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Will Tanzanian MPs vote of no-confidence cure corruption?

And then we all join the chorus singing, we are the people, of Tanzania, we are the ones who refuse to accept more corruption. There is a choice we are making, if we fire all mafisadi, it’s true we’ll make a better Bongoland, just you and me. Truly this song will become number one hit in 2012.

Yeah man, everybody is fed up with corrupt officials eating the largest pieces of the national cake like it belongs to them only year after year. Many Tanzanians and possibly development partners too are tired of hearing the same litany of sins by public officials. Mounting evidence of significant misuse of public monies and no action taken.

Every year, the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) conducts audits in selected institutions and presents his report to parliament. The latest report created so much heat in the august house Bunge house may literally go up in smoke. The findings of the CAG resembled those of three watchdog committees of parliament on public finances.

In their routine visits to ministries, regions/districts and to public corporations, parliamentary committees for local government, public
corporations and ministries found evidence of widespread misuse of state funds and an apparent disregard for rules and regulations on public procurement and financial transactions. Many MPs did not mince words.

They called a spade a spade and named names. Spearheaded by the somewhat smaller size fire breathing legislator from Kigoma, MPs have vowed to collect enough signatures to carry a motion of no-confidence in government, technicalities of minimum notice period and minimum signatures notwithstanding.

Who said size matters? In parliament it is substance rather than size is the standard of measure. By the time you read this, something will have happened. On Friday 20th April, the international free ganja day, parliament voted to continue the debate through Saturday and possibly Monday on the CAG report for 2010-11 and reports of the three oversight committees.

CCM MPs may not wish to wait till the last day of the current session of parliament to bear the humiliation of knowing the last thing MPs will go home with on Monday 23rd April will be an impending vote of no-confidence on their leader in parliament when Bunge meets again in June.

The government may dig its own grave if it allows the time between now and the next budget session in two months time to be dominated by public discussion on how rotten its administrative eggs are. As they say in Kiswahili, one rotten fish is bound to make all other fish in a basket rot. How effective will government ministers be in defending their ministerial budgets come June budget session when some have been named as captains of the more corrupt ships?

Some fearless MPs will have a field day. In that June session MPs will roast some ministers alive for their inability to deliver essential services as per approved budget while millions of shillings went missing or were used for purposes that parliament did not authorise in 2011. For w while the floor of parliament resembled a bit the proceedings of a famous church in Nigeria called the synagogue church of all nations.

After rousing sermon by the prophet or his wise men, the preacher leads the congregation to cast demons, poor finances, marital problems and every contra spirit out of their lives. Some MPs took a leaf out of SCOAN book and seemed to say, any minister not delivering medicines to Tanzanians in need, OUT.

Any DEDs who are still alive but spent taxpayer money to build invisible roads must go out with the chief of regional administration and local government. Any mini or maxi-star who leads a ministry that delivers ghost medicines while real medicines expire in medical stores and occupy warehouse space at great expense to the public must go, and we the public would reply OUT!

Didn’t medics recently become out of stock in hospitals in part because medicines and medical supplies were in short supply? Any demonic individuals- the only ones capable of - paying dead workers monthly salaries for work being done in the afterlife must also vamoose eternally from government employment.

Can an Open University pay salaries to ghost lecturers? Next thing we may hear is it is closed but issuing ghost degrees. Honourable Mrema is saying he cannot sit idly by while the wealth – call it cheese cake - of this ‘inji’ is eaten away by the cleverest amongst the people.

What would you say if you heard that the treasury sent 700 million/- to Kilimanjaro and only 300 million/- were received? Maybe our treasury uses homing pigeons and some were shot down on the way to Moshi. Had we spent all the 11 trillion/- and 13 trillion /- in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial years respectively on recurrent and development activities according to what was approved by parliament, the lives of ordinary Tanzanians would have started to be better.

Honourable Zitto is placing a heavy stone on the neck of the PM, perhaps in the hope that by so doing, parliament will force top managers to act decisively now to remove lower managers and supervisors who have failed to prevent misuse of public resources in their ministries, departments or corporations.

In any other country a manager is accountable even if he was not criminally responsible or did nothing wrong personally. In Tanzanians the culture of taking responsibility for things that go wrong while in charge exists mostly in theory. Will the threat of no-confidence vote bring accountability to the public sector? Only time will tell.

tnaleo@hotmail.com; cell 0755-246136

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Author: TONY ZAKARIA

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