News From Parliament
- Published on Saturday, 28 July 2012 02:09
- Written by ALVAR MWAKYUSA in Dodoma
- Hits: 342
THE parliamentary standing committee on Industry and Trade has called for formation of a select-committee to probe alleged mismanagement at Tanzania–China Friendship Textile Mills (Urafiki) including swindling of US 27 million dollars.
Its chairman, Mr Mahmoud Mgimwa (Mufindi North-CCM), said his team had discovered gross mismanagement at the once prosperous textile mills along Morogoro Road in Dar es Salaam.
Mr Mgimwa, while presenting a report of his committee on budget estimates for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, requested the House to allow for the formation of the select-committee to investigate the matter so that it could properly advise the government on a way forward.
The government of Tanzania owns 49 per cent in the ailing firm whereas the remaining 51 shares are held by the government of China.Mr Mgimwa told the august House that the current management at Urafiki had, among other things, sold some machinery as scrap metals and leased part of the plant to car dealers.
He added that production at the plant had literally stopped while some workers had been retrenched.Shadow Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Highness Kiwia (Ilemela-CHADEMA) said the 49 shares the government owns in Urafiki warranted a close monitoring on the performance of the factory.
Presenting views of the opposition on the budget estimates for the ministry, Mr Kiwia claimed that the money which Urafiki management received as a loan under the guarantee of government from the Exim Bank of China has been used to buy used machinery instead of purchasing new ones.
In their contributions to the budget estimates, members of parliament also took issues with the management of Urafiki and called for a deliberate move to revamp the factory.Solwa MP, Ahmed Ali Salum (CCM) also supported formation of a select-committee to investigate running of the factory.
“What is happening at the factory can easily be described as sabotage, if Urafiki and other textile mills were in operation, there is no doubt that local cotton farmers would have reaped better prices for their produce,” he noted.For her part, Special Seats MP, Ms Ritha Mlaki (CCM) noted of the fact that industries remained critical for development of any country.
The former cabinet minister during the third-phase government said Tanzania can hardly take its people out of poverty without having industries in place even with all the resources it is bestowed with.
She therefore called for a comprehensive industrialization strategy,which would set pace for establishment of mother industries that would make it possible to start small-scale industries.