Academicians and activists have urged the government to move swiftly to institute legal and disciplinary action against leaders involved in the Energy and Minerals PS funds collection scam.
They were reacting to the recommendations passed in the National Assembly on Saturday following the report by a House select committee which investigated the legitimacy of the decision by the Energy and Minerals Permanent Secretary David Jairo to direct ministry’s departments and agencies to contribute 50m/- each to facilitate the passing of the 2011/12 budget in Parliament.
In an interview with The Guardian, many of those interviewed said speedy action was important to control the damage to the government’s image, which they said had been caused by the disclosures in the report.
Some said the report showed that there was no proper control and use of public funds in the ministries and shared the concern voiced by the Same East MP Anne Kilango Malecela that the Permanent Secretaries were more powerful than the ministers, an anomaly they think should be corrected.
The House Committee recommendations among other things want responsible authorities to dismiss Jairo for his decision and Chief Secretary Philemon Luhanjo for defending him after the House ordered that he should be investigated.
The lawmakers had also recommended that Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja and his deputy, Adam Malima be held responsible for failing to perform their oversight duties as required.
They also recommended that Controller and Auditor General Ludovick Utouh be held accountable for his deliberate decision to mislead the public.
Speaking to The Guardian in separate interviews academicians, activists and politicians said they expected the government to institute legal and disciplinary measures against the erring officials.
University of Dar es Salaam’s Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, said strong and independent institutions were required to deal with the challenge of disciplining such government officials.
For her part, Tanzania Media Women Association executive director Ananilea Nkya said she believed that the government will take appropriate measures against the individuals involved in the scam, calling on members of the public to remain patient.
"Let us wait and see if the authorities will have taken action by the next Parliamentary session,” Nkya said.
Legal and Human Rights Centre executive director Hellen Kijo-Bisimba doubted if the government will take action as recommended by the Parliament, saying: “We activists will give ourselves time to monitor what will be going on,” Bisimba said.
Deus Kibamba of the Constitutional Platform urged the government to promptly arrest those involved in the scam, including Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja and his deputy Adam Malima, and take them to court because the report showed that they were all responsible for the scam.
“I am quite happy with the Parliamentary recommendations,” he said, disputing the view that Ngeleja and Malima were not aware of what was going on.
He said if they were not aware of the entire ‘processes’ they would not have signed for the 4m/- entertainment allowance they pocketed.
Prof Benson Bana, head of University of Dar es Salaam’s Political Science and Public Administration department said most Tanzanians have accepted what the House has recommended after discussing the parliamentary select committee report which did its work well.