Dodoma — The Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Selemani Jafo, on Tuesday August 14 condemned district commissioners who have been misusing their powers, including locking people up for up to 48 hours.
The minister, who was addressing newly appointed DCs in Dodoma, said that although the officials had such powers, they should not use it to oppress innocent people.
Mr Jafo added that actions by some DCs could turn Tanzanians against their government.
"I know that you have the powers to do so, but you should refrain from using it to oppress the innocent," Mr Jafo was quoted saying in a statement sent to the media by his office.
He made the remarks on the same day the main opposition party, Chadema, accused Ilala District Commissioner Sophia Mjema of ordering that Kitunda Ward Councillor Nice Gisunte be placed in custody for 48 hours.
Ilala Regional Police Commander Salum Hamduni confirmed that the civic leader had been detained by police.
"It's true that the councillor spent a night in police cells following an order by the DC," Mr Hamduni told The Citizen in a telephone interview.
Efforts to reach Ms Mjema proved futile as she did not answer her mobile phone yesterday.
Speaking to new DCs, Mr Jafo urged them to make sure that they perform their duties in accordance with the law, professionalism and code of ethics for public servants.
"You shouldn't be the source of conflicts because you have been appointed to go and address challenges that the people encounter in their daily lives.
"You should work closely with members of Parliament, district administrative secretaries and other leaders in your respective areas."
Mr Jafo said the new leaders should work in accordance with CCM's 2015 election manifesto.
The minister also challenged DCs to make sure they properly address issues related to health, education and security.
For his part, permanent secretary Mussa Iyombe underscored the call made by Mr Jafo by urging the new leaders to work hard to prove that they were appointed on merit.