Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli's appointment of new Controller and Auditor General (CAG) was greeted with mixed reactions on Sunday, November 03, 2019, with some quarters questioning how the tenure of the office holder came to an end.
President Magufuli appointed former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner General, Mr Kichere on Sunday as new CAG.
Mr Kichere - who was moved from TRA to become Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary in June, 2019 - is replacing Prof Mussa Assad.
In a live broadcast, chief secretary John Kijazi said Prof Assad's five-year tenure expires on Monday, November 4, 2019.
"Mr Kichere's appointment takes effect from November 4, 2019," said Mr Kijazi in a live broadcast.
Before the appointment, Mr Kichere was serving as Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS).
Former President Jakaya Kikwete appointed Prof Assad as CAG effective November 5, 2015 to fill the vacant position left by Mr Ludovick Utouh who retired in September, 2014.
But much as it remains true that Prof Assad's first-year term expires tomorrow (November 04, 2019), some politicians contend that since he has not yet reached the age of 65, he deserved more term.
"Kinyume na Katiba, kinyume na Sheria (It is against the Constitution and against the Law)," twitted the ACT Wazalendo Party leader, Mr Zitto Kabwe.
According to Section 6 of the Public Audit Act, 2008, the CAG shall hold office for the fixed term of five years and shall be eligible for renewal for one term only.
It states that unless removed in office through a legal procedure that's outlined on Article 144 (3) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, the CAG shall only vacate office upon attaining the age of sixty five (65) years.
He may also vacate office when he resigns; by giving a six months' notice; on account of medical grounds or any other grounds which the President considers sufficient.
Mr Assad, who worked as Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting at the University of Dar es Salaam's Business School before his appointment as CAG, was born on 6th October 1961. This suggests that until November 3, 2019, Prof Assad was 58 years and 28 days old.
Article 144 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania states that the CAG shall be obliged to vacate office upon attaining the age of sixty or any other age which shall be prescribed by a law enacted by Parliament.
In this case, the law, enacted by the Parliament obliges the CAG to vacate office upon attaining the age of 65.
Article 144 (2) of the Constitution however says the CAG may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office (either due to illness or to any other reason) or for misbehaviour or for violating the provisions of the law concerning the ethics of public leaders.
Should the need to remove him from office arise, then the President shall have to appoint a Special Tribunal to probe the reasons behind which the CAG is to be removed from office.
The Special Tribunal shall comprise of a Chairman and not less than two people. The members are to be person who are or have been Judges of the High Court or of the Court of Appeal in any country within the Commonwealth.
Article 144 (4) of the Constitution reads: "If the Special Tribunal appointed in accordance with the provisions of sub-article (3) advises the President that the Controller and Auditor-General be removed from office on grounds of inability to perform functions of his office due to illness or any other reason or on grounds of misbehaviour, then the President shall remove him from office".
For the good part of 2019, the working relationship between Prof Assad and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai has been frosty.