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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

PAC warns PMO on disaster costs

23rd May 2012
PAC Chairman, John Cheyo

The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has called for better coordination of the activities under the Prime Minister’s Office to spare the government unnecessary costs.
PAC Chairman, John Cheyo made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam when the committee visited victims of the Mbagala bomb blasts.

He said the Disaster Management Department in the Premier’s office should closely monitor the ongoing plots distribution so that houses are built according to the city’s master plan to minimise negative impact in case of disasters.

Cheyo said the government is responsible for ensuring precautionary measures are taken against disasters likely to make it spend money. He stressed that poor coordination is a serious weakness which can lead to the government spending a lot of money in compensations.

He said there should be accountability in allocating funds raised for the blast victims because sometimes the purchases don’t reflect value for money.

He also directed the PMO to prepare proper records showing the amount of money raised for the bomb blast victims and how it was spent. Cheyo called on the victims who haven’t collected their cheques from the PM’s Office to do so immediately.

Earlier Peniel Lyimo who is the Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office said there are still some victims who have not been paid, adding: “We still need 2.5bn/- to pay some victims…we are waiting for the Treasury to provide us with the funds.”

Lyimo also blamed municipal councils for failure to supervise distribution of plots and construction of houses.

He said the municipal councils have been providing plots haphazardly, forcing the government to spend a lot of money in compensation when implementing development projects.

Lyimo said his office plans to embark on a programme to educate Tanzanians how to avoid disasters since most of them ignore such information.

Interviewed, some of the victims blamed the PMO over poor coordination especially during payments. They said some victims were overpaid to the tune of 40,000,000/- while others were under paid.

Committee members promised to take the matter to the National Assembly next month to ensure that enough funds are set aside to pay the victims of the bomb blasts at Mbagala and Gongolamboto and those of Dar es Salaam and Kilombero floods still residing in temporary camps.

In April, 2009 bombs exploded at the ammunition dump at Mbagala Kuu in Dar es Salaam killing over 20 people and seriously injuring 150 others.

The then Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner William Lukuvi said 9,259 victims were eligible for compensation.

He said a total of 8.5bn/- was set aside for the purpose, adding that 2.2bn/- was for 235 victims whose houses were flattened, 4.6bn/- for 8,970 whose buildings need minor repairs and 906m/- for those whose houses were seriously affected and 52.1m/- to those who lost properties in the blasts.

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