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Pinda: Public officials not to blame for Mtwara chaos

1st February 2013
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Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has said that no one is to be blamed on the Mtwara gas saga, saying every public official played their role to rescue the situation.

Pinda gave the stance yesterday during the premier questions and answers sessions in the Parliament.

He was responding to a question raised by a leader of opposition in the house, Freeman Mbowe, who wanted to know whether the government is planning on taking legal actions on high-ranking officials in Mtwara, who in one way or another contributed to the conflict.

“At this point, we haven’t yet decided to do so, as we believe every public official in the region played their role to calm the situation…we should not reach a point of pointing fingers in this matter,” he said.

He stressed: “Mtwara and Lindi regional authorities tried their level best to calm the situation, but the main problem I have discovered is that people were not informed on the potential benefit of the project. So I don’t see a reason of punishing regional leaders over the matter.”

The PM further revealed that the Mtwara crisis was partly contributed by lack of sensitisation to local communities in the area.

He also pointed fingers at some politicians who instigated the saga for political gains.

“We have learnt that there are some people who used the crisis to scale-up their political mileages for the forthcoming general elections,” he said, urging the MPs to stick to finding a permanent solution on the matter.

He however stressed the need for effective participation of people on key issues, attributing the recent crisis to poor participation in the process.

He also told the House that the contracts that the government enters with investors will be availed to the parliament when it’s necessary.

“Contracts are not as confidential as some people think…they can be available through agreed procedures, whereby the parliament can access them through the Speaker’s office… however, they can not be available to the public as the documents have some technicalities that need to remain confidential,” the Premier stated.

Earlier, Pinda said that the situation in Mtwara has normalised as no chaos has been reported after his intervention, calling investors in various sectors to continue with their activities.

The premier briefed the House that over 50 investors have shown interest to invest in gas-related projects in the region.

He also revealed that the Mtwara chaos has caused a loss of colossal amount of money and led to destruction of private and public properties.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN