MANYARA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hasan’s directives on probing and taking measures against individuals involved in implementing shoddy projects identified during last year’s Uhuru Torch Race has paid off as the number of projects with shortfalls noted during this year’s race has drastically declined.
According to Uhuru Torch Race Leader Abdallah Shaibu Kaimu, a total of 1,424 projects worth 5.3tri/- were inspected this year of which seven projects worth 1.9bn/- had shortcomings.
Addressing the public on Saturday to mark the 24th anniversary of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and climax of Uhuru Torch Race at Tanzanite Kwaraa Stadium in Babati, Manyara Dr Samia said that the development recorded is a new milestone in projects’ implementation in the country.
However, the Head of State sounded a warning to officials in areas where some projects were identified with shortfalls to change or face government measures.
“We have been informed that a total of 1,424 projects worth 5.3tri/- were inspected in 185 councils in Tanzania of which seven worth 1.9bn/- almost 2bn/- were identified with shortfalls … this is a huge development. I am warning officials who still embrace business-as-usual attitude to change,” Samia insisted.
She directed respective authorities to present to the Prime Minister a report on steps taken on projects identified with shortfalls, insisting that the report should reach to her office.
“This should be our system in all the coming commemorations,” Samia said.
Presenting the Uhuru Torch Race to President Samia, Mr Kaimu said this year’s race noticed a great improvement in projects’ implementation, saying number of projects with flaws reduced significantly.
“From the total of 1,424 projects worth 5.3tri/-, only seven projects valued at 1.9 bn/- were identified to have shortcomings and they have been presented to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) for further investigations,” said Kaimu.
During last year’s Uhuru Torch Race, a total of 1,293 projects worth 650.8bn/- were inspected and had their foundation stones launched in Mainland and Zanzibar, with some of them being found with various shortfalls, including misuse of funds, corruption and mismanagement and lack of value for money.
More so, the Uhuru Torch uncovered a number of irregularities, including embezzlement of 12.8bn/- in 65 projects that were implemented in 43 councils across the country.
Due to the anomalies noted, President Samia instructed the anti-graft bureaus for Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar to act accordingly and ensure that those who would be implicated in their findings faced legal actions.
Kaimu further said during 196 days of Uhuru Torch Race around 31 regions there are a lot of achievements, changes development and improvements noted in agriculture, health, education, infrastructures, water, minerals and energy.
He added that there are improvements in the agricultural sector where many youths are now engaging themselves in the activities especially in agro-business, enabling them to employ themselves.
Kaimu said: “Youths believe that agriculture has become a solution to unemployment, the only thing they now need is proper infrastructure to practice irrigation farming, capital, modern agricultural tools and market for their crops.”
However, due to climate change, Kaimu asked the relevant authorities to educate societies on the kind of crops they should grow depending on weather in their respective areas.
This year’s Uhuru Torch Race was themed “Conserve Environment, Preserve Water Sources to Protect Ecology and Ensure Sustainable Development.”