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Premier orders Mara funds use be probed

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has ordered a special audit to be conducted in the Butiama District Executive Director’s office over misapplication of funds, and that the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) regional manager be arrested and questioned for failure to execute construction of the district council’s office.

The officials to be investigated include the Butiama District Executive Director, Mr Solomon Ngiliule, as well as the district council’s accountant and procurement officer, Mr Masanja Sabuni and Mr Robert Makendo, respectivelyMr Majaliwa issued the order while addressing local councillors and staff of Butiama District Council over the weekend, noting with concern that the DED office had been diverting funds allocated by the central government for development projects to other activities, contrary to the law.

He instructed the Mara Acting Regional Administrative Secretary, Mr Raphael Nyanda, to assign auditors to conduct a special audit in the DED office while instructing the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to arrest and question the TBA Regional Manager, Eng Peter Salim.

“The officials in the DED office should be investigated over the questionable use of development funds, including 12m/- spent on preparing the district council’s profile. “There is also questionable expenditure of 70m/- and 288m/- allocated to the education sector and a water project in Butiama. The government cannot tolerate such acts.

Furnish me with a report when the audits are done,” Mr Majaliwa instructed. The Prime Minister revealed that the government dished out 600m/- to TBA in April last year, but construction work was yet to commence.

In his defence, the TBA Mara Regional Manager, Eng Salim explained that the project required 3bn/- upon completion, stating that 400m/- out of the 600m/- the government disbursed was spent on laying the project’s foundation.

Eng Salim’s explanation was vehemently opposed by Butiama District Commissioner Ms Anna-Rose Nyamubi, who informed the PM that the state-owned building agency had just “excavated some holes and erected an iron steel structure meant to be a store but nothing was being done at the site.

” At this juncture, the PM reminded the officials that the government was working around the clock to improve the working environment for its employees, including construction of offices, stressing that the government would not tolerate whoever thwarted the efforts.

After his arrival in Butiama accompanied by his wife Mama Mary Majaliwa, the Premier paid homage to the grave of the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, at Mwitongo village, where he also met and held talks with the widow of the fallen statesman, Mama Maria Nyerere.

Mr Majaliwa and his wife placed a wreath on Mwalimu’s grave and thereafter took part in a prayer session with residents, led by Chief Japheth Wanzagi of the Wazanaki tribe. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa ended his long working tour of Mara Region yesterday, urging officials to curb illegal fishing and bhang growing.

“Illegal fishing is not acceptable. Make sure that you conduct operations against the use of illegal fishing gear every day”, Mr Majaliwa directed District Commissioners of those bordering Lake Victoria.

He also wanted sustained operations for ending bhang farming in Tarime District definitively, pointing out that it tarnished the good image of the region, notably in Tarime District, where various food and cash crops were produced at impressive levels.

“Tarime is infamous for bhang farming but it is exemplary in the production of cash and food crops like maize, coffee and bananas,” remarked Mr Majaliwa, who inspected various development activities in all of the region’s districts.

He thanked Mara residents for the good reception they accorded him throughout his tour which stretched from Monday to Sunday

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