Tanzanian new President inaugurates Parliament, vows to fight corruption


John-Magufuli _TZThe newly elected Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday inaugurated the east African country’s 11th Parliament and vowed to clean the mess within the government, including fighting corruption.

He said he will establish a special court that will squarely deal with corrupt public officials who were making life difficult for most of poor Tanzanians.

He was making his inaugural state of the nation address shortly after members of the opposition party in the House walked out to protest about the presence of Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein reportedly after his tenure had ended.

The protests by opposition MPs followed the nullification of election results by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) on October 28, 2015, on the grounds that there were irregularities.

The elections held on Oct. 25 were nullified following reports that the Secretary General of leading opposition Civic United Front (CUF) presidential candidate Seif Sharrif Hamad had won the elections against the ruling CCM’s incumbent President Shein.

“I will sack any public servant that will be implicated in corrupt deals before being prosecuted in the special court,” warned President Magufuli a few hours after he had sworn-in his new Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa who was endorsed by Parliament on Thursday.

President Magufuli also mentioned a catalogue of other measures aimed at bringing efficiency and boosting collection of government revenue for improving provision of social services such as education and health.

He mentioned such measures as a ban on foreign travels by public servants, forming a lean cabinet and cutting down on unnecessary public expenditure.

“During 2013, 2014 and 2015 a total of 178 million US dollars was spent on foreign travel by public servants,” he told the august House, adding: “This amount could have been used to construct 400 kilometres of tarmac road.”

President Magufuli added: “How many classrooms we could have built using this money? How many dispensaries we could have built using this money?”

He also announced measures aimed at boosting collection of government revenue, including tax collection.

President Magufuli said he will form a lean cabinet next week that will embrace committed and hard working ministers.

“We made lots of promises to the people during election campaigns and now it is our turn to make sure that we fulfil these promises,” he said to a thunderous applause from the 200-plus CCM MPs.

He also announced free education from primary to secondary school beginning January 2016.