JPM Freezes Councillors’ Stipends.


President John Magufuli yesterday categorically turned down a request by councillors to raise their sitting allowances from the current 350,000/- to 800,000/-, saying it was not the right time to do so.
President Magufuli said it was unfair to increase their allowances at a time when their voters are in dire need of health services, some schools lack desks or latrines, people are suffering from diseases as hospitals lack medicines and other challenges.

“Over the issue of allowances, I must tell the truth, planning is to choose what should come first… we have been elected by those poor citizens whom we need to serve. “So put yourselves in the position of those citizens, is this the right time to raise allowances?” he questioned.

To emphasize, he said that for councillors they should strive to have additional sources of income. “That’s why on the form that is completed by those vying for councillorship, there is a section which requires the candidate to have additional source of income,” he said.

Dr Magufuli was speaking when opening the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.

Earlier, Chairman of ALAT, Mr Gulamhafeez Mukadamu requested the President to consider increasing allowances to councillors to enable them carry out their duties. He congratulated ALAT for a great job they were doing in implementing government’s directives in their jurisdictions.

He said that local authorities were supervisors of development projects, noting that the journey was still long before reaching the destination. Elaborating, he said for instance on education, the government has resolved the problem of lack of desks in schools, and introduced the free education up to the secondary level, but still there were inadequate number of classrooms.

Therefore, regional administrations have a role to play in coming up with innovative ideas to address those challenges, he urged.

“I was looking at Mr (Paul) Makonda (Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner) the way he struggles to raise funds for building teachers’ offices, the exercise which he has so far raised 186m/-. If all regional commissioners could do the same, the job could be easier for council directors. But, the problem with some of our leaders is that they don’t want to learn from others, Honourable Prime Minister tell them to learn from their colleagues such as Makonda,” he insisted.

He said Tanzanians were willing to contribute for development, but until you ask them to do so. The President encouraged leaders not to fear or hesitate to request donations from citizens for social service infrastructure development.

Meanwhile, he challenged councils to get rid of camps basing on their political affiliations, saying the situation was deterring smooth development of the councils.
Source:Daily News 04/10/2017

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