from ALLOYCE KIMBUNGA in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
DAR-ES-SALAAM, (CAJ News) – THE suspension and arrest of a senior government and leadership changes at various government institutions beset by problems, Tanzania president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has hit the ground running, accelerating the anti-corruption crusade of his predecessor, the now-late John Magufuli.
Thrust into the office under tragic circumstances towards the end of March, the new president has acted swiftly, with Deusdedit Kakoko, Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), who incurred the wrath of the new broom sweeping clean.
Recently, Hassan suspended Kakoko in connection with graft allegations.
The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has since arrested the beleaguered government official as part of investigations into allegations of embezzlement of public funds amounting Sh3,6 billion (about US$1,55 million).
Coinciding with the arrest of Kakoko is the major shake up at some state entities including Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) where Edwin Mhede lost his job as director. Alhayo Kidata has succeeded him.
The tax collector is under fire from businesses who alleged they are overtaxed.
James Kilaba was not spared from a similar position at the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), where he has been replaced by Dr Jabir Kuwe.
Kilaba apparently paid the price for the recent public outcry after an increase in data bundle prices.
The axe also fell on William Erio at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Petroleum Development Corporation’s James Mataragio.
Hassan this past weekend also reshuffled Permanent Secretaries and other key top government positions.
The sweeping changes are reminiscent with Magufuli’s tenure, which started in 2015.
He was lauded internally for his allergy to corruption and lavish spending in the East African country.
Under-performing government workers including cabinet ministers were dismissed.
Magufuli passed away on March 17 and it remained to be seen if Hassan, East Africa’s first female head of state, would maintain the stance.
“The key economic considerations for us will be how aggressive his successor is on pushing economic reform, which President Magufuli was known for,” Rand Merchant Bank economists, Neville Mandimika and Daniel Kavishe, stated.
“It will also be interesting to see how the new administration’s relationship with the private sector, particularly the mines, develops.”
Hassan has maintained continuity.
“I will stand firm in ensuring prudent management of public resources. I will also stand firm in the fight against corruption,” she said in a live broadcast from the State House in the capital, Dodoma.
The working relations between Hassan and Magufuli were solidified when she was chosen as Magufuli’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s running mate for the 2015 elections.
They were re-elected for a second five-year term in October 2020.
– CAJ News