Appointments are based purely on merit, says Samia

Tuesday October 12 2021
Samia PIC

President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks after swearing in newly appointed senior judicial officials and a regional commissioner in Dodoma yesterday. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE

By Louis Kalumbia

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan said yesterday that her hiring and firing decisions were not based on her likes or dislikes of some people.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of recently-appointed judges and a regional commissioner in Dodoma, President Hassan said those propagating such sentiments were totally missing the point.

Appointees who took oaths yesterday were Ms Sophia Mjema - who becomes the Shinyanga Regional Commissioner - and a Court of Appeal Judge, Mr Justice Omar Othman Makungu.

Judge Mustapha Siyani - who served as the Judge-in-Charge of the High Court for Dodoma Zone - was also sworn-in as the Principal Judge of the High Court of Tanzania.

During the live broadcast event yesterday, President Hassan said those saying that she was targeting people from certain tribes in her hiring and firing decisions were wrong, wrong, wrong!

“People make mistakes. But, when measures are taken against them, they [the measures] are linked to the person’s tribe. I have no tribe linkages in the execution of my duties,” she said - stressing that appropriate measures against erring public servants will be taken regardless of tribal affiliations.

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Ms Hassan said better performance and good outcomes were the key factors that determine who should serve as her assistant. However, some people claimed that the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), for instance, had many leaders from Tanga Region.

The Head of State said a similar situation was experienced for other areas, saying however that she had been ignoring and leaving the appointees to work unless they commit mistakes.

“Nobody is appointed based on their tribe. They are picked based on their ability to assist me in bringing development of the citizens,” she said, emphasizing that this is a lesson from the founding father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

The President said she comes from Zanzibar where all citizens consider themselves Zanzibaris who are identified by their geographical places of birth.

“In Unguja, we have Tumbatu, Makunduchi, etc, while in Pemba there are Kojani, and so on... Therefore, you go and work hard instead of engaging in unaccepted issues,” the President and Head of State said.

She cautioned Regional Commissioners countrywide to distance themselves from corruption and turn themselves Godfathers.

She also took the opportunity to remind them to make proper supervision of the Sh1.3 trillion projects to be financed by IMF, and distance themselves from misappropriation.

“District Executive Directors (DEDs) shouldn’t relax on revenue collections after disbursement of the funds for the projects outlined yesterday (Sunday). Revenue collections should continue in order to benefit citizens down to the grassroots level,” she said.

She expressed her confidence in the DEDs’ ability to collect revenues, saying challenges that are addressed by the programme are just a fraction of those existing in the country.

Speaking during the event, the minister of State in the PO-RALG, Ms Ummy Mwalimu said today (Tuesday) the government would release a list of the regions and respective numbers of classrooms that will be built under the IMF loan programme.

“The number of classrooms varies, depending on the number of pupils expected to be admitted to Standard One and Form One in January 2022,” she said.

For his part, the Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, outlined qualifications considered by the Judicial Services Commission when proposing names to the President for appointments.

He said the 85 names included the names of judges with a broad understanding of the Judiciary, its traditions - and their knowledge that the Judiciary isn’t an Island and, therefore they must cooperate with other pillars of the government.

“The list comprised people with wisdom, humanity, curios, unification tendencies, believers of transformation and the digital world; people who clearly understand the direction of the Judiciary,” he said.