Tanzania: Delayed Project Infuriates JPM

DELAYS in the expansion project for Chato district hospital on Friday angered President John Magufuli after learning that the government had already disbursed the funds since last July.

The President wondered why the district council drags its feet in starting the construction project while the government gave the council 1bn/- for it.

The President initially got report that prolonged arguments among the leaders of the council over the modalities on how to undertake the project was the reason for the delays.

"The government will never tolerate seeing people in trouble because of a few negligent officials of the council," he stated.

The Head of State directed Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Selemani Jafo and District Executive Director Eliud Mwaiteleke, to work on the matter so that the project is undertaken at reasonable costs.

Dr Magufuli further instructed the medical officer in charge of the hospital to ensure that the x-ray machine operates all the time and citizens get services at the right time.

"It's not right for a district hospital to lack x-ray services only because of minor technical issues such as lacking films," he stated.

His directives came after he visited and consoled patients admitted to the hospital, including an old man, Z ephania Petro Kanoge.

This old man has a different story from his fellow patients. He is one of the elders in Chato who convinced Dr Magufuli to venture into politics in 1995.

The senior citizen with his colleague, the late Constantine Misungwi, travelled to Mwanza two times to meet and try to influence Dr Magufuli who was at that time was working with Nyanza Cooperative Union in the city.

Despite Dr Magufuli's reluctance to heed their plea, the two old men kept on pushing him to contest in the parliamentary election until he agreed.

Their mission didn't end there; they did not leave him alone in campaigns as they used motorcycles to ride across villages to ensure that Dr Magufuli won.

The President thanked Mzee Kanoge's contribution to his political life and wished him a quick recovery so that he reunites with his family at home.

At the hospital, the President also saw other patients, including mothers and children who went for vaccinations.

He briefed them on the government's efforts to improve health services provision countrywide and increase budget for buying drugs from 31bn/- to 270bn/-.

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