Tanzania security ministry allocated less funds


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007

The East African

Posted Saturday, May 24 2014 at 19:54In Summary

  • Terrorism is regarded as a major threat in East Africa. It threatens not only foreign investments and tourism, but also the social and economic wellbeing of the people.

    Plans by Tanzania’s Home Affairs Ministry to deal with growing security threats were dealt a blow after Treasury failed to allocate it the money it had asked for in its annual budgetary proposals.

    While the Ministry had asked for Tsh1.3 trillion ($812.5 million), Treasury allocated it Tsh800 billion ($500 million). Officials said lack of money will nearly cripple the ministry, which is charged with ensuring security.

    Despite objections raised by some MPs, the ministry’s budget was approved. But the opposition MPs asked Tanzanians not to expect any notable security measures.

    Recent threats

    In the past one year, Tanzania has witnessed a number of serious security breaches including bomb attacks on a church and a political rally in Arusha; and the killing of religious leaders. Investigations have not yielded enough concrete evidence to take suspects to court.

    Terrorism is regarded as a major threat in East Africa. It threatens not only foreign investments and tourism, but also the social and economic wellbeing of the people.

    But Home Affairs Minister Mathias Chikawe said his ministry would ensure that the country was safe, and announced plans to improve security in the country including the installation of close circuit television cameras in a number of cities and towns to curb crime.

    But this move was termed by one MP as tantamount to privatising the sensitive security docket because in undertaking the project the government will team up with private companies.

    Mr Chikawe defended the allocation, noting that given the prevailing economic conditions and increasing government commitments, it was not possible to get more funding, notwithstanding the importance of security in the country.

    Data provided by the minister and the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Peace and Security, shows that institutions under the ministry received only 70 per cent of their budgetary requirements for 2013/14, with only a month to go before the end of the financial year.

    “This ministry is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that people are secure, thus the need for the government to adequately finance its activities. But we have not seen this commitment on the part of the government,” said opposition spokesperson, Godbless Lema, who also serves as shadow home affairs minister.

    “The security of people and their properties is sensitive. How can we involve private companies in our security plans?” asked retired police commissioner Mwibara Alphaxard Kangi Lugora.

    Another opposition MP David Silinde said “You cannot compromise security, especially during this time when East Africa is experiencing a surge in terrorism threats and attacks.”

    Increasing debts

    This meagre budget, the MPs noted, has subjected the ministry to increasing debts. The minister concurred that the ministry has huge debts, mentioning Tsh65 billion ($40.6 million) owed to the Prisons Department and Tsh23 billion ($14.3 million) owed to the Police Force.

    “These debts have been increasing because we don’t get the money as allocated in the budget,” said the minister.

    “We should reject this budget and force the government to increase the allocation so that we can be assured of our security,” said Chiku Abwao (special seats – Chadema).

    MPs were also perturbed by the government’s failure to increase the monthly allowance for policemen from the current Tsh150,000 ($93.70) to at least Tsh250,000 ($156.20).

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