DODOMA, 29 March 2021 – The newly-inaugurated president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has ordered the suspension of the head of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) over allegations of corruption.
The suspension follows the negative mention of the TPA Director-General Deusdedit Kakoko in the report of the Controller and Audit-General (CAG) of Tanzania.
“But from the report that you submitted to me yesterday, at least Sh3.6 billion (about $1.5 million) has been embezzled at TPA. When the Prime Minister conducted a probe, we only managed to fire junior staff.” the president said in the preface to her decision to suspend.
“I now order the suspension of the TPA director-general to pave way for investigations into the embezzlement,” the suspension order read in part.
News reporting on the suspension says the TPA boss is accused of massive embezzlement of public funds.
Tanzania’s first female president further ordered the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to urgently look into the claims.
President Suluhu Hassan issued a stern warning to other institutions mentioned in the report including the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) for adverse mention in the report.
She has vowed to pursue the strict legacy and “zero tolerance for corruption” policy of former president John Pombe Magufuli.
The former president’s crusade against corruption and incompetence in public office earned him the nickname “The Bulldozer”.
Suluhu Hassan, 61, was sworn-in to finish Magufuli’s second five-year term, set to run until 2025. She may thereafter run for reelection, but only once, according to the Tanzanian constitution.
Although the new president has not made any pronouncement on how she intends to handle the new coronavirus pandemic, the first few signs are that she will stay the course of denialism that made Magufuli one of the world’s most well-known COVID-19 skeptics.
Suluhu Hassan is expected to consult the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party before appointing a new vice-president.
The nominee may be known when the ruling CCM holds an extraordinary meeting of its central committee next Saturday.
A new vice-president must come from mainland Tanzania, given that Suluhu Hassan hails from Zanzibar and would be sworn in only after the nominee wins a majority of votes cast by parliamentarians.