Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda Draws President Magufuli's Wrath in Public

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli.

Dar es Salaam — Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda may have bitten more than he could chew today, February 17, 2020, when he sought to praise the impact of a pro-poor government programme.

Mr Makonda unexpectedly drew the wrath of President John Magufuli when he revealed how he had benefitted from Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) in the past.

The Dar es Salaam supremo said he was paid bus fare from the TASAF kitty to attend a meeting in Dodoma during President Benjamin Mkapa's tenure. TASAF programme which involves issuance of cash handouts to the elderly and establishment of income generating projects among the needy communities started in the year 2000.

According to Mr Makonda, the meeting he attended in Dodoma made him what he is today. He, however, did not specify what type of meeting this was and in what capacity he attended.

Makonda spoke during the launch of phase two of TASAF III presided over by President Magufuli and attended by former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete. The project will spend Sh2.02 trillion, bringing to a total of Sh4 trillion since it was started.

But when he rose to speak, President Magufuli served a plateful to his point mand in the city. The President told Mr Makonda to refund the money he received from TASAF as he was not the targeted beneficiary.

"Am not sure I heard you correctly, but if I did, am directing you to

return back the money which was intended for extreme poor families of

which you are not," the President said.

The Head of State said among challenges that were revealed in a TASAF audit conducted between November 2015 and June 2017, was that there

were ghost beneficiaries totalling 73,561 while there were also 22,034 households which were not poor. President Magufuli said a further 18,211 deceased people and 18,700 families that did not appear to have receive the cash transfers.

It was not clear immediately whether Mr Makonda will refund the money as he did not speak afterwards but he later called the newsroom to explain what he meant. "I meant to say that in one way or the other the programmes' initiator helped me by paying my fare to attend a CCM election meeting."

Video clips from the function which were shared showed former president Mkapa and Kikwete gesturing at the claim being made by Makonda.

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