Tanzanian president directs officials to address business hurdles

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-11 00:51:31|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DAR ES SALAAM, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday directed newly appointed senior government officials to deliver by addressing business issues and shortfalls raised in their dockets, warning that he will not hesitate sacking them whenever they made mistakes.

He directed newly appointed Minister for Industry and Trade Innocent Bashungwa, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner General Edwin Mhede and Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary Charles Kicheere not to celebrate their appointment because the task ahead was huge.

He made the directive shortly after he had sworn in the three officials at a ceremony that was televised live by the public broadcaster Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Magufuli expressed his dissatisfaction with the way things were moving at TRA and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, saying it was the reason for the changes.

He said one of the tasks for the Ministry of Industry and Trade was to find a market for cashew nut farmers, explaining it was sad to see that nothing has been done.

Magufuli said Tanzanians wanted actions and that the former Minister for Industry and Trade Joseph Kakunda and former TRA Commissioner General Kicheere did not impress him in the way they carried out their duties in their dockets.

"Business people told me they never knew the Minister for Industry and Trade. I had no problem if as a minister you went around listening to grievances by businessmen," he said.

On TRA, Magufuli said it reached a time when he used to send text messages to Kicheere telling him of some tax incidences for him to take actions which according to the president he responded to have received and promised to work on them but, nothing was done.

Last Friday, Magufuli met representatives of business people from across Tanzania's mainland who complained to him on how TRA officials were harassing them.

The traders accused TRA officials of over estimation of tax, their involvement in corruption and unfriendly administration of tax regimes.

A day later, Magufuli suspended Kakunda as Minister for Industry and Trade and replaced him with Bashungwa, shifted Kicheere from TRA where he was Commissioner General to Njombe as Regional Administrative Secretary and appointed Mhede to head TRA.