President Jakaya Kikwete finally reshuffled his cabinet yesterday, leaving out six cabinet ministers and two deputy ministers, ending week-long tension that gripped the nation.
The reshuffle came following intense pressure from both the ruling party and opposition legislators, who had threatened to cast a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, if the embattled former ministers were not removed from their positions.
Those who lost the president’s confidence are minister for Finance Mustafa Mkullo, who has been replaced by a new face, Dr. William Mgimwa; William Ngeleja, whose position has been taken over by a new appointee, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, and minister for Transport, Omari Nundu, who has been replaced by Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, who has been promoted from the ministry of Works where he was a deputy minister.
Other ministers who have been shown the exit door is minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Ezekiel Maige, whose portfolio has been filled in by former deputy minister for Home Affairs Khamis Kagasheki; Industry and Trade minister Cyril Chami, who has vacated for another new appointee, Dr Abdallah Kigoda, and minister for Health and Social Welfare Haji Mponda, a position now handed over to Dr Hussein Mwinyi, immediate former minister for Defence and at one time deputy minister for Health.
President Kikwete told a news conference at the State House in Dar es Slaam yesterday that he had decided to make the changes upon receiving a report on the heated debate in the national Assembly during the April seating in Dodoma, where seven ministers were strongly accused of being irresponsible, resulting in the country losing billions of shillings through malpractices, including embezzlement and outright theft.
“I received the report on what transpired in the House in Dodoma. We have concluded that two of the accused ministers be shifted to other ministries,” he noted.
He affirmed: “We have decided that the ministers are being held responsible politically, but sometimes the ministers face such action without themselves having been involved in the misdeeds. So, we have decided that executives whose actions have resulted in the ministers vacating their posts will also be shown the door, be they chief executive officers or directors. We’ll get rid of them.”
President Kiwete also said that the government was mulling dividing the ministry of Energy and Minerals into two, but said it had concluded that it wan untimely to do so now due to budgetary constraints.
Although the head of state hinted that there was no increase in the cabinet size, by appointing Profesor Mark Mwandosya as minister without portfolio cabinet ministers are now 30 instead of the previous 29, while the number of deputy ministers is now 25 instead of the previous 21, thus bringing the entire cabinet to 55 compare to the previous 50.
Two deputy ministers who also faced the wrath of the head of state are Dr. Lucy Nkya, who was at the Health ministry, as well as Athuman Mfutakamba at the ministry of Transport.
Apart from Mwakyembe and Kagasheki’s promotions the president has also promoted Christopher Chiza from deputy to full minister at the ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, as well as Dr Fenella Mukangara, who will now head the ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports.
President Kikwete has also appointed ten new deputy ministers including Dr Seif Suleiman Rashid (Health and Social Welfare), George Simbachawene and Stephen Maselle (Energy and Minerals), January Makamba (Communication, Science and Technology), Dr Charles Tizeba (Transport), Amos Makala (Information, Youth Culture and Sports), Dr Binilith Mahenge (Water), Angela Kairuki (Constitution and Legal Affairs) and (Janeth Mbene as well as Saada Mkuya Salum (both Finance)
There are nine changes for senior ministers who have been recycled from one ministry to another. They include Georger Mkuchika, former minister for Local Government and Regional Administration, who becomes minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for Good Governance, and Celina Kombani, who now moves to the President’s Office – Civil Service Management. Kombani was minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs. Hawa Ghasia, former minister for Civil Service Management now is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of Local Government and Regional Administration.
Shamsi Vuai Nahodha becomes new minister for Defence and national Service from the ministry of Home Affairs, which will now be led by Dr. Emmanuel Nchimbi, previous minister for Information, Youth Culture and Sports, and Mathias Chikawe, new minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs.
Others involved in the changes include Professor Jumanne Maghembe, new minister for Water from the ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, whereas Professor Mark Mwandosya becomes minister without portfolio.
Deputy ministers who have been shifted are Adam Malima, who becomes new deputy for Agriculture, from Energy and Minerals; Pereira Silima, who moves to Home Affairs from Finnce, and Gregory Teu, new deputy for Industry and Trade from the ministry of Finance
Those who retained their positions are Stephene Wassira (President Office – Civil Society Relations and Co-ordiation); Samia Suluhu Hassan (Vice-President’s Office – Union Affairs); Mary Nagu (Prime Minister’s Office- Investiment and Empowerment), and William Lukuvi (Prime Minister’s Office – Policy, Co- ordination and National Assembly).
Others are Samwel Sitta (East African Cooperation); John Magufuli (Works); Dr Shukuru Kawambwa (Education and Vocational Training); Sophia Simba (Community Development, Gender and Children); Bernard Membe (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; David Mathayo David (Livestock Development and Fisheries); Gaudensia Kabaka (Labour and Employment); Prof. Makame Mbarawa (Communication, Science and Technology), and Prof. Anna Tibaijuka (Lands and Human Settlement Development).
Deputy ministers who were entirely untouched are Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa (Prime Minister’s Office – Education); Aggrey Mwanry (Prime Minister’s Office – (Local Governments and Regional Administration); Makongoro Mahanga (Labour); Mahadh Juma Maalim (Foreign Affairs); Benedict Ole Nangoro ( Livestock and Fisheries), Goodluck Ole Medeye (Lands); Ummy Mwalimu (Gender); Philo Mulugo (Education) and Abdulla Juma Abdulla (East African Cooperation).