Water and Irrigation minister Isack Kamwelwe yesterday sacked Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa) acting chief executive officer Romanus Mwang’ingo. The minister, with President John Magufuli’s express consent, also dissolved the Dawasa board of directors.
The decision follows reports of embezzlement and forgery during the implementation of the Sh18 billion Mpera and Kimbiji water project. The project, which entailed the drilling 20 boreholes with the capacity to produce 260 million litres of clean and safe water, was implemented in Kigamboni District, Dar es Salaam Region.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, Mr Kamwelwe said the appointment of the acting CEO had been revoked and the board of directors dissolved to pave the way for an investigation into “massive embezzlement and forgery”.
“The decision is aimed at making it possible for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to expeditiously investigate the matter,” he said. Mr Kamwelwe added that Dr Sufian Masasi had been appointed Dawasa acting chief executive until further notice.
Tabling his docket’s 2018/19 budget proposals in Dodoma last month, Mr Kamwelwe told Parliament that the construction of 15 wells had been completed as of March 2018.
“Construction of the remaining wells is underway, and all 20 wells will have been completed by the end of May, 2018,” he said. Mr Kamwelwe added that the government was looking for $158 million for the construction of distribution infrastructure connecting Mpera with various areas of Dar es Salaam, including Gongo la Mboto and Chanika. He named other areas as Luzando, Pugu, Chamazi, Kitunda, Ukonga, Kinyerezi and Julius Nyerere International Airport.
The government was also seeking $307 million for distribution infrastructure that would take water from Kimbiji to Temeke and Kisarawe, Mr Kamwelwe added.Other areas in the plan are Kibada, Kimbiji, Kigamboni, Toangoma, Kongowe, Mbagala, Kurasini, Mtoni, Mkuranga, Tandika, Keko and Chang’ombe.
Mr Mwang’ingo served as Dawasa technical director prior to his appointment. He assumed office on July 19, 2017 when he replaced Mr Archard Mutalemwa, who was advised by President Magufuli to step down.
During a tour of Coast Region last June, President Magufuli asked Mr Mutalemwa to step down voluntarily to salvage his reputation. He said it was time Mr Mutalemwa retired, warning him that he risked damaging his reputation by clinging on to the position even as the institution he led grappled with mismanagement.
“Before things turn from bad to worse, I want to politely ask you to step down so that what you have achieved over the years is not tarnished by some of the administrative concerns here,” Dr Magufuli told Mr Mutalemwa, who was present at the event.
He said Dawasa, which is responsible for operating and maintaining water supply and sewerage networks in Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo and Kibaha, could have performed better if younger people were in charge.