PRESIDENT John Magufuli has directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning to immediately stop deducting allowances of soldiers living in Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) houses.
He also directed Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) to float a tender immediately for the construction of an18 kilometer road towards the National Defence Headquarters at Kikombo area in Chamwino District.
The President issued the directives immediately after laying a foundation stone for the construction of the country’s defence headquarters where he provided 10bn/- so that the project kicks off immediately.
He issued the directives following requests by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Venance Mabeyo, who requested for non deduction of allowances and upgrading of the said road to tarmac level.
The Head of State further directed the minister of Finance and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry to refrain from deducting allowances of soldiers who were staying in public houses to service over 1tril/- outstanding debt for the construction of over 6,000 residential houses.
“No officer should be deducted his/her allowance simply because they are staying in public houses. I have already directed the Finance minister and his Permanent Secretary to start servicing that loan and we will start by paying US Dollars 25 million,’’ he noted.
“As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, I am directing the TANROADS Regional Manager and the agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to announce the tender for upgrading this road next week,’’ he said.
He said the construction of the road should be done through design and construct method instead of delaying the project through carrying out a feasibility and detail design before the construction kicks off. “In order to have easy access to the National Defence Headquarters, the construction of this road must be treated as an emergency, and this can only be achieved through design and construct method,’’ he added.
Establishing a base for the project to have the National Defence Headquarters, according to the CDF, was initially set to be in Dar es Salaam but after the Fifth Phase Government decided to relocate the country’s capital to Dodoma, Dr Magufuli directed that it be constructed in Dodoma.
After a feasibility study and thorough assessment, the army decided that the headquarters be at Kikombo area which meets all standards and this area is a ground of tactical importance.
“This ground is the best and it is indeed a ground which needs to be dominated by the army,’’ he said. According to him, the government of China through the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) agreed to help the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) in the construction of modern facilities at the National Defence Headquarters.
“Already they have confirmed to offer 300million yuan and pledged to help us in setting up this base,’’ he said, adding that TPDF had similarly spent 2.5bn/- out of 5bn/- that was provided by Dr Magufuli for setting up important infrastructure at the project site which includes roads, water and electricity.
Dr Magufuli however was quick to point out that the project would continue, giving General Mabeyo 10bn/- so that construction kicks off.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister for Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, said in order to pave the way for the construction of the National Defence Headquarters, about 1,509 area residents would be paid compensation amounting to 3.39bn/-.
Yesterday, Dr Magufuli directed Dodoma regional authorities to start paying compensation from December 1, 2019.