Lumbanga claim is good for other claims on govt

Retired Ambassador Marten Yakobo Christian Lumbanga

Summary

  • My main interest here is that Mr Lumbanga has recently joined the unfortunately long queue of hapless Tanzanians who claim assorted payments from the Tanzania government which are – prima facie or rightly due to them.

Retired Ambassador Marten Yakobo Christian Lumbanga was Chief Secretary (‘Katibu Mkuu Kiongozi’) of the Union government of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005. The man had also served in distinguished positions at home and abroad during his public service from 1972 to 2012.

These included – but were not limited to – permanent secretary of several different ministries, and board chairman of assorted public institutions in his country, as well as Tanzania’s envoy abroad, including at some United Nations’ institutions…

But, my main interest here is that Mr Lumbanga has recently joined the unfortunately long queue of hapless Tanzanians (including ‘yours faithfully’) who claim assorted payments from the Tanzania government which are – prima facie or righty due to them.

One of the scores of payments that are indecently outstanding are the billions upon billions of shillings in terminal benefits that are long-overdue to families of thousands of former employees of the first Edition of the East African Community (EAC-I: 1967-1977) which imploded upon itself at the stroke of midnight on June 30, 1977.

After the EAC-I collapsed in mid-1977, it took more than a quarter of a Century for the government of President Benjamin Mkapa (1995-2005) to reach a Deed of Settlement with the EAC-I workers. Based on the Dar es Salaam High Court Civil Case No. 3 of 1995, the Settlement Deed enabled the Mkapa Administration to pay Sh117 billion to the ex-EAC-I workers in late 2005 as part of their terminal benefits. One of the agreements in the Deed was that the terminal benefits would be paid in installments by succeeding governments using their annual budgets.


Fair enough, I say…

No; delete that, as there has been nothing FAIR about that! This is especially considering that no other payment/installment has been made to the EAC-I workers since the first payment of Sh117 billion made by the President Mkapa Government in 2005!

This is despite the two successor-governments of President Jakaya Kikwete (2005-2015) and President John Magufuli (November 5, 2015-March 17, 2021)!

I have gone to considerable lengths here on the unpaid claims by thousands of EAC-I workers since the original Community collapsed nearly 45 years ago to show the stark difference from the claim by a single individual, Mr Lumbanga, regarding a government transaction a mere six years ago.

Apparently, Mr Lumbanga ceded a 3-acre plot of land in the Kilungule Ward, in the Temeke Municipality in 2016 to the Dar es Salaam Region Authorities for the construction of the ‘Marten Lumbanga (Public) Primary School,’ named in his honour. Saying that he paid Sh5 million for the 9-acre plot in 1998 – and “developed it” – Lumbanga insists on payment for the 3 acres…

Considering that Ambassador Lumbanga is a very important personage in the Tanzania governments (past and present), President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s administration – in power only since March 19, 2021 – is more than likely to take up his claim and process it pronto.

The point here is this: its merit notwithstanding, the Lumbanga claim glaringly draws the current government’s attention to all the outstanding claims on it – thus virtually forcing it to act on them. Come on, Respected Mama President; go on back out there and do it!

Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Samia government making a second payment installment of the billions owed to EAC-I ex-employees!