No hanky-panky in Dar street name changes � deputy mayor SEBASTIAN MRINDOKO Dar es Salaam THE Deputy Mayor of Ilala Municipality, Mohamed Yakoub, yesterday defended the increasing trend of name changes in Dar es Salaam central business district, saying the often-bizarre new names have been duly approved by the municipality. Speaking to THISDAY in an exclusive interview in the city, Yakoub insisted that the street name changes in various parts of the city centre have all the blessings of the municipal authorities mandated to oversee such changes. All legal procedures prescribed by the Ilala Municipality in changing these street names were properly followed, the deputy mayor asserted. He said normally, any name change starts from the people in the street itself, and all subsequent requests or suggestions are then forwarded to the respective ward development committee for discussion before being sent to the municipal council for final decision. Responding specifically to a query concerning the famous Kisutu Street in the city centre, now apparently going by the name of PRAMUKH SWAMI, Yakoub said his office received requests and suggestions for the new name from the Kisutu Ward development committee early last year, and in December the municipal council permitted the change of name. He conceded that many people are wondering how come the old Kiswahili name of Kisutu had been changed to the predominantly Indian name of PRAMUKH SWAMI, but reiterated that all procedures were followed before the municipal council gave its approval. Since most of the people dwelling in PRAMUKH SWAMI (formerly Kisutu Street) are of Indian origin but still Tanzanian citizens, they have every right to bring their request for such a street name change, and if the request is sensible then the municipal council may grant it, said Yakoub. He noted that Kisutu is not the only street whose name has been changed, citing many other streets in and around the city, including outskirt suburbs like Tabata. Although this paper has in recent weeks published regular reports regarding the street name changes especially in the city centre, municipal authorities have maintained a strange silence, prompting members of the public to express concerns that the whole exercise and the apparent secrecy shrouding it may be steeped in corruption. However, the Ilala deputy mayor sought to dispel such concerns, saying since members of the municipal council have been elected by municipality residents, their actions were always aimed at benefiting the residents. We, as the municipal council, have been put in power by the people and we are always acting and working on their behalf, under established rules and regulations. Therefore, if anyone of us were to act contrarily, we would not be serving the people, stated Yakoub. He said categorically that the council has not had occasion to receive requests or suggestions from any individual wanting his or her name to be used as a street name in exchange for annuity payments. According to Yakoub, a special committee has been formed to visit various parts of the municipality in search of streets with no names so far and urge the communities living on those streets to come forward with name suggestions. According to one city resident interviewed recently by THISDAY on the growing trend of unannounced street names all over the metropolis, Walles Shindu, city authorities could and should become more creative and in the process help boost their official sources of income. There are people in this city who are rich and would like their own names to be adopted as street names. What I suggest is that the city authorities accommodate these peoples wishes�but only if they agree to take care of all maintenance and rehabilitation expenses in relation to the street in question, said Shindu.