The Speaker of the National assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, has told ministers to change to escape frequent cabinet reshuffles.
Speaking shortly before adjourning the 14th Parliament seating yesterday, Ms Makinda noted that MPs, through their standing committees, have shown that they were determined to keep the ministers on their toes.
“As much as we will continue to have standing committee reports here, be assured that we will be hearing of scandals each year if you ministers continue to live and operate in the old days. We need to change,” Ms Makinda said. She spoke after prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda presented his speech to conclude the Bunge session.
The Speaker said what had happened should be a wake up call to ministers whom he warned against the tendency of depending on their subordinates and executives on sensitive public issues.
Ms Makinda said changes instituted in the budget cycle also calls for change in government operations if the new system is to succeed. “If the government does not change in its operation, the new budget cycle will be meaningless,” she said of the approach for Parliament to reverse the old system of only approving funds without fisrt establishing how the previsous year’s were used.
She noted for instance that reports show that only small fraction of development funds have been released in the first quarter of the financial year while the Parliament asked the government borrow money to ensure smooth take off of the new system.
“But, if we continue to depend on TRA (Tanzania Revenue Authority) and Finance Ministry alone, we will not reach anywhere… the tax collector should also ensure that he doesn’t stop his work because under the new system the Finance Act allows him to do so from July 1 each year,” she said.
In his Bunge adjourning speech, Premier Pinda thanked the MPs for the in-depth debate which led to the resignation of four ministers. He also thanked the ministers for accepting to take responsibility for cruelties revealed by the Parliament Committee which investigated the implementation of Opereseheni Tokomeza Ujangili.
On food situation in the country, Mr Pinda noted that food inflation has started to increase as the country comes off the harvesting season.
But he said food availability was still promising noting that assessment of food situation conducted in October and November this year established that a total of 828,063 face food shortage.
“These people need a total of 23,312 tonnes up to February next year,” he said noting however that the nation has enough reserves to sustain the needs.
Mr Pinda adjourned the Parliament to May 6, next year when it will meet for the marathon Budget