‘President’s Office, VPO civil servants leaving Dar soon’

07Nov 2019
Getrude Mbago
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
‘President’s Office, VPO civil servants leaving Dar soon’

PREPARATIONS are being finalised to embark on the last phase of the total relocation of ministerial head offices to Dodoma ahead of the stated deadline in June 2020.

Dr Hassan Abbas

Government spokesman and Director General  of Information Services Dr Hassan Abbas said   yesterday in Dar es Salaam while responding to journalists’ questions on achievements of the fifth-phase government in the past four years.

He said that five phases had already been accomplished with more than 9,000 public servants (90 percent of total) having been relocated to Dodoma.

The sixth and last phase will start soon, involving officials in th office of the President and Vice President.

At present contractors are putting final touches for completion of key infrastructures to accommodate public officers from the two departments. “However we have seen Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan already moving to the capital city,” he said.

He said that the exercise commenced in September 2016 and had seen ministers, permanent secretaries and their deputies relocating to Dodoma.

“The exercise has also seen public servants from different agencies, authorities and departments moving to Dodoma...however, those in some key authorities like Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and some others will remain here as most of their activities are based in Dar es Salaam,” he affirmed.

The government has continued to invest in various areas including health and education sectors while increasing budgets and hiring more civil servants to improve service delivery.

“We have invested in modern equipment in our public hospitals to address various diseases including kidney, cancer, heart and hepatitis, which serves local patients and others from neighbouring countries,” he said.

The idea of shifting Tanzania’s capital to Dodoma was hatched 46 years ago by founding president Julius Nyerere, but the arrangement was not implemented due to various reasons.

In 2016, President John Magufuli announced that he will ensure that the government moved to the centrally located capital from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam before the end of his first five-year term, late 2020.

Commenting on other achievements, Dr Abbas said that the government plans to buy a third Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, to further boost its fleet to 12 aircraft by the year 2020.

He said that the government’s decision is meant to enable Air Tanzania increase its fleet and spread its wings internationally.

By the end of this year, the airline which operates aircrafts leased by the Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA), expects to start flying to Guangzhou (China) and Bangkok (Thailand).

Dr Abbas said that payment processing is ongoing for another two Airbus A220-300s and one Bombardier Dash 8 Q 400.

“All these are government initiatives to revive the national airline,” he declared.

Responding to claims that refugees are being pressured to return to their home countries, Dr Abbas assured the general public that the exercise is voluntary and no one is being forced to return home.

“The ongoing refugees’ repatriation exercise in our camps is fair and voluntary, so if there is anyone who has been issued with a compulsory notice to go home can report to the government,” he stated.

In the past four years over 1600 water projects have been implemented, he said, expecting the service to reach 85 percent of the rural population by 2020.

“Currently, the government has reached 65 percent of the rural population with  clean water services...in urban areas 95 percent of the population has access to clean water,” he said.

He also said that the government has done a good job in fighting corruption, bureaucracy in public offices, increasing revenue collection and strengthening tax collection education among the people.

He highlighted that the restoration of discipline among public servants has resulted in increased efficiency and reliability in service delivery.

The government spokesperson referred to impressive achievements in controlling government expenditure and ensuring value for money in state-funded projects.

The construction of the Standard Gauge railway (SGR) section between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro will be completed early next year and the government has already ordered train wagons to serve the country’s first ultra-modern railway line, the spokesman added.

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