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PM: Cabinet shake-up wake-up call for irresponsibility

12th May 2012
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Premier Mizengo Pinda lights the Uhuru Torch during the launching of itís annual Uhuru torch-race at Sokoine football stadium in Mbeya yesterday. (Photo; PMO)

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has declared that recent changes in the cabinet will instill a new culture in the use of public funds and boost accountability in the government.

Premier Pinda made the observation at a colourful ceremony to light the Uhuru Torch, which was held at Sokoine Memorial Stadium here yesterday.

He said what is now required is for the people in all walks of life to cooperate with government authorities whenever they see that there is something that is not going right, to report and expose those concerned early enough so that disciplinary action can be restored among public sector executives.

The premier’s statement comes hardly a week after President Jakaya Kikwete made changes to the cabinet line-up by dropping six ministers and two deputies.

Some sections of the public now demand that the dropped ministers be charged with offences relating to the mismanagement of the country’s economy, although they don’t cite any criminal acts the ministers may have committed for which they should be charged.

However, moments before announcing the cabinet line-up President Kikwete made it clear that some of the ministers were dropped under the principle of political accountability.

“Let us not wait until those who fail to properly supervise the use of public funds continue in the same habit; we should recognize that early and expose them promptly so as to restore discipline and accountability in public administration,” the premier told the gathering.

Premier Pinda also used the torch-lighting ceremony to kick-start preparations for the national census to appeal to the people to come out in force to be counted on August 26. He said the census aimed at obtaining in-depth statistics relating to economic and social conditions as well as housing sector development.

The premier also used the occasion to appeal to the people to come out and express their view on the new constitution to the national commission, which views will be used in drawing up a new constitution. He said the commission was currently drawing up a timetable for touring the regions, adding that when the timetable is ready all the regions will be informed so they start making important preparations.

The Uhuru Torch race started in Mbeya region with the motto, ‘Census is the basis for our development plans; get yourself to be counted on August 26 2012.’

At the same time, the prime minister has directed Consolidated Holdings Corporation (CHC) to ensure that two meat packing factories, one in Mbeya and another in Shinyanga, get investors before the end of this year. The premier issued the directive when he arrived in Mbeya to inspect a meat packing factory which has been neglected since 1978.

“Use every trick in the book to ensure that, come December, this year, you should have found someone to restart this factory as well as the one in Shinyanga so they are reactivated,” he stated.

He said crop processing factories were build to help small farmers, but it was saddening to note that the factories were not being handled with a sense of priority, which contributed to failure to locate markets for crops produced by small farmers.

The premier said from now on crop processing industries should be given priority so that ordinary people benefit through adding value to peasants’ crops.

Earlier, reading a report about the factory, Tanganyika Packers administrator Joseph Mapunda said the building of the factory started in 1975 and was supposed to be completed in,1985, but fell into a state of neglect following the start of the war with Idi Amin, after which its development capacity suffered for a long time.

At that time the building of the factory was about 86 per cent complete, with the required factory equipment having been bought and delivered at site. Some of the equipment was already installed at the factory while four others are even now stored in a safe place waiting to be installed so as to complete the factory.

He said CHC had twice advertised a tender to get an investor for the factory but no one came up, and was now preparing to make a third advertisement.  He said about 4bn/- would be required to complete the revival of the factory, adding that a request would be made to the government for financing in case the third advertisement did not bear fruit.

He said  CHC intends to appeal to the government to finish the construction of the factory and then its shares be sold to various stakeholders such as district councils, cooperative societies and financial institutions so that the factory can start operating.

Mapunda said that when the factory is completed it will be able to handle 250 cattle for slaughter daily, provide employment for about 2000 people as well as provide a ready market for cattle among the residents in the Southern Highlands zone.

Premier Pinda inspected various sections of the factory, seeing for himself factory equipment which had already been installed. He was also briefed on how they work.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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