PM scold officials misusing project funds

MARA: PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has condemned officials in the District Councils who misuse project funds for their own use, contrary to the planned objectives.

Premier Majaliwa issued a warning yesterday while addressing councillors and officials of Butiama District Council during a meeting held at the council hall, as part of his official visit to Mara Region.

“This behaviour is continuously spreading. They are sabotaging the Head of State who tirelessly seeks development funds day and night. They are also sabotaging the Council and the people of Butiama District because these funds come from their taxes,” said Mr Majaliwa.

Mr Majaliwa explained that when these government officials engage in the practice of restricting and misusing public funds, they employ methods that cannot be detected by the Minister of State in the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government (PO- RALG), the Permanent Secretary, councillors, or department heads.

“On June 13, 2022, the District Executive Director wrote a letter to the Treasury, informing that they would have an excess of 736m/- which they requested an approval to reallocate. However, before they were granted the approval, the Director in question had already reallocated the funds. By the time he requested the approval, the treasury had already issued an additional 150m/-, making a total of 886m/- and he reallocated all of it,” said Mr Majaliwa.

He further directed that according to procedure, every time funds are disbursed from the central government, the Council Treasurer is supposed to inform the District Executive Director, the Council Chairperson and the relevant department heads.

“All funds come with specific instructions, whether it is for the construction of the District Commissioner’s office, roads, or health centres. But when these funds arrived, the councillors were not informed, the Chairperson was not informed, and no department head was aware,” said Mr Majaliwa.

Furthermore, Premier Majaliwa ordered the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) in the region to investigate and take legal action against those involved.

“PCCB Regional Commander, conduct a thorough investigation, and if necessary, even go after the former director. We want to know who is responsible for all of this, and once it is complete, take them to court,” Mr Majaliwa noted.

The Prime Minster is continuing with his working visit to the Serengeti District from Butiama but before that, he visited Bunda Urban District on Monday where he inaugurated the Misisi-Zanzibar water project located at Sazira ward, which has cost 733m/-.

The project has been serving a population of 152,708 residents in Bunda Urban from January this year.
Chief Executive Officer of the Bunda Urban Water and Sanitation Authority (BUWSSA), Ms Esther Gilyoma, detailed about the project, stating that it was a result of completion of the construction of a water treatment and purification facility at Nyabehu.

“This project is part of the expansion of water supply network to reach a larger number of citizens,” said Ms Gilyoma.

She mentioned that the construction work included a water tank with a capacity of 100,000 litres, serving the neighbourhoods of Nyasura ‘B’, Zanzibar and Misisi in Bunda town.

Addressing the issue of land relocation to Nyatwali residents for making a way for wildlife conservation and animal migration, Mr Majaliwa disclosed that the government is in the final stages of completing the payment process.

“I kindly request you to remain calm. The assessment has already been conducted, and now the government is finalising the verification procedures in order to make payments to all citizens,” Said Mr Majaliwa.

He mentioned that there have been challenges in some areas where citizens were supposed to receive compensation, as some individuals have been dishonest by providing inaccurate information, while others have raised objections to the payment process.

Meanwhile, Premier Majaliwa has directed Mara Regional Police Commander, ACP Salum Morcase, to arrest the Head of Finance and Accounting Unit of Serengeti District Council, Mr Saad Mutunzi Ishabailu, for the offense of transferring 213,748,085 in four phases through internal transfers in collaboration with President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local government employees and using the money for their personal use

“Arrest that man now and take him to the police. He should be prosecuted in court. The Director for Public Prosecution should be informed to open a case file. We have already taken his colleagues to court because we found out that they were involved in similar theft at the Kigoma Municipality last year,” he said.

Majaliwa issued the directives yesterday while addressing councilors and employees of Serengeti
District Council at a meeting held at the Council in Mara Region.

The Premier arrived at the decision after explaining to the employees and councilors the methods used by a few employees of some councils who were collaborating with three employees of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) unit to steal public funds.

Giving an example of the methods used by these few people, the Prime Minister told the employees of the Council and the Councilors that on June 10, last year, they used the opportunity to request approval for arrears funds through a letter signed by the Acting Executive Director, Mr Chatta Luleka, which was addressed to the Treasury.

“By June 30, they had finished using the money and there was 9m/- left, but since they had already written a letter requesting approval, the money was also transferred and deposited into the council’s account on June 19, 2023, and the only one who knew about it was Mr Ishabailu. He did not inform the Director, the Chairman or the heads of department,” Majaliwa detailed.

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