As JPM prepares to move to Dodoma, who’s being left behind…?

19Dec 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
DODOMA
Financial Times
As JPM prepares to move to Dodoma, who’s being left behind…?
  • According to the chief government spokesperson and director of the Tanzania Information Services, Dr Hassan Abbasi, all ministries and important supporting entities are now based in Dodoma

GOVERNMENT ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are rushing to beat President John Magufuli in the move to shift to Dodoma, the new seat of government.

President Magufuli shakes hands with Dodoma Regional Commissioner Dr Binilith Mahenge. File photo

According to the initial timetable, the shift to Dodoma was expected to climax in 2019 with the president scheduled to be the last to move. But now he has announced that he will be shifting his base to the new capital before 2019.

And with only two weeks to the new year, government entities which haven’t made the move yet now appear to be struggling to complete it before the president.

The latest state organ to transfer its base to Dodoma was the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) on December 3. Speaking to company workers on the first day of head office operations in Dodoma, TANESCO managing director Dr Tito Mwinuka said the move would in no way affect the quality of services that the power utility firm is supposed to render to the public.

“We will also make sure that the working environment for staffers at the new office is improved as a way of uplifting their morale and improving overall efficiency,” he stated.    

The chief government spokesperson and director of the Tanzania Information Services, Dr Hassan Abbasi, said as far as official records are concerned, all ministries and important supporting entities are now based in Dodoma.

“As I speak now, the government operates from Dodoma. The only office which is yet to shift to Dodoma is the President’s Office, and you heard him yourself only a few days ago what his plans are,” Dr Abbasi said.

He noted that all MDAs have been shifting to Dodoma in accordance with their own schedules, stressing that “at the end of the day, all MDAs are supposed to move to Dodoma… nothing has changed about that.”

Construction

While state entities still based in Dar es Salaam continue to rush to move to Dodoma, those that have already completed the move are now concentrating on constructing their new offices.

The Ihuma area on the outskirts of the new capital, earmarked to become the hub for most government activity, is currently a beehive of activity as ministry officials apply pressure on contractors to complete the office building projects as quickly as possible.

The Minister for Constitutional Affairs and Justice, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, recently conducted an inspecting tour of the site where the ministry’s headquarters are being put up.

He reiterated to the contractor on the need to make sure the work is finished within the specified timeframe.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, was also last week seen at the site where SUMA JKT engineers are handling the construction of the ministry’s headquarters.

Civil servants who have shifted to Dodoma are also in the midst of erecting their own individual residential houses there, while some privately-owned entities have also opened offices in the new capital in a bid to expand their activities.

Although no embassy or international organization has yet to make a firm commitment to move to Dodoma, some - such as the German embassy - have opened offices there.

Sweeping changes across Dodoma

All this activity has completely changed the once sleepy municipality which has become a social and economic busy-pot since being promoted to city status last year.

The then Dodoma municipal trade officer, Zelda Matowo, was quoted by the media as saying that between January and June last year, her office had issued at least 7,658 new trade licences compared to 4,584 licences offered during the same period a year before.