It was good for the President to explain appointments, brushing out

03Aug 2022
The Guardian
It was good for the President to explain appointments, brushing out

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan, who has time and again showcased her communication abilities, chose to tell some pointed truths at a general and even personal level after swearing in top regional administrators at the city State House early in the week.

While nothing in her remarks was exceptional, there was still a certain amount of innovation that is non-habitual, reminding appointed officers to correct their past errors and strive to do better.

There were moments where she was concerned with rivalry and turf politics, who has power over what in local projects.


The president talked about being efficient and delivering, having the wish to ease burdens that the people carry on a day to day basis, not using time partying and jockeying.

One pointed issue was overseeing revenue collection at district level and control of the use of funds, to see to it that local governments organize the use of development funds from the central government. When infighting prevails on project location it happens that at the end of the year the money returned, unused.


Part of the problem is the perennial political ‘thanksgiving’ inclination, where each project helps this or that official in his work, to gain marks either at the local level or with upper levels of the government.

While the creation of new administrative areas is meant to ease access to an array of services, like administrative and care services like health and education, long trail of ‘bad blood’ setting off parts of a region or a district on one another at times leads to their separation.

It can’t always be done but when the other criteria are basically being met, it is an easier way out.


So as the president intimated, much of the tussling has to do with personality traits – and that is why she was particular in reminding military personnel to shed their uniforms when sitting at their civilian desks. 

The president laid emphasis on the leadership rules to be followed, but given the urgency with which localities view the need for this or that service, tugs of war between MPs, district commissioners and councilors on location of development projects will persist.

But when there is a specific reminder on the president concerning that limitation, improvements are likely; those in upper levels of authority in the region know what to do, quickly.



There was also a note on institutionalization of human resource use from  the military or security forces generally to upper administrative posts especially with regional secretariats, as the president made mention of some high ranking officers being recalled to the military.

It is not difficult to see the logic of the matter, as armies in Africa need workable links with civilian administration to prevent their starting to seek own solutions to public contentions. But without the kind of history of fusion between the army as ruling party cadres since 1964 it would hardly work.


The remarks put paid to speculation about arranging teams for the next general elections, as all remarks were about efficiency and trust, realizing popular expectations.

If there was another underlying issue putting them together, it would come out. That is unavoidable as it would otherwise not make political sense to appoint people for a specific task and then shy away even from hinting at that task.


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