Arusha District Commissioner Gabriel Daqqaro said yesterday that the funds were to be spent on paying allowances, airtime as well as cover transport expenses for the councillors.
“We have decided to pay teachers so that they can comfortably teach our children,” said Daqqaro, noting that Arusha Regional Commissioner Mrisho Gambo made the decision after his meeting with teachers from 48 Arusha-based schools.
He said that during the meeting, RC Gumgo ordered the municipal authority to ensure that arrears for primary and secondary school teachers were paid within two weeks.
Daqqaro explained that the 154m/- was illegally authorized to be used for payment of Arusha district councillors’ allowances, transport and airtime.
He also added that the decision was made in favour of teachers, calling on citizens to ignore rumours that the decision to change the use of the funds was associated with the leader’s political ideology.
The DC noted that the fifth phase government was determined to end people’s problems, including creating a better learning environment. He said that once teachers were paid they would teach comfortably; hence improve pupils’ academic performance.
Daqqaro appealed to teachers to ensure increased academic performance for both primary and secondary school students.
Tabling budget estimates for the Ministry of Finance and Planning in the National Assembly in June, this year, the minister, Dr Philip Mpango, disclosed that the government had paid over 25bn/- as arrears for teachers in the country.
The minister revealed that in the 2014/2015 financial year teachers demanded 19,631,843,225/- but after conducting verification, the government discovered that genuine arrears totalled 5,665,772,117/-.
The minister further said that in the 2015/2016 financial year, teachers' demands were 29.8bn/-, but after the verification, genuine payments were found to amount to 20,125,578,770/-.