Patriotism, please, CCM counsels Mara councillors

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COUNCILLORS across Mara region have been counselled to exercise their sense of patriotism when approving financial allocations during council meetings by ensuring they restrain untrustworthy department heads who misuse their positions of public trust for individual gain.

CCM regional party chairman Samwel Kiboye told a gathering of the party’s civic and parliamentary representatives that each year the central government approves millions of funds for allocation at local council levels, but that due to weak supervision by some councillors most of such initiatives were wasted and remained incomplete at the grassroots levels.

He said the expectation of the electorate was predicated on the ability of civic representatives to represent their desired social priorities at the District council level and not only debating for monetary approval to their respective wards but also supervising the implementation of concerned projects to ensure value for money.

He called upon some councillors who tend to develop close links with some dishonest public servants to spearhead misappropriation of public funds to change their own mindset, first, then ‘refocus’ them on supervising public expenditure throughout their tenure to ensure that money allocated to various projects was spent as allocated.

"… you must keep on checking and verifying those fund allocations to ensure they’re well spent on education, health and other sectors … so that wananchi at the village will feel the value of the government in power," he counselled. He said all CCM councillors had a noble duty to prove to the electorate that their access to social services was guaranteed under President John Magufuli's dedicated leadership.

His direction comes when councillors at Butiama district council within Mara region are demanding “an explanation” from the district executive director (DED) Solomon Ngiluhile over the alleged misappropriation “of millions of development funds.”

The representatives said they were being denied access to reports by the Controller and Auditor-General (CAG) which had since revealed that some servants were ‘misappropriating’ development funds during previous fiscal year without their knowledge.

Council chairman Magina Magesa said although the district's financial committee had recently received a written explanation from the DED on the disputed transactions, the full council had a right to discuss the matter and make the resolutions and steps against anyone without fear or favour.

"We have to peruse through the whole CAG report to be certain concerning the actual figure because each councillor is raising their own and make sure to identify the loophole and concerned culprits that were concerned before debating the final resolution,” he noted.

He told the sitting that the amount in question was deducted from the development basket and diverted into other spending without approval of the people's representatives at the council.

The DED, in his response distanced himself from any wrongdoing citing the timeliness of the findings by the CAG and the actual date when he was appointed as the District Executive

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