AFTER assessing his ministers’ performance, with some of them avoiding meeting with wananchi, President Ali Mohamed Shein, expressed his disappointment, saying that they must work hard as a team and respond to people’s complaints.
“I know you have genuine complaints, but the ministers are not here, they risk disciplinary action,” President Dr Shein said recently when he conducted a month-long country tour to inspect implementation of development programmes. Amid cheers from people waiting to hear him speak, Dr Shein said all ministers must reach out to the people at least by attending organised village meetings in order to find solutions to challenges.
He also said that ministers should take initiatives on issues raised by the electorates because it is their responsibility. Many people reacted positively about Dr Shein’s warning to the ministers who have not shown commitment to serve the people diligently, saying some ministers may need to be punished.
“The President is committed to seeing that all development projects have been implemented for the benefit of the people. I think ministers and other executives who are lazy should be fired,” said one, Mzee Omar Kombo.
The President has set targets for each ministry and state departments as he seeks to implement his government’s development programmes and Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party manifesto (2015-2020).
President Shein asked people to join him in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the programmes, particularly reflecting the ‘value for money’ scheme.
Unfinished school blocks, shortage or lack of staff and equipment in public schools and health centres, shortage of agriculture ‘Field Extensions Officers (FEO), bad feeder roads, land conflicts, and shortage of water were some of the grievances Dr Shein heard from people during his tour.
He said all the challenges can be solved if responsible leaders would work closely with people, directing each minister to take his/her role, ensuring each problem comes to end.
The Ministry of Education, for example, is tasked with ending congestions in schools; find enough teachers, as the government battles to find desks for all schools in the Islands.
The ministry is also required to ensure immoral behaviour among students and teachers, and absenteeism ends as soon as possible, and “teachers who are involved in having love affairs with students, and with bad record of absenteeism should be punished.
Judiciary, Police and Coast Guard unit (officially known as anti smuggling force- Kikosi Maalum cha Kuzuia Magendo (KMKM) were required to reduce crime in the Islands, mainly illegal export of cloves, and abuse of or violence against Children and Women. “We no longer want to hear about cloves sabotage of cloves and illegal sell and export. Abuse of children and Women should also end,” said Dr Shein who has been winning praise for being closer to people.
The Agriculture ministry is tasked with ensuring there is enough produce of farm products for Strategic Food Reserves, by having farm inputs and having enough FEOs.
The Ministry of Health has the task of ensuring services are improved in all hospitals while the Infrastructure Ministry is under strict instructions to build roads, and that the Empowerment ministry should ensure more youth secure jobs.
Before concluding his tour, President Shein, while in North Pemba Region, reminded leaders to find answers to the challenges within a short time including why the ‘Tumbe fish market’ has been abandoned for three years after being used by residents for only two months!
Dr Shein issued a twomonth ultimatum to ensure that the fish market built under ‘Marine and Coastal Environment Management Project (MACEMP)’ about more than three years ago is used. “Find solutions within two months, or bring suggestions for alternative use of the building,” Dr Shein said.
Dispute over the management of the market between authorities and residents has been widely blamed for abandonment of the fish market.
At the ‘tour closing meeting’ held at Mchangamdogo, Dr Shein also expressed his disappointment with indiscipline in schools, and absenteeism, ordering thorough inspection to identify ‘teachers doing politics in schools’ and chronic absentees so that disciplinary measures can be taken.
“Let us work together to maintain peace and stability, and be committed to developing our nation. But laziness, dishonest and other unethical behaviours at work, must end,” Dr Shein said as he directed the authorities not to spare employees with bad record.
The president lay emphasis on the protection of the national crop (cloves) by stopping illegal trade (cloves smuggling), growing, harvesting, drying and packaging following the required procedures.
“We need better farming to give quality products. Let us do the work,” the President said as he directed the Ministry of Agriculture to employ or recruit graduates from Kizimbani Institute of Agriculture, to minimize shortage of extension officers.