PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan at State House-Chamwino in Dodoma, yesterday led swearing in of new Regional Administrative Secretaries (RAS) and Police Officers, among others with a strong call that ‘you go and serve the citizens, not otherwise.’
Her statement was clear and to the point that as public leaders, they are expected to address problems (like land disputes), which bother the people in their areas of work, and see into that government projects are implemented to the expectations of the general public.
The Head of State again made it clear to them again, including their Regional Commissioners (RCs) that they are the government eyes in the regions and appointed on merit, not on gender, political connection basis, adding that they will be answerable to any mismanagement and abuse of office.
This should be reemphasised that RCs and RAS fall in the group of leaders, who play a pivotal role in the country’s governance. They are simply considered to be the representatives of the president in their areas of administration.
They are responsible for addressing common problems ranging from solving disputes be it on land, squabbles in public offices to preaching peace and patriotism.
It is good that President Samia did not mince words, but reminded them not to behave as demigods or Biblical Ahab and Jezebel to terrorise, rob and fleece the vulnerable people in the areas, because they represent the government. They should be God-fearing people, easily accessible and listen to the problems of Tanzanians at the grassroots, who can not afford fare to Dar es Salaam or Dodoma to come and air their genuine problems.
In recent years, some regional commissioners have found themselves at loggerheads with their fellow public leaders due to their failure to discharge their responsibility in accordance with the laws, principles, guidelines, and regulations.
Since leadership means showing the way, we expect RCs and other public leaders to serve the public in their areas with diligence, because the whole country (read world, because of modern social media) is watching.
Why shame the President and government with personal greed for money and excess power that corrupts? In that sense, we don’t expect to see any regional commissioner, regional administrative secretary, district commissioner, or police head becoming the source of conflicts, instead we want to see them spearheading the country’s development agenda.
They should understand that at regional level the buck stops with them.