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I will not resign, says Nundu

I will not resign, says Nundu

Mr Nundu told a news conference here on Sunday he was innocent, but admitted that his relationship with his deputy, Mr Athuman Mfutakamba, was not good.

“Why should I resign?” the minister wondered when asked if he was ready to resign after the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure Report tabled in the House last Thursday accused him of frustrating efforts for construction of berths 13 and 14 at the Port for personal reasons.

The minister said he saw no reason why he should step down, noting that the president picked him on merit and he did not have to apply for the job. He said he accepted the post because he had a strong desire to serve his country.“My record as a public servant is good my role in the project (port expansion) is simply to safeguard the interests of my country, “said the minister who once worked at ATC (now ATCL) as Project Manager and at SADC as Head of the Civil Aviation Sector.

“A lot has been said and written about this project that is totally wrong and misleading and as a minister it is my duty to tell the public  he truth and nothing else,” said the minister. He added that it was unfortunate that he was not pulling in the same direction with his  deputy, the Tanzania Ports Authority and the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure. Mr Nundu accused his deputy of insubordination,

noting that he had been travelling abroad, without informing him (minister). He said their differences started during the tendering process for construction of the multistorey car park at the Dar es Salaam Port, a project that has been shelved. He reiterated what he told the House on Friday that the bone of contention was his challenging of the move supported by TPA and the Bunge Committee to award the project to China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCCL) at a cost of US dollars 542 million US dollars without following proper procedures.

He said other findings estimate cost of the project to be 300 million US dollars, he doubted the figure quoted by the CCCL, which conducted its own feasibility study and the Parliamentary Committee was now pressuring the government to take over US dollars 500 million loan from Exim Bank without conducting its own verification of the actual costs.

The minister said he would like to see a competitive tendering process for the project and rubbished claims that he was in favour of and protecting another Chinese firm -China Merchant Holdings (International) Co. Ltd to undertake the project. He said at least 11 investors; including banks had shown interest in the project and the government would pick the

best deal.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Infrastructure Chairman Peter Serukamba tabling the report said the minister rejected the decisions reached by TPA on the port expansion using a loan from Exim Bank of China. Mr Serukamba said the authority did its best by applying for the loan from Exim Bank for the project.

The loan attracted an interest charge of 2 per cent and was payable in 12 years. According to Mr Nundu, there are no documents to indicate how CCCCL was picked to undertake the project and called for investigations over the firm’s conduct.  When reached for comment, Mr Mfutakamba said that he travelled abroad after getting the permission from the prime minister

because his minister was not around. He also said that he normally advises the minister on procurement issues. Meanwhile, the vote of no confidence motion against the Prime Minister , Mr Mizengo Pinda, has received the required minimum backing of 70 Members of Parliament and is expected to be submitted before the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda on Monday.

The MP for Kigoma North (Chadema), Mr Zitto Kabwe, who co-ordinated the soliciting of votes, confirmed here yesterday that the motion had garnered 73 votes from legislators of all political parties, except UDP. “I m glad MPs from all political parties have shown co-operation and now we are ready to submit the motion,”said Mr Kabwe. He expressed hopes that the Speaker would convene the parliament as soon as possible to deliberate on the matter in accordance with the standing orders. This House is due for adjournment today. 

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Author: CHABY BARASA in Dodoma

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