilly-Dallying Over Bad Elements Disturbs MPs

THE Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament has expressed concern over delays to take to task some 'thieves and corrupt officials' who misappropriated public funds, thereby sabotaging the nation's development initiatives.

The committee yesterday urged the government to bring corrupt officials to book. In its statement to the National Assembly here, it raised alarm over former officials of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) who were sacked in 2016, accused of corruption and embezzlement of public funds, but none of whom had been prosecuted.

"The government has been firm in taking steps for curbing corruption and over expenditure. Therefore, the committee wants stern legal actions instituted against all NSSF senior officials who are spending public funds for their own interests," its report noted.

Mr Mohamed Mchengerwa, the Committee's Chairman, hinted that already, security organs including Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA), Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) had worked on the matter.

"It is paramount for the funds to invest in projects which are profitable to its members, without compromising the financial sustainability and liquidity of the funds," he said. However, the committee lauded the government decision to merge some funds by enacting the Public Service Social Security Fund Bill of 2017.

Meanwhile, two more parliamentary committees tabled their reports in the National Assembly here, demanding government action on the shortage of civil servants and fast track reviews of subsidiary legislations. The Parliamentary Committee on Administration and Local Governments said for the past two years, the local government authorities had been hit by shortage of staff, especially in the health sector.

The committee was quick to refer the shortage to ongoing government reforms which was accompanied by the civil servants verification exercise. It had involved purging ghost workers and those with forged academic certificates.

"Shortage of health officers at dispensaries and local hospitals pose serious challenges," said Mr Jasson Rweikiza, the committee chairperson, however, lauding efforts to hire at least 206 doctors out of the 500 who expressed interest to work in Kenya.

The Deputy Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislations Committee, Mr William Ngeleja, said 50 out of 90 subsidiary laws which were enacted by the government last year needed immediate amendments. He added that part of regulations contradicted with provisions of the parent law - the Constitution while some amendments were based on typo errors.

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