President Samia orders probe on shoddy projects

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has ordered the anti-corruption agencies in both Mainland and Zanzibar to probe flaws in development projects as indicated in the 2022 Uhuru Torch Race report.

The Head of State directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and  Zanzibar Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA), in Mainland and Zanzibar, respectively, to bring those responsible to task.

This year, Uhuru Torch inspected, launched and laid foundation stones to 1,293 projects worth 650.8bn/- 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.

The projects in question are in various sectors such as finance, investment, water, education, health, infrastructure, agriculture, industries, investment, fishing and livestock keeping.

More so, the 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 will be implicated in their findings face legal actions.

Speaking during the climax of this year’s Uhuru Torch race at Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba municipality, Kagera region yesterday, President Samia expressed the government’s determination in fighting corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

This is part of the efforts to enhance good governance, effective implementation of development projects, in a move to ensure attainment of sustainable development.

“We have to continue taking bold measures in fighting corruption and ensuring value for money in all development projects that are being implemented. I am asking PCCB and ZAECA to work on all projects that weren’t inaugurated during the race for various reasons,” she ordered.

President Samia also expressed concern about the presence of civil servants who are unable to supervise development projects in their areas of administration.

“It is disappointing to learn that the weaknesses in the projects weren’t spotted by the civil servants and leaders in the respective councils until the arrival of the Uhuru Torch Race,” she said, calling on government leaders to ensure they supervise all the projects and ensure value for money.

According to her, it’s high time all members of the civil service worked in line with the rules, laws, and guidelines to ensure the country attains the desired goals.

“We have to maintain the status that the country has attained in the recent report of the transparency international law issued in January 2022 that shows Tanzania is among the best countries in Africa in fighting corruption,” she noted.

In another development, President Samia spoke of the initiatives that the government has taken to ensure availability of sufficient food in the country.

She said the government’s decision to increase the budget for the agriculture sector stands as an evidence of its initiative to ensure sufficient food stock throughout the year.

The budget increase in agriculture is also meant for fertiliser subsidisation, implementing irrigation schemes and conducting research on modern seeds that guarantee huge harvests,” she explained.

In 2022/23 financial year, the government increased agriculture budget to 954bn/- from 294bn/- allocated in the previous financial year.

The Head of State also reminded Tanzanian youths to avoid engaging in risky behaviours in order to stay safe from drugs addiction and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS.

According to her, drug addictions have a negative impact on the country’s economy as the government ends up losing huge amounts of money and human resources that could be used in productive activities.

Earlier the 2022 Uhuru Torch race leader, Mr Sahili Geraruma, hailed the implementation of water projects in the country, resulting in reliable water supply in rural and urban areas.

He also called for adherence to rules, civil engineering construction principles, including observing value for money in every project implemented.

 

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