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JPM orders Tanroads relocation

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday ordered Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) to immediately relocate its offices from rented to the government owned building.

Dr Magufuli gave the agency five days to shift its operations from the rented Airtel Buildings at Morocco in Dar es Salaam to the government building.

Launching the 234.5-kilometre tarmac road from Tunduma to Sumbawanga as part of his three-day working tour of Rukwa region, the head of state also issued a 30-day ultimatum to all public institutions, which have rented offices in private buildings to relocate to public premises.

He disparaged unjustified spending of public money on rented buildings, citing Tanroads, which pays 2bn/- annually on rent. He termed the expenditure as wasteful and unacceptable.

“While other public institutions have moved to Dodoma, Tanroads still operates from rented offices in the private building… Chief Executive Officer Engineer (Patrick) Mfugale, communicate with your people at headquarters, I give you five days to shift to the government building.

“Tanroads was established since the year 2000 but TARURA (Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency), which came just few years ago has already completed its building in Dodoma,” said the president.

Dr Magufuli charged the unprecedented trend of public institutions renting offices from private establishments despite some government buildings remaining vacant is common because some parties involved have personal interest in the paid rent.

The furious president said the selfish interest in rent payment has impeded some institutions from constructing their own buildings because they reap some benefits. He warned that the trend cannot continue, ordering immediate halt of the abuses.

He insisted that the one month ultimatum remains intact and those failing to observe it should get ready for the consequences.

Earlier, Dr Magufuli had ordered Sumbawanga District Council office to shift to Laela from Sumbawanga town, arguing that the main goal behind establishment of the council was to take essential services close to the people. Laela is almost at the centre of Tunduma and Sumbawanga.

The location is 110 kilometres from Tunduma and 95 kilometres to Rukwa region’s headquarters—Sumbawanga. He questioned the logic behind the District Executive Director (DED) and his team staying in Sumbawanga while the people they are getting paid to serve live almost 100 kilometres away.

“This means wananchi have to travel 95 kilometres to access you…what is the justification of having this council and paying you salaries, then,” President Magufuli queried furiously.

He ordered immediate relocation of the council operations from Sumbawanga to Laela.

He gave all council officials one month to shift and ordered all vehicles to remain at Laela, directing the Minister of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Governments, to supervise the exercise.

“I don’t care if you will put up tents but all I want is for the office to operate from here, whoever is still interested in the job must be at Laela,” he said.

“I also don’t want to hear about issues of poor infrastructure, come and stay here, the money you will use to rent buildings will help Laela residents to generate more income,” directed Dr Magufuli.

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Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA

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