Works Minister Dr John Magufuli has directed Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) to notify people who bought government houses that they will lose them unless they settle any arrears within seven days.
The minister gave the directive over the weekend when addressing staff from different departments and agencies in his ministry including TBA, Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and the Construction Department.
He said in Morogoro region only 54 percent of the people who bought the houses are current in their payments.
He said TBA has failed to achieve its target of building 10,000 new houses for public servants, and that it has so far constructed only 1,043. Only one house has been built in Morogoro region, specifically in Mvomero district.
“The government decided to sell the houses so that it could get money to build new houses, but some of the people who bought them have breached their contractual obligations, affecting TBA plans,” he said, stressing: “This directive is countrywide. You should write to them and they should settle their debt within seven days failure of which the houses will be taken away from them.”
The minister also said he would communicate with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau and police in order to get investigators who will be involved in identifying people taking bribes at weighbridges so that legal action can be taken against them.
He expressed dismay at the continuing practice by some transporters to carry more weight than was authorised. He also wondered why the money obtained from fines was so little.
“For example this year only 3bn/- was obtained from fines for overloading. This amount is small compared to the budget set aside for running these weighbridges per year. For this year alone, the government has set aside a total of 4bn/-,” said Magufuli.
Regarding the ministry’s workers who complained of lack of opportunities to progress in their careers, the Minister advised them to go for self-improvement, saying refresher courses are okay.
“Do you want the money set aside for construction of roads to be spent on your education? No way, the funds for the Tanzania National Roads Agency are there for road construction and rehabilitation. We want competent people and are ready to pay you well for that. Strengthen Tanroads and you will have opportunities to develop further," stressed Magufuli.
Speaking during the meeting, some ministry workers, including the Kihonda weighbridge requested the government to review the policies and laws applied in supervising weighbridges in order to root out all shortcomings, especially during fine charging.
For his part, the chairman of the Tanzania Roads Board, Dr David Wanyancha, promised to deal with executives who would be found to engage in misappropriation of government money set aside for roads, saying the goal now is to ensure that all the money is channeled down to the council level to meet set targets.
For his part, the TBA boss, Elius Mwakalinga, promised to ensure that the target of constructing 10,000 houses is reached.