What we witnessed over the weekend at the Ethics Secretariat in Dar es Salaam is regrettable. Public leaders jostled in the last minute rush to beat the deadline for the submission of their assets and wealth declaration forms. It is a requirement that holders of public office submit these forms every year by December 31. The whole point is for them to be accountable.
But it seems that for one reason or the other, a good number of them either failed to submit the forms, or missed the deadline. Meaning that as far as they are concerned, it is an optional exercise. This time round, many of them, just like they did last year, only decided to act after President John Magufuli threatened them – warning that they would face the consequences if they failed to beat the deadline.
The Secretariat had to open during the weekend to cater for those who waited till the last minute. Such behaviour is unbecoming, more so when it’s being exhibited by senior public leaders. This habit by our leaders to act only when an assignment, or requirement is preceded or prefixed by force and threat is retrogressive. It’s to blame for inefficiency in public service.
President Magufuli still has a lot of work to do. But we appreciate his keeping his subordinates on their toes. What is expected from public leaders, especially under the fifth phase head of state, whose record as a determined and hardworking man is unquestionable, is the ability to do what is expected of them under minimum supervision. They must lead by example. They must be self-driven.