Workers union throws weight behind govt on corruption war

02May 2016
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Workers union throws weight behind govt on corruption war

THE Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) yesterday supported the government’s efforts to restore discipline among public servants, saying it could not tolerate corruption, laziness and lack of integrity among workers.

TUCTA’s Secretary General, Nicholas Mgaya

The Union said it wanted the government to remain committed in dealing with those who caused losses to the country but warned that any disciplinary measures should be taken in accordance with the law.

The Union’s position was made clear yesterday by TUCTA’s secretary general, Nicholas Mgaya, in his speech during World Labour Day which was marked here nationally.

“It is our belief that the drive for change and steps taken by the government will help build a strong foundation to deal with corruption among other vices at work places,” he noted.

Mr Mgaya noted that the new government had set a precedent that should be maintained in order to move the country to another level of development, saying the previous government had adopted a business-as-usual strategy to dealing with issues.

He said this gave room for just a few individuals within the ‘system’ to benefit from the vast natural resources, adding that Tanzania was not a poor country as it has tangible economic growth.

He added that there was a serious lack of accountability among workers in the past given that the government was not ready to hold them responsible for retrogressive acts.

The TUCTA boss reminded fellow workers that while the celebrations were used to recognize workers who died while on duty and others who sustained injuries and physical impairment, they should remember their obligation to perform their duties diligently.

He argued that workers were an important group in the world and their contributions to the building of any country could not be underestimated.

However, he took issue with the government for failing to do enough to change the lives of workers in the country, even though it bragged of economic growth every year.

“The government talks of seven per cent economic growth but there is no reflection of this on the lives of workers who are serious contributors to national development,” noted Mgaya.

Mr Mgaya also noted that the minimum wage among workers had remained low despite endless promises to improve it.

The workers’ union leader gave an example that in 2006 the government commissioned salary review but in spite of submitting its report in 2007, workers were yet to know the content of the report.

He challenged the government to come up with policies that would help harmonize salaries in both the private and public sectors.

The government should, according Mgaya, ensure timely remittance of social security fund contributions for its members. He also suggested that the government should reduce the number of pensions funds to two, each for the private and public sectors.

He said the Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) should also be given teeth to deal with pensions funds that did not work in accordance with the law.
On foreign workers in the country, TUCTA called on the government to check the influx of such employees, saying some of them were doing what Tanzanians can handle.

“ Others claim they are experts yet we have many locals who can do those jobs,” he said, adding that most foreigners were in the mining sector, hotels and domestic workers as such positions did not allow them to move around, making it difficult for them to come across government officials.

He also asked the government to ensure timely promotion of deserving workers as well as pay them promptly when they took new positions. TUCTA also called on the government to display real commitment in its plans to move to Dodoma.

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