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Works ministry riles JPM

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has promised prompt action to re-shape the badly damaged 90 kilometres section of Nangurukuru-Lindi highway.

Dr Magufuli also questioned the efficiency of the top officials in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications for failure to perform their duties effectively, leading to the damage of the road stretch.

The President declared that he would take immediate action shortly after arriving at the office, for the road to be maintained in a grand plan to avoid effects that could follow.

Dr Magufuli made the statement yesterday when he was en-route to Dar es Salaam from Lupaso village, Masasi District in Mtwara Region, where he led tens of thousands mourners for the burial of the late former President Benjamin Mkapa on Wednesday.

According to him, the road had been severely damaged and there was no plan in the ministry to restore it to its original perfect standards.

“If you look at this road, it’s like the works ministry has no minister, deputy minister, permanent secretary, chief executive officer of Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) or Lindi regional Tanroads manager,” he said.

“To be honest, this isn’t the same road that I left when I was the Minister for Works in 2015; it has been damaged severely by trucks that are overloaded with gypsums, and the ministry is quiet on this,” added the President.

He was of the view that immediate intervention was needed to restore the standard of the road, so as to avoid accident risks.

On Tuesday, Dr Magufuli flew to Mtwara Region and he was scheduled to use the same mode of transport on his return journey, but all abruptly changed his mind, opting for a road trip instead.

“I reached this decision purposely to observe the extent of damage on this road, instead of waiting to be briefed,” he said, noting that he would work on the issue immediately.

“I am sure that the minister of works will draw a plan to repair this road immediately because there is a risk of causing accidents and losing the lives of many people,” he explained.

In another development, Dr Magufuli has resolved the land conflict involving Magodani villagers, in Vikindu Ward in Mkuranga District in Coast Region and the investor, who allegedly grabbed 1,000 acres belonging to the villagers.

The investor, who was identified as Hamidu Barma is said to have grabbed the huge plot without developing it, leading to the long standing conflict from 2015.

It was explained that the grabbed plot was accommodating over 1,000 people.

Responding to complaints raised by one of the residents in the area, Dr Magufuli expressed his intention to cancel title deeds of the plot in question, instructing the local government leaders in Mkuranga District to submit proposals on the use of the newly allocated land.

He also instructed the Minister of State, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government Selemani Jafo, to visit the district so as to inspect the construction of the district hospital that is constructed at a cost of 400m/-.

The head of state, phoned Mr Jafo soon after receiving complaints from Mkuranga residents on the absence of the dispensary.

However, the outgoing Member of Parliament for Mkuranga constituency, who is also the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Mr Abdallah Ulega, said they are elevating the dispensary to district hospital level.

Mr Jafo announced that he would embark on a fact-finding mission on the issue by travelling to the district this morning.

Meanwhile, President Magufuli has appointed Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Kenani Sawala as new District Commissioner (DC) for Coast Region, effective yesterday.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the Director of Presidential Communications, Mr Gerson Msigwa, Lieutenant Colonel Sawala replaces Mr Juma Njwayo whose appointment has been revoked.

ALL is set for the launch ...

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

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