Tanzania: Why Home Affairs Docket Is Hot Seat

(file photo).

Dar es Salaam — The sacking of Mr Kangi Lugola as Home Affairs minister yesterday brings to mind just how hot the docket is for its occupants.

President John Magufuli yesterday fired Mr Lugola for occasioning the country a loss of euros 408 million (about Sh1 trillion) in a dubious deal between the Fire and Rescue Brigade and a Romanian firm.

The President entailed that the deal involved the procurement of 'useless fire and rescue equipment' including drones.

Mr Lugola gets into history books as the 26th occupant of the post of Home Affairs Minister since the country attained its independence from Britain in 1961.

In what explains how hot the Home Affairs docket is, of all the 26 past ministers, it is only two who stayed in the post for six year.

They are Said Maswanya (1967-1973) and Major General Muhiddin Kimaryo (1983-1989). Mr Augustine Mrema and Mr Ali Amir Mohammed occupied the docket for four years each.

The rest only stayed in the docket for two years and less, largely due to sensitive issues linked to the position.

Under the docket are such sensitive departments as the Immigration Services (ISD), Tanzania Prisons Services (TPS), the Police, the Fire and Rescue Force and the National Identification Authority (Nida).

The Home Affairs ministry employs at least one-third of all workers in public service, attracting a huge expenditure in terms of procurement of goods and services, which puts it on the limelight of local and foreign companies seeking tenders to supply goods and services, which, at times, subject ministers to temptations of financial kickbacks.

After forming his cabinet following the 2015 general election, President John Magufuli's first minister to fire from the docket was Mr Charles Kitwanga.

Although Kitwanga's firing was connected to his going in Parliament while drunk, this happened at a time when he was already facing calls to quit over his involvement with Lugumi Enterprises Limited.

The company was being accused of failing to implement a Sh37-billion project to install electronic fingerprint machines at district police stations across the country even after it had been paid almost the entire amount.

He later distanced himself from having any involvement in the deal to purchase electronic fingerprint reading devices as well as his company-infosys- from the deal.

He, however, confirmed that he was one of the co-founders of Infosys with 33 percent, noting, however, that he had since transferred the shares to his son, Lubango.

Mr Kitwanga was replaced by Dr Mwigulu Nchemba as Home Affairs minister but the later was also shown the exit door by President Magufuli.

Speaking during an event to swear in Mr Lugola as Home Affairs Minister at State House in July 2018, President Magufuli exuded his dissatisfaction on the ministry's inaction on reported corruption, embezzlement of public funds, frequent fatal road accidents and general malaise affecting the sensitive cabinet docket.

The July 2018 reshuffle also saw Mr Isack Kamwelwe of the ministry of Water and Irrigation switching places with Prof Makame Mbarawa of the ministry of Works, Transport and Communication.

Dr Magufuli said at the event that the Home Affairs ministry was one of the worst performing dockets, listing the controversial Sh37-billion forensic contract between Lugumi Enterprises and the Police, the contract with Ashok Leyland in 2013 for supply of 777 motor vehicles worth $29.6 million as among the major issues of concern.

Home Affairs ministers since 1961: Sir George Kahama (1961-1962); Oscar Kambona (1962-63); Lawi Sijaona(1963-65); Job Lusinde (1965-67); Said Mawanya (1967-73); Omary Muhaji (1973-74); Ally Hassan Mwinyi (1975-76); Hassan N.Moyo (1977-78); Salmin Omary (1979-80); Abdala Natepe (1980-83); Muhidini Kimario-1983-93

Nalaira Kihura-1990-90

Agustino L.Mrema- 1990-94

Ernest Nyanda- 1994-94

Ally Mohamed-1994-99

Mohamed Khatibu- 2000-02

Omary R. Mapuri-2003-05

Jonh Chiligati-2006-08

Joseph Mungai - 2006-08

Lawarenc Masha- 2008-10

Shams V.Nahodha- 2010-12

Emanuel Nchimbi- 2012-13

Mathias Chikawe- 2014-15

Charles Kitwangwa- 2015-16

Mwigulu Chemba- 2016- 18

Kangi Lugola- 2018-2020.

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