PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has ordered major changes at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA), for the docket to effectively play its role in national development. He equally instructed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Mr Dotto James to transfer EPZA’s two senior officers in a grand move to ensure positive results.
The officers to be transferred are the authority’s Head of Legal Unit Sara Mwaipopo and the Manager for Empowerment Grace Lemunge, with the Premier saying the duo have failed to meet their set job targets.
Mr Majaliwa made the directives yesterday when he visited the EPZA Head Office where he expressed his dissatisfaction over the performance of the authority
“I am not pleased with the rate of investment and it’s a result of the bureaucracy found here at EPZA…I want the staff here to change. “About 18 companies applied to invest here but have been rejected due to bureaucracy. Out of the 18 companies that applied for investment licences in the area, only five companies were granted the licences, the rest appeared to be unqualified…many restrictions are just bureaucracy,” said Mr Majaliwa.
The Premier went on to reveal that companies which requested for licences since 2018 received the feedback recently and their requests were rejected. According to him, the government has invested a lot of money in the area, urging the officials to work hard to meet the intended investment goal.
Besides, the PM inquired about a probe which will bring to book people who were responsible for vandalising some of the devices, including a large air condition and electricity sockets in one of the buildings at the establishment. Mr Majaliwa gave the orders after entering one of the buildings and discovered that the devices were un-plucked from their positions.
“Serious measures should be taken against the people who are responsible for vandalising the building. People carry out their duties while upholding integrity…President Samia wants to see people executing their duties in further boosting investment in the country. We want to see things going smoothly for the country to excel in development,” he noted.
He wondered how a generator can be stolen and moved out of the premises without being noticed. He observed that it was clear that someone from within is responsible and not a person from outside.
The Premier directed the Director to follow up on the issue. Inline to EPZA, the PM also visited Tooku Garments Factory which is responsible for production of jeans which are exported in the USA and Somani grain factory.
Also, Mr Majaliwa visited Pia, Africab factory, the producers of transformers and electric cables located at Kiwalani area, applauding them for their major investment in boosting the energy sector of the country.