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Samia Reveals Motivation Behind Recent Govt Shake-up: Putting It Closer to People As Elections Near

President Samia shared the rationale behind this reshuffle. She emphasized the importance of responding to the needs of citizens and being closely connected to the people.

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made significant changes to the government at both the district and regional levels. These changes involved the transfer of several regional and district commissioners, as well as executive directors, from one location to another.

Some officials were replaced entirely, while new individuals were introduced to key positions. Notably, Daniel Chongolo, the former secretary-general of the ruling party CCM, was appointed as the Songwe Regional Commissioner, and Anamringi Macha, the deputy secretary-general of CCM, was appointed as the Regional Commissioner of Shinyanga.

During the swearing-in ceremony of these officials on March 13, 2023, President Samia shared the rationale behind this reshuffle. She emphasized the importance of responding to the needs of citizens and being closely connected to the people.

President Samia referred to the recent cross-regional tour conducted by her party’s secretary of ideology and publicity, Paul Makonda, on at least three occasions during her speech. Makonda’s rallies garnered significant attention nationwide as they involved listening to people’s concerns and holding officials accountable for addressing these issues immediately during the same rally.

 “You have seen an example from Makonda who has been touring around. Some of the people’s problems can be solved at the lower level but they’re not being heard,” said President Samia.

“Those are our voters, if they are not listened to and someone else comes along and says, ‘When I come in, I will listen to you,’ they will give them votes. Because we have ignored them, we haven’t listened to them, but that’s where the victory of the party that put you in your position lies,” emphasized President Samia.

In certain instances, such as the transfer of Peter Serukamba from the Singida region, President Samia highlighted the issue due to internal friction within the local government, which she believes could lead to self-sabotage during the election period.

President Samia also stressed the importance for local governments to ensure the prompt availability of critical social services. She cited examples of government failures in this regard, including a school in Mwanza town lacking classrooms, which forced students to study outdoors, and instances where several local governments failed to utilize available resources due to internal tensions.

Furthermore, President Samia cautioned against revenue leakages within the government, citing an example of a graft syndicate that has established a parallel revenue collection system using counterfeit POS machines.

“Article 8(1c) of our constitution, says the government will be accountable to the citizens, and this is what it means for the government to be accountable,” explained President Samia and emphasized, “It’s not just the president, vice-president, prime minister, and the cabinet; but every level up to the village government should be accountable, and you are the one to make sure of this.”

President Samia went on to caution members of the parliament and councilors who cause land conflict due to election engineering.

“When some people see they have messed up in their constituency, they lobby at the council level to demarcate new villages and when you assess you might find the new village is not supposed to be there, sometimes it cross reserve areas or regional demarcation.”

“And yesterday, I had a meeting with land people, the National Bureau of Statistics, and the National Electoral Commission, I told them the map used in the last election is the baseline, and there will not be additional villages, you should also go and supervise this,” added President Samia.

In concluding her remarks, President Samia explained that no one was personally targeted in the recent reshuffle and emphasized that she doesn’t subscribe to any faction, “If you have factions, that is none of my concern, I want you to go and work hard that we safely cross in 2024/25.”

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