Tanzania President Magufuli Warns New CAG Against Turning His Office Into Another Arm of State

Tanzanian President John Magufuli.

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli warned the new Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Mr Charles Kichere, against turning his office into another arm of State.

"Do not turn yourself into another arm of State. There are only three arms of State which are here today: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary," said President Magufuli.

He said the role of the CAG was to work on directives from the three pillars.

"You will be required to implement them. Do not engage yourself into squabbles with them [the arms of State]," he said.

President Magufuli made no connection to the frosty relationship that existed between the outgoing CAG, Prof Mussa Assad and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Job Ndugai.

The bone of contention between Mr Ndugai and Prof Assad started in January when the former ordered the latter to appear before the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee for interrogations over a statement he made in the US which the Speaker said was undermining the supremacy of the Parliament.

The order resulted into a heated debate with some quarters saying the order would undermine the independence of the CAG's office.

But Prof Assad responded positively to the order and was grilled after which, Mr Ndugai announced that the Parliament would not work with him [Prof Assad].

President Magufuli said the CAG's Office was just like any other one within the civil service hierarchy in Tanzania, noting that the appointing authority had the prerogative to fire and to hire someone to occupy the office at will.

"The Constitution is straight. You can be there for the entire five-year period or you can be there for only one year because the procedures for appointing and removing the CAG from office are well articulated in the constitution... One cannot have the right to hire without having similar rights to fire," said President Magufuli.

He ordered Mr Kichere to get rid of dirty elements within the CAG's Office, noting that there were some officials there who demanded double allowances when told to audit diplomatic missions.

"Your office is also unclean. Some of your people demand double allowances when told to audit diplomatic missions. Work on this... You will get some of the shortfalls of some officials from your office from the Ministry of Finance and Planning," said President Magufuli.

He said he picked Mr Kichere for the job after realising that he had all the qualifications. He was humble too.

"You are also a humble person. When we demoted you from the post of commissioner general at Tanzania Revenue Authority and posted you to Njombe as regional administrative secretary, you said nothing," he said.

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