Wednesday, December 6, 2017

TPA, TRA, Police and co’s scandal bigwigs must go



By Nkwazi Mhango

       Once again, President John Magufuli has proven to be as tough as old boots as far as grand corruption is concerned. He stormed the Dar es Salaam port recently in an impromptu visit that unearthed a shocking network of corruption.

It came to light that some criminals imported 50 vehicles under the name of the Office of the President which the president was not aware of, not to mention his officials who openly seemed to be sleeping on the wheel. The Head of State could not hide his frustration and anguish over the matter.

Another daunting scandal involves vehicles the Police Force imported. This scandal cuts across the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Tanzania Police Force, the ministry of Transport, the ministry of Home Affairs, the ministry of Finance, the ministry of Industry and Trade, the Office of the President and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) among others.

Those Magufuli wrongly thought were comrades-in-arms were caught pants down. Arguably, they are but his Achilles heel that left him alone in the war against graft. When the President asked for answers and explanations about the vehicles, almost all offered gobbledygook which made the Head of State visibly perturbed; mainly after finding that he still has weak-kneed big guns in his government. What a shocker! Magufuli couldn’t understand; why some big cheeses allow conmen and criminals to steal poor taxpayers’ money i.e., supplying used vehicles but being paid for brand new ones.

First of all, I congratulate the President and the media on airing this stinking scandal not to mention putting some bigwigs on notice. Again, is it enough? This is a million-dollar question many are now asking, especially when they vividly remember what once transpired the time Dr Magufuli came across mess in the prison department.

After unearthing such rot, President Magufuli showed the then Prisons Department Commissioner General John Casmir Minja was shown the door. Others who were shown the door were two DEDs Deo Mfugale and Mwantum Dau after failing to answer President’s question which is a typical replica of what happened in Dar port. This being the case, it is obvious that the days of such big guns are numbered shall the President stick to his governance style.

Secondly, how many scandals are still concealed? As it seems, much remains to be seen as far as bringing such rot to the fore is concerned. This shows how hard some of our officials are when it comes to old ways. Are such acts ongoing because of laziness or chronic rent-seeking mentality? We need to get straight answers and these people need to be shown the door whenever their dirty deeds become known.

Thirdly, it seems. Since JPM embarked on deconstructing and overhauling the rotten system, there are hard-headed delinquents who still do business as usual with regards to graft. To get rid of such loss makers Mr President needs to be much harder on them.

Thirdly, it seems. Weeding out corruption still has a long and jarring road ahead provided that it is endemic and systemic so to speak. Now, I understand why Tanzanians need to pray for Magufuli. Although I’m not a believer in prayers, I may say that the task Mr President faces is very dangerously traumatising. Instead of praying, Tanzanians should play a pivotal role in unearthing such graft. Magufuli has all reasons to fear for his life. For, some of those he’s fighting are in his own house. Mr President suspected foul play in police vehicle deal.

When he asked the IGP and the TPA boss if the vehicles imported were new or used, they were unable to tell, which is dauntingly and hauntingly scandalous and woozy. Again, will immediate big enchiladas be shown the door forthwith as it was in Minja’s case or spared as it was in the case of Dar es Salaam’s Regional Commission Paul Makonda after being implicated in forgery scam? Tanzanians are anxiously waiting to see how Magufuli will avert this trap that he warned the IGP to avert. Who will fall in another’s trap here? Will president egg them on or chicken out? Those who truly know Dr Magufuli the answer is obvious; some biggies will pay dearly for this mess.

In sum, will those officials wait for being shown the door or just hit the road after noticing that what they committed is nothing but a crime against their boss and the country in general?