... indiscipline, corruption messed up ATCL

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday cited unprofessionalism as the major shortfall that sent the once-vibrant national airline to its knees.

Dr Magufuli charged that Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) had been operating in a ‘business as usual’ style without observing professionalism. Speaking at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), Dr Magufuli said the national flag carrier's employees went to the extent of operating without even having a manual.

The president said despite treating the firm as the national carrier, ATCL leaders and directors awarded themselves hefty allowance of 50,000/- whenever they visited the company’s daily operations at JNIA and people could visit the airport for as much as three times a day just to maximise the amount receivable.

"It lacked leaders who could make decisions and there were acts of vandalising the company ... there was a system of paying themselves an extra travel allowances and the notorious stations were Comoro, Mwanza, Mtwara and Dar es Salaam,’’ he added.

The president revealed that there were times when the airline’s officials were giving tickets of children to adults, to earn money dubiously. Mismanagement, corruption and indiscipline among workers were among the problems that Dr Magufuli identified as contributing factors to the downfall of the national carrier.

ATCL, according to the president, used to frustrate customers with its unpredictable flying schedules.

He said customers were sometimes paid for hotel services due to flight cancellations, increasing the operational costs as a result. “There were unnecessary overtime payments and phantom oil with officials indicating that there were flights that never existed … so we are talking of ghost workers, students, salaries and oil as well,’’ he said.

Dr Magufuli noted with concern that there was loss of 700m/- at the Comoro centre, but instead of taking appropriate measures against the culprit, his tenure was extended after retirement, "so that he could continue squandering the money."

President Magufuli was speaking at a ceremony for the grand launch of the two newly acquired Canadian made ATCL Bombardier Q400 commercial aircrafts at JNIA. “The company had no management plan, people were not cost cautious and that is why they could pay allowances to each other unnecessarily because they depended on free money from the government,” Dr Magufuli charged.

The president directed ATCL board to revamp the national airline to its past glories. “I direct the board to ensure that all the officials who lacked integrity are axed immediately.

We fired almost 500 National Identification Authority (NIDA) workers, why shouldn’t we do the same here,’’ he queried, asking the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Professor Mbarawa to leave no stone unturned in the search of unethical employees.

He also prohibited any government leader, state official or ATCL’s directors and staff, regardless of their status or positions, to travel aboard ATCL planes free of charge.

... indiscipline, corruption messed up ATCL ... indiscipline, corruption messed up ATCL Reviewed by on 10:43:00 PM Rating: 5

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