Magufuli orders PSs to sign or quit now


Newly-sworn in permanent secretaries take their Integrity Pledge before President John Magufuli (not in picture) at State House in Dar es Salaam, yesterday. (Photo: Halima Kambi)
 President John Magufuli forced the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries in his government into signing integrity commitment warrant before leaving the State House yesterday, lest they quit the posts for which they had just sworn-in a moment earlier. 
 
“If there is anyone who feels he cannot work under the integrity commitment, should dismiss himself and vacate the State House premises right now,” said Magufuli on the podium immediately after swearing in the new executives.
 
 “It is possible that there are some of you who frown at the integrity  declaration. Therefore, just stand aside so that we may establish those who do not agree with the declaration,” said the President for the second time, but no PS responded despite his 30-second pause waiting for a daring new appointee.
 
It was time for Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue to shove a pen into the hands of the obviously frightened officials to sign the papers that would restrict their lifestyle into becoming squeaky clean, free from all kinds of moral and material corruption while in office. 
 
The integrity form also included requirements to be patriotic, faithful, shun corruption and embezzlement and provision of quality services for all.
Sefue told them that the question of integrity was a major concern from the public and a chronic problem among the officials, that it prompted the government into masterminding the integrity commitment drive. 
 
But the Permanent Secretaries who appeared to be equally committed to the terms, stood up one by one to raise their right hands while reading the declaration they later signed without reservations.
 
Speaking at the event shortly after the signature exercise, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that the fifth phase government was serious about controling abuse of power among public servants.
 
“We want the public leaders’ performance to be transparent and with great  integrity for positive result to benefit the nation,” he said.  
 
He said the exercise by which public officials would be required to sign the integrity forms before seating their offices was a part of the new policy that started yesterday with the new corpus of principal secretaries, but Regional Commissioners (RCs) and District Commissioners (DCs) who will be appointed in the near future, will follow suit. “We started with the Secretaries because they are the ones who will be responsible for almost everything in their jurisdictions including financial and development activities,” he said.
 
The RCs will follow because they are bound to oversee the implementation of various directives on development activities in their regions, and so are DCs in their respective districts, he said.to sign or quit now.
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