For those who thought that Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu Hassan will take a softer approach to leadership, think again. She has hit the ground running. Actually, sprinting. On Sunday 28th March, barely two days after the burial of her predecessor, the late John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, she suspended suspended the Director General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Mr Deusdedit Kakoko.
Clad in a black hijab and her usual spectacles, she spoke forcefully from the lectern, ‘But from the report that you submitted to me yesterday, at least Sh3.6 billion ($1.6 million) had been embezzled at TPA…..When the Prime Minister conducted a probe, we only managed to fire junior staff. I now order the suspension of TPA Director General to pave way for investigations into the embezzlement,”
Hats off to President Samia for instantly adopting the zero tolerance to corruption stand that her predecessor was known for. She must now go a step further and institutionalize the fight against corruption so that in future, it will still be rooted out with or without a presidential declaration. Indeed, Transparency International ranked Tanzania a poor 96th in its 2019 Corruptions Perceptions Index.
Against this backdrop, Tanzania’s anti-corruption measures must be urgently institutionalized. As part of this process, strong anti-corruption measures must be integrated in the entire Government ecosystem. That way, there will be minimal need for curative measures. In other words, let us seal all the loop holes that make it easy for corrupt officials to profiteer from public coffers.