TANZANIA -PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday reiterated his directives to the anti-corruption agency to immediately take action when it has the evidence needed to move against corrupt individuals.
In a rare revelation, the Head of State said some eleven locomotives lying idle at the port of Dar es Salaam were imported without any written contract.
Dr Magufuli made the revelations after he made an impromptu visit at the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) head offices in Dar es Salaam, where he also expressed his confidence in the bureau in curbing graft and pledged to address challenges facing them.
“There are lots of imprudent things taking place because of graft. We conducted verification on farm input subsidies and found out that claims amounting to 48bn/- were fraudulently made … there were also 5,580 ghost students who were lined for loans to pursue higher education,” he said.
The president further cited 19,500 ghost workers in public service and 56,000 phantom poor households which were receiving funds from the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), an initiative designed to support underprivileged families.
Although President Magufuli did not go into details in regard to the train engines, he is on record as tasking security organs to probe persons behind the ‘dumped’ train engines – from which the Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) had since distanced itself.
This was last July when laying a foundation stone for the deepening and strengthening of the harbour. Reports show that the locomotives were offloaded from an ocean-going vessel, Mesina Line, but no one had since come out to declare ownership.
“I am even told that the engines are substandard and the railway authority does not need them … (in the first place),” Dr Magufuli revealed, adding: “It’s high time security at the port is beefed-up; if we allow this situation to continue next time we may let in ships with poison or military tanks.” At the same occasion, he had expressed concerns that the ship which brought the consignment had already left the port.
Speaking at the PCCB offices yesterday, President Magufuli urged the workers to embrace professionalism, patriotism and integrity in discharging their duties, pledging that the government would improve their working conditions.
Present during the meeting were the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance), Ms Angella Kairuki and the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the office, Dr Laurian Ndumbaro, as well as the Director General of PCCB, Mr Valentino Mlowola.
Meanwhile, the Head of State has met and held meetings with experts and leaders undertaking major infrastructure projects in Tanzania including the Stieglers Gorge Hydropower Project, the Standard Gauge Railway and various road projects.
During the meeting, Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, informed President Magufuli that the initial preparations for Stieglers Gorge project were moving full throttle and that the first tender for the mega-project would be floated on August 30, this year.
Dr Magufuli has meanwhile revealed that funds for construction of the 2,100MW project had been secured.