A heated debate recurred yesterday in the National Assembly as members of Parliament called for the sacking of Tanzania Bureau of Standards Director General Charles Ekelege for claims that he has shown weakness in running the bureau, giving rise to mushrooming of counterfeit products in the country.
In her supplementary question, Magdalena Sakaya (Special Seats –CUF) said the director general had shown inconsistencies in running the TBS.
She said since the board had been changed, it was only proper that even the DG was sacked.
But the proposal was opposed by Minister for industries and Trade Dr Cyril Chami who intervened to defend the DG, saying TBS was not the major cause of counterfeit products in the country since the bureau had done a lot to fight them.
“We have been saying here that TBS has a lot of big challenges, including managing the largest country’s boundary which is porous,” he said.
Dr Chami said it was not proper to sack the TBS director general when a report by the Controller and Auditor General was yet to be tabled.
“We shall be prejudging him when we have not heard about what the CAG report says about him,” said the minister.
In his supplementary question, Haroub Mohamed Shamis (Chonga-CUF) wanted to know if the CAG had done his part, why the government was not taking action against the culprit.
In his basic question, the MP had wanted to know the government’s stand on the TBS scandal after two parliamentary committees, the Public Organizations Accounts Committee (POAC) and the Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) established forgery on the bureau's reports on fake companies which were said to be inspecting vehicles before they are imported into the country.
Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Lazaro Nyalandu said his ministry had received the accusations from the two parliamentary committees that TBS had forged the report.
He said the committees instructed the ministry to forward the audit report on vehicle inspection to the CAG.
“We have done so as directed and the CAG had done his part. As I am saying this the CAG has presented the report to the ministry and we are working on it,” he said.
Nyalandu said the government had already formed a new board of directors of the bureau in order to supervise it.