Tanzania: JPM Censures Armchair Leaders

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday orders all leaders countrywide to resolve people's problems within their respective precincts instead of waiting for national leaders visits.

President Magufuli also gave five days to Nkasi District Commissioner (DC) Said Mtanda and Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC) Mathias Nyange to pay 15m/- to a widow whose 25 cattle were stolen but the authorities failed to act effectively for their recovery.

Dr Magufuli issued the tough orders while addressing a public rally after he inaugurated a 75-kilometre Sumbawanga-Chala-Kanazi tarmac road, laid the foundation stone for construction of one of the 67 district hospitals and launched the local government election voter registration.

Irked by the numerous concerns, which had been constantly reported by wananchi at meetings during his tours of the regions, President Magufuli ordered leaders, including regional commissioners (RCs), DCs and members of parliament (MPs), among others, to devise mechanisms that will help in fixing a myriad of problems haunting citizens.

He said many people come to public rallies with placards because their leaders have not taken time to listen to their concerns, warning political and appointed leaders against waiting for him or prime minister to visit and resolve the issues.

"Allocate special days to listen and attend to people's problems...as leaders, this is our responsibility and we have to deliver according to the required standards as the servants of the people. This should not only be a one man's show, even if I were a saint I would not be able to finish all of the things on myself. Let's all do this for the betterment of the country," said the president.

The head of state took time to read some placards that were brought at the meeting, asking the placard holders to raise them up as the crowd burst into cheers.

He particularly talked tough against land and cattle rustling related problems in Rukwa region, accusing some leaders of being part of the problems.

Dr Magufuli invited to the podium any citizen with proven information about cattle rustlers.

The widow from Namanyere confidently walked forward and recounted on how her 25 cattle were stolen, reported the issue to all authorities in the district and regional level but received no help.

Even the suspect who was arrested with the cattle was released under flimsy circumstances, she said.

Although, the thief in the presence of the police had agreed to compensate the widow at the rate of 500,000/- per cattle, bringing to 12.5m/- the total compensation, she was refunded only two cattle.

The widow informed Dr Magufuli that she had reported the matter to the DC office, RPC and Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) but to no avail.

President Magufuli demanded clarification from the RPC and DC and they all confirmed that they were aware of the issue, claiming to take measures including bringing to task the officers involved in the dirty deal.

Mr Mtanda said that some of the officials who had handled the matter were transferred to other stations.

The response annoyed the president, prompting him to order the DC and RPC to compensate the widow with 12.5m/- and 2.5m/- others for disturbances- 15m/- in total-within five days.

Earlier, Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola said a total of 278 cattle rustling related cases were reported annually in Nkasi District.

Mr Lugola said the problem remains serious in Nkasi as compared to other areas, requiring immediate attention.

"Despite crimes like murders and illegal immigrants declining, cases of cattle raid and land issues are on the increase," noted Minister Lugola.

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