Makonda named new regional boss for Arusha in President Samia’s latest changes

Paul Makonda

What you need to know:

  • His interventions in some government affairs has sparked debate on the legitimacy of his mandate.

Dar es Salaam. Former Dar es Salaam regional commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda, who has been CCM ideology and publicity secretary for the past five months, has been assigned new roles.

Mr Makonda, whose leadership style when he was Dar RC from 2016 to 2020 put him at loggerheads with a number of other leaders, becomes the new RC for Arusha, the State House said at midnight on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

The midnight announcement also said Mr Makonda will be replacing Mr John Mongella who will be assigned other duties.

The leadership style of Mr Makonda, who was appointed the CCM ideology and publicity secretary in October, 2023, has attracted debates in various circles.

His interventions in some government affairs has sparked debate on the legitimacy of his mandate.

During some of his trips, Mr Makonda could publicly interrogate government officials, including Regional Police Commanders and other presidential appointees such as RCs and District Commissioners about reported issues raised by citizens.

Opinion has always been divided over his style of direct involvement in problem-solving including compensating individuals facing various challenges while simultaneously castigating government officials at district and regional level.

For instance, in Bukoba, he announced to hand over Sh15 million to a woman who complained to have been mistreated by government officials there while in some of his trips, a young man who complained to have been abused by a district director was given Sh2 million.

In another incident in Dodoma, Mr Makonda summoned the Regional Commissioner, Rosemary Senyamule, to explain public grievances. Such actions have sparked debates about their appropriateness and their alignment with government protocols.

While to ordinary citizens, such moves were good but to pundits, the actions may have been stripping the government of its responsibilities and creating an impression of its inability to address citizens' concerns. The actions also raise concerns about the boundaries between party functions and government affairs.

Mr Makonda returned to active politics five months ago after a three-year break. During his previous tenure as the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam from 2016 to 2020, Makonda wielded significant influence, being regarded as a close associate of the late President John Magufuli. His leadership style often led to clashes with other officials.

And, among other notable changes in her latest announcement, President Samia Suluhu Hassan also dropped the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Labor, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disabilities), Joyce Ndalichako.

According to the statement, signed by the director of Presidential Communications, Ms Zuhura Yunus, the former Dar es Salaam RC, who was transferred to Mwanza in May, 2023, Mr Amos Makalla, will have his time on the bench, awaiting to be assigned new responsibilities.