President John Magufuli yesterday suspended acting Secretary of the Planning Commission, Treasury, Frolence Mwanri over questionable payment approval for the second phase of Julius Nyerere International Airport’s (JNIA) Terminal III construction. Ms Mwanri was suspended after Dr Magufuli made an impromptu tour of the construction site and ordered the relevant state organs to investigate the project.
The president was vividly irked by the amount spent in the second phase construction, saying the amount does not match the value of the building. He queried, “Why did you, government experts, accept such huge costs, is this building real worthy 560bn/-?”
He directed the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Prof Makame Mbarawa to form a team of local engineers who are well versed with the government focus, saying he wanted a big percentage of money paid out to the project to remain in the country.
“I will be the main consultant of this project...I have directed the minister to provide me with daily reports on the projects but I also want him to form the team of patriotic engineers who know what we want to do, so that more money remain in the country,” he explained.
President Magufuli assured members of the public that the works at the ongoing construction at Terminal III of JNIA will resume today. “I decided to visit the site without telling anyone.
If I had informed them they would have lied to me that work is going on. I know that there are Tanzanians working here and that is very good because I promised to generate employment opportunities,” he told the cheering workers.
Dr Magufuli stressed that he had issued directive to the contractor and consultant to resume work this morning, adding that he has also directed the minister of works to provide him with daily updates of the project. He explained that the project Contractors and Consultants had claims that the government will settle soon.
“There were also some fake claims but those I will deal with myself. But you must report back to work tomorrow morning (today) and they have promised me that work will resume as usual,” he stressed.
The on-going construction of Terminal III at the JNIA, which is expected to facilitate 3.5 million annual passengers, includes construction of parking lots, access roads, platforms and a taxiway. The new terminal is designed for the anticipated growth of international air traffic, leaving the existing international Terminal two to cater for domestic flights. Meanwhile, President Magufuli yesterday received credentials from six envoys who will be representing their countries in Dar es Salaam.
The envoys and their countries in brackets are Mr Mohamed Ben Mansour Al Malek (United Arab Emirates), Mr Abdelilah Benryane (Morocco), Mr Benson Keith Chali (Zambia), Mr Lucas Domingo Hernandez Polledo (Cuba), Mousa Farhang (Iran) and Mr Gervais Abayeho (Burundi).
He told Ambassador Al Malek that Saudi Arabia had been cooperating with Tanzania in various projects of infrastructure and asked him to convey his message to King of Saudi Arabia.
Dr Magufuli also expressed his happiness following Cuba’s decision to build pharmaceutical industries in the country, with a view of reducing drug imports. Moroccan Ambassador Benryane told the President that his country had embarked on a process to implement the promise by Moroccan King Mohammed VI to construct a modern stadium in Dodoma.