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Minister bans trips overseas

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Ujengelele, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. U

    Ujengelele JF-Expert Member

    Dec 29, 2009
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    By Mkinga Mkinga

    Officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism not directly linked to promotional activities will no longer travel abroad.

    Announcing the ban yesterday, minister Shamsa Mwangunga said non-core members of staff were awarded foreign trips in the past, yet played no part in the intended activities overseas.

    She said the personal benefit was motivation behind the trips that she said had become rotational among officers in her ministry whose professions did not even warrant them to take part in tourism sector exhibitions abroad.

    The minister was speaking yesterday during the official inauguration of the board of directors for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) in Dar es Salaam.

    If followed, the bold move would be the first by a cabinet minister in response to the growing criticism of the government spending millions of taxpayers' money to fund endless foreign trips by public officials out to make a quick buck.

    Critics have pointed to billions of shillings spent by government officials in allowances for such trips at the expense of deteriorating public services in vital sectors such as education and health.

    Tanzania has been among countries sending large delegations to international conferences and meetings even though some participants were said to be only on leisure or shopping business.

    The move by Ms Mwangunga partly confirmed what has been common public grievances towards the free spending of meager public resources.

    The minister said she had been perturbed that some agencies under her sent individuals to foreign meetings on a rotational basis regardless of the output from such lucrative trips.

    Admitting that they cost a fortune, she told the new board members: "It's not right allowing staff from other fields, particularly in the tourism sector, to attend trade exhibitions abroad! This is unfair, and you should ensure that this habit stops immediately."

    She said the habit was common with NCAA which 'improperly' awarded trips to exhibitors . The minister said such beneficiaries narrowed the opportunities for professionals to carry out their jobs as required.

    "In promoting tourism in the country, foreign trips to advertise our country should henceforth involve only a pool of qualified professionals in the field and not otherwise; everybody has to be responsible to his profession," minister Mwangunga warned.

    Equating the trend to corruption, she directed the board, to be chaired by former national assembly speaker Pius Msekwa, to fight the vice, including taking measures to safeguard government revenue.

    The NCAA board under Msekwa, who was earning a second term in office, has however been credited for helping the management increase revenue from Sh17 billion three years ago to Sh33 billion this year.

    Stressing on efforts to advertise the NCA in the world, Ms Mwangunga implored the management to ensure it advertises cultural tourism in the area.

    For his part, Mr Msekwa said his board would work on challenges that have been listed by Ms Mwangunga, pledging to work closely with the management.

    "I will work on challenges that have been thrown by the minister to my board, and ensure that we don't disappoint our fellow Tanzanians and the Government in general," he said.

    Mr Msekwa explained that in the last three years as chairman, the authority managed to relocate pastoralists to Oldonyosambu.

    "We have acquired 480 square kilometers of land in Oldonyosambu, Sale ward within Ngorongoro, where we shall relocate peasants who have had a negative impact on the environment and ecology of the area," he said.

    The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority chief conservator, Mr Bernard Murunya, said they have been doing a lot to sell the country's tourism potential abroad.

    "We have sent brochures to all embassies abroad; this has been helping us to advertise our tourist attractions," he said.

    However, Mr Murunya said they have established a new system of half-day tours which aim at conserving the ecology of the area.

    The banning of foreign trips will pacify campaigners who want the government to check hefty bills accruing from needless trips.

    Top government and public officials have often been accused of using foreign trips to line their pockets with hefty allowances that sometimes easily triple their monthly salaries.

    A recent report by Policy Forum, a non-governmental organisation based in Dar es Salaam, said the foreign trips had become quite lucrative for public officials. It said each official was earning between Sh403,000 and sh546,000 daily while overseas.

    According to the report, the office of the President and cabinet secretariat is the highest recipient of funds for allowances, and will gobble up to Sh148.7 billion this financial year alone.

    The national assembly is the second with Members of Parliament and staff earning a total of Sh36.8 billion in allowances this year. Their vote rose by 40 per cent over the Sh26.3 billion allocated in the previous year.

    Among those on record as protesting the wanton waste in endless trips, seminars and workshops is Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, but the gravy train still continues
  2. M

    Mwafrika JF-Expert Member

    Dec 29, 2009
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    Wangeaza na trip za JM Kikwete aka Vasco Da Gama
  3. Bongolander

    Bongolander JF-Expert Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    ZA maana zenye kuitangaza Tanzania na kuiletea pato zinapigwa marufuku, zisizo na maana zinaongezwa. This is Tanzania.
  4. M

    Marigwe JF-Expert Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    Well done Shamsa. U will get my vote in Ubungo next year
  5. Shapu

    Shapu JF-Expert Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    Bado hakijafanyika kitu hapo... hizo ni siasa tuu. This thing should come from top. Gvt spending on allowances in tz ni kubwa sana na hii siyo issue ya individual ministry ni lazima mkuu wa nchi aonyeshe nia na njia. Aanze yeye kwanza.
  6. Utingo

    Utingo JF-Expert Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    You must be out of your mind. Waanze na za JK za kubembea jamaica ilhali hajui hata serengeti yake inavyofanana. Kwanza ubungo hawamtaki huyo fisadi wako. mpeleke kijijini kwenu.