Tanzania: Makonda Recalls His Time As Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner

Dar es Salaam — Former Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda recalled his best and worst moments during his days as the commercial city's leader, saying the war against drug trafficking and abuse gave him sleepless nights.

Speaking during an event to hand-over the office to his successor, Mr Aboubakar Kunenge, Mr Makonda said he banked on the loyalty of his friends to escape unhurt during the war on drug trafficking and abuse.

"I created a few friends and made many enemies during my time as the region's RC. I thank God that I am still alive as I hand-over this office today. My enemies could have even poisoned me using my assistants," he said.

Mr Makonda led wars against drug dealers, gays, irresponsible fathers and restoration of more than 50 government houses - just to mention a few memorable successes.

But, he unsuccessfully worked on the building of teachers' offices across Dar es Salaam's schools, as well as an attempt to ensure that teachers commuted without paying bus fares.

In controversial circumstances, Mr Makonda also initiated a project that sought to ensure that city dwellers registered their marital status.

He once announced the need to allow clerics to go to night clubs and bars, as well as 24-hour business operations.

But it was the war on drugs that he says gave him sleepless nights.

"It was a hard time for me when people shouted and demanded President John Magufuli to sack me. Fortunately, the President maintained his stance because he trusted me," he explained.

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He said he was regretting to have left the Dar es Salaam RC role without implementing his desire to operate a prostate cancer test for Dar es Salaam men.

He pleaded with the new RC to fulfill some of his projects that he failed to accomplish, including the relocation of vehicle showrooms fron the city centre to Kigamboni.

"In developed countries, car dealers are located in a particular area where buyers can easily access them. I ask you to accomplish this on my behalf," Mr Makonda told his successor.

He also requested him to maintain the roads that had been named after retired Catholic Cardinal Polycarp Pengo and international footballer Mbwana Samatta.

Mr Kunenge thanked Mr Makonda, promising to heed his advice.

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