14 November 2018

Tanzania: Cabinet Minister Fears Being Sacked By Magufuli, Urges Officers to Deliver

Dar es Salaam — Works, Transport and Communications minister Isack Kamwele has directed executives in his docket to work hard in order to help him avoid being swept aside by President John Magufuli's iron broom just like it happened to former Agriculture minister Charles Tizeba and his Industry and Trade counterpart Charles Mwijage.

"You're now aware that once the Premier pays a visit to your docket, it is a sign that things are not well. We shouldn't allow that to happen, because if we don't, then I'll be doomed," he said.

Former ministers Tizeba and Mwijage were sacked for what President Magufuli referred to as allowing Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to execute their duties of ending cashews trading woes.

President Magufuli picked Vwawa MP Japhet Hasunga as the new Agriculture minister and Joseph Kakunda to head the Industry, Trade and Investment docket.

Opening the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) workers council two-day meeting in Iringa yesterday, Mr Kamwelwe said; "I will work hard to ensure the premier is not sent to my docket as it happened to others.

In his directives to executives of the agency, Mr Kamwelwe told them to end citizens' grievances without waiting for statements from to government officials.

He noted that officers at grassroots level could end a number of grievances but they keep acting in a manner suggesting the "business as usual working style" and wait for directives from top leaders including deputy minister, the minister, the Prime Minister or the President.

"There are problems at the Dar es Salaam port, the number of cargo passing there is huge but we have only 355 freight wagons. I met the President and expressed my concern that we need 800 more goods wagons," he said.

He said the challenge could have forced the Head of State to send the Premier to his docket if he opted to remain with it and it wouldn't surprise if measures would have been taken against him.

He said delayed tax estimates for goods passing the Dar es Salaam port was another challenge facing his docket.

He said the port that receive 1,000 ships per month was under performing because of containers accumulated because of tax estimates delays.

"I have been at the Dar es Salaam port. Many containers have been accumulated because of tax estimates delay," he said.

Mr Kamwelwe said he planned to meet the Finance and Planning minister in Dodoma to establish immediate measures to end the challenge.

"We need to know what delays the tax estimates in order to avoid congestion of containers. Why should the estimates take 20 or even over 30 days?" he wondered.

Furthermore, Mr Kamwelwe said the fifth phase government was planning to improve transport using the road, railway, aviation and marine.

In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the government planned to start and complete various road projects, construct modern railway, ships and ferries and purchase aircrafts to strengthen the aviation sector.

"These are the huge plans that require outstanding efficiency from executives who are patriotic," he said.

For his part, Iringa regional commissioner Ally Hapi urged for the significance of a tarmac road project from Iringa to Ruaha National Parks, noting that the project was significant in the country's strategy to improve tourism in the southern circuit.

For his part, Tanroads chief executive officer Patrick Mfugale said in future road construction projects at the tarmac level would be done taking into consideration environmental situation of the area to be covered.

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