The newly appointed Board of Directors of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has suspended several top officials, including four operational directors, eight managers of various departments and three subordinate officials in a move to clear the way for investigations on various accusations raised against them.
The suspension follows a thorough scrutiny which was ordered by the board after an inquiry committee formed by the Minister of Transport, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe about two months ago. With the new suspensions, about 23 workers shall have been suspended since the minister started to sort out rot and decay in TPA.
The move aimed at finding out private networks secretly involved in the rampant theft and loss of properties at the port including containers disappearing in a mysterious way at the port.
The four directors are Bakari Kilo (engineering), Florence Nkya (planning), Ayub Kamili (ICT), and Maimuna Mrisho (management systems).
Announcing their suspension yesterday, minister Mwakyembe said that as the board is still going on with the investigations on misuse of the TPA properties in order to get rid of unfaithful workers, this exercise will be continuous until efficiency at the port is regained.
Before he met with port workers, the minister held a two hour closed door meeting with board members and top management officials.
The eight managers are Raymond Swai (engineering), Bahebe Machibya (procurement and energy), Theophil Kimaro (procurement), Mary Mhayaha (head of engineering) and Mathew Anthony (containers).
Others are Marcelina Mhando (ICT Manager), Owen Rwebangira (In charge of Oil Jet), Fadhili Ngorongo (Marine dept), Fortunatus Sandaria (Security Manager). Other subordinates are Mohammed Abdula (Driver) and one security guard who was identified by one name as Kilimba.
Dr. Mwakyembe was addressing workers at the port yard who gathered for hours in a meeting he had just convened which also gave the opportunity workers to air out their views and various problems affecting their daily activities and used time to deliberate on the possible ways how to avert them.
He also used the opportunity to introduce his newly appointed Board members to TPA workers whom he mentioned to them as Raphael Mollel (chairman), Julius Mamiro (deputy chairman) and others are members who are, Bakari John, Said Sauku, Jaffer Machario, Katherine Kavishe, Asha Kassim, Dr. Bakari Kuwe and Dr. Hildebrand Shayo.
The minister told port workers that it was shaming to see that a big port that serves six landlocked countries is becoming notorious with unbearable behaviors tarnishing the good name of the country. He vowed to continue fighting embezzlers until the condition is restored.
Since he started port operations, there has been a monthly increase in revenue collected at the port, from Sh. 28 billion in September to Sh. 38 billion in October, while in November the revenue is expected to reach Sh. 42 billion.
“This is still far less than the potential as the Kenyan government collects at Mombasa port asn equivalent of Sh. 300billion per month,” he queried and noted that Tanzania port revenues are down because of theft which has been rising to rampant proportions.
Recently, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) threatened to send a letter to boycott its business involvement with the TPA and in view of this, the minister said he has assured the president that he will stand firm to ensure that he disrupts and unravels all networks causing thefts and losses of containers at the port.