Magufuli Funds’ conmen reprimanded

THE government has warned a ring of conmen who solicit money from villagers seeking to form community groups in exchange for President John Magufuli’s 50m/- monthly bonus promise to every village.

Initially, President Magufuli announced the funds will be disbursed shortly after he took over power from President Jakaya Kikwete but later it was resolved the money should be released to genuine community groups in villages.

But speaking shortly after inspecting ongoing construction of Kavuu Bridge in Mlele District, Katavi Region, the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, ‘smelt a rat’ over a ring of conmen who demand money from villagers to set up the groups required to get the president’s financial boost.

“We in the government have not started disbursing the funds yet. You must be cautious with this kind of conmen; just arrest them immediately after they approach you with the same trick,” Mr Majaliwa directed. He announced that the government will inform the general public shortly after the programme kick-starts.

Speaking on the ongoing construction by Nandra Engineering and Construction Ltd, Mr Majaliwa said the government is well committed to improving all road networks to promote economic growth.

The 85.34-metre stretch Kavuu Bridge, whose construction started in September 2013, was scheduled for completion by September 2014 at the cost of 2.718bn/- and the PM says it must come to completion now.

“We decided to give contracts to local constructors; you must do the job and finish it as planned and at the required standards,” he stressed.

Kavuu Lawmaker Dr Pudensiana Kikwembe requested the Premier to prioritize the construction of the bridge to open up opportunities for the people in the area, especially during harvesting season.

However, Ms Kikwembe asked the government to implement Dr Magufuli’s promise, which included expansion of road networks some 130 kms from Majimoto to

Tanzania Roads Agency – TANROADS - Katavi Regional Manager, Engineer Abdon Maregesi, said construction of the Kavuu Bridge is complete by 50 per cent and will be completed by November 30.

He explained that the slow pace in the implementation of the project was a result of budget deficit. He pointed out that during 2013/14 and 2014/15, there was no budget allocation for the project.

The TANROADS Manager said come August 22, the constructor had already been paid a sum of 1.284bn/-, about 47 per cent of the total payment as advanced payment for the job.

Meanwhile, the government has ordered immediate eviction of all intruders in Lyamgoroka Wildlife Corridor in Katavi’s Tanganyika District to protect Katavi National Park from environmental pollution.

The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, issued the order at Majalila Grounds in the district during his tour of Katavi Region. Mr Majaliwa ordered Tanganyika District authorities to ensure the corridor was free from villagers who had established settlements, threatening the welfare on the national park.

“You must ensure the environment is protected. This means you should not allow people to cut down trees since they dry up water sources and, therefore, unsafe for wildlife and humans,” said the Premier.

The prime minister also ordered the extension officers to help tobacco farmers to secure markets for their goods in time. The announcement by Mr Majaliwa was warmly welcomed by farmers but sent shockwaves to cooperative officers and former Ukonongo Cooperative Union when he directed an investigation of embezzlement allegations.

Meanwhile, the Premier has also directed the Katavi Regional Commissioner, Retired Major General Raphael Muhuga, to dispatch a team of auditors to Mlele District to uncover all suspects who embezzle funds at the coop union.

Vividly annoyed, the Premier stressed that all those who would be implicated will live to regret it. The Premier issued the warning yesterday during a well-attended public rally held at Inyonga Grounds in Mlele District.

Mr Majaliwa went on to reiterate that all public servants as well as cooperative union’s workers and leaders must fulfil their obligations by adhering to laid down regulations and registrations, failure of which they will face disciplinary measures.

“I hereby direct the RC (Retired Major General Muhuga to straight away dispatch a team of auditors from his office in Mlele District to meticulously audit the Ukonongo Cooperative Union’s accounts and expose all suspects.

‘’Whoever will be implicated will live to regret it …. punitive measures will be taken against them”, directed the Premier. According to the Premier, despite the board of directors having been dissolved “that should not be an excuse as the new board would follow suit and mishandle the funds’’.

Mr Majaliwa reached the decision yesterday after a section of farmers had displayed posters calling for help during his meeting at Inyonga Grounds in Mlele District. “All those who will be implicated in the scam should be held accountable.

I understand that the board was dissolved; this doesn’t mean they should also be left free,” he stressed.

Magufuli Funds’ conmen reprimanded Magufuli Funds’ conmen reprimanded Reviewed by on 10:26:00 PM Rating: 5

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