Transport PS out, TPA board axed

He has also revoked the appointment of the board’s chair, Professor Joseph Msambichaka, and the authority’s Director General, Mr Awadhi Massawe.
Dr Mwinjaka will be assigned other duties elsewhere, according to the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, at a well-attended press conference in Dar es Salaam, in which he also made the announcement on the fate of the other officials. The press conference follows his recent visits to the port on November 27 and December 3.
The prime minister told reporters that President Magufuli has dissolved the board and revoked appointments of the leaders on grounds of ‘very poor performance’ at the authority’s echelons of power and management’s inaction in the wake of scandals at the country’s major port. He said the PS had been axed for failure to manage the port and Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL), which are all under his docket.
The PM had visited TRL on December 3 and unearthed funds’ mismanagement to the tune of over 16.5bn/. The PM noted that during an impromptu visit to the TRL on December 3, he found out that 13.5bn/- that they had been given by the government had been mismanaged. He said they had also borrowed 3bn/- from the TIB Bank but they had used the same without following procedures.
“This money was meant to be used to improve projects at the TRL but they have used it outside procedure and investigations are still going on,” he said. At the same time, the prime minister has axed four leaders from points that permitted containers to leave the port as well as eight others who allowed the containers to subsequently leave the ICDs without following procedures.
This involved some 2,387 containers passing through the port un-procedurally and subjecting the government to lose billions of shillings in revenue. “These leaders were not in the audit report but are principal in the saga.
These are the ones who permitted containers to go to the ICDs, Mr Majaliwa pointed out. They include the revenue manager who has been moved to Mwanza, Mr Shaban Mngazija; former Director of Finance responsible for the ICDs, who was also moved to headquarters to work in the Corporate Services Section, Mr Rajab Mdoe; Deputy Director of Finance, Mr Ibin Masoud; and the Deputy Port Manager, Ms Apolonia Mosha.
The prime minister has also suspended eight ICD Managers, including Happygod Naftari, Juma Zaar, Steven Naftari Mtui, Titi Ligalwike, Lydia Prosper Kimaro, Mkango Alli, John Elisante and James Kimwomwa, who had earlier been moved to Mwanza. “Without them permitting containers to leave, those containers cannot go anywhere.
All these public servants will be under arrest and help the police to get information on the whereabouts of the containers, who own them and what they cost, said the PM. He explained that he had decided to return to the port to follow up on control measures of goods cleared without following proper channels.
“My tour passed through all steps that containers go through before being released,” Mr Majaliwa said in his briefing.
He noted that the Controller and Auditor General’s report on July 30 this year had also found out that there are many loopholes subjecting the country to lose billions of shillings.
This included 2,387 containers cleared without following procedures between March and September 2014. “These acts show that our port allows many containers to go through without paying taxes and no action is taken.
The government will not be patient with this -- seeing a small group of people sabotaging the economy of this country and benefitting just a few people. The port, if well managed, is a very important point of revenue generation and can contribute significantly to the country’s economy,” noted the PM.
On December 3, the prime minister gave only three hours to the Port Manager, Mr Habel Mhanga, to bring to his office names of public servants responsible for aiding container owners to evade taxes.
He also gave the port manager seven days to ensure that the authority changes the system they use for clearing containers, known as the billing system, and instead put one that allows e-payments. The deadline for executing the exercise is Friday, December 11.
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