KAGESHEKI GETS HANDOVER REPORT FROM SACKED PREDECESSOR
Disgraced former minister for natural resources and tourism Ezekiel Maige had to return one last time to the ministry he brought into disrepute, in the end costing him his job, when he had to attend the formal handover to his successor, widely respected Ambassador Khamis Kagesheki.
Maiges apparently feeble attempts to put on a brave face and applaud himself in his handover address was reportedly silenced when the new minister, as done earlier in the week, vowed to stamp out corruption, laxity and embezzlement, all apparently the norm under his hapless predecessor.
The new minister made it clear to his staff that he would not be following in the footsteps of Maige and be held to account to parliament for what he reportedly called thieving civil servants.
The minister was quoted verbatim to have said: This is a sensitive ministry which deals with foreigners and therefore there is an urgent need to cleanse its tarnished corporate image, leaving little doubt in the public mind that he too held his predecessor accountable for the sorry state of affairs at this crucial ministry. He went on to say that tourism earned more money than mining, agriculture or any other sector of the economy.
Ambassador Kageshekis new deputy minister, whose predecessor was also moved out of the natural resources and tourism ministry, Lazaro Nyalandu, echoed his ministers concerns and agenda, putting at last a new team with fresh vision and the taste for decisive action at the helm of Tanzanias tourism sector.
Said an Arusha based regular contributor in a mail just received: When we meet our new minister he will be most welcome. Maige let the sector down on so many levels and embarrassed us too often with his loose talk. Ambassador Kagesheki has used his first week in the ministry to spell out his priorities and the private sector will for sure play a role to give him all the information we have on some of the critical areas. There are many issues with TANAPA and we want to see TTB develop new ideas. Our reputation as Tanzania has been soiled in the past by wildlife trafficking and poaching. Maybe our country can now also drop the idea of going back to CITES to apply again for selling ivory. We should be in tune with our neighbours on conservation policies and action plans because united we stand a better chance to win the battle against the poachers. And we are really waiting for him to speak out on the Serengeti highway, the Lake Natron plans, mining in the Selous, the Stieglers Gorge project and the Tanga Marine National Park problem. The minister made a good start and we congratulate him on his announcements to clean his house but there are a lot of issues where we hope he will be on the side of conservation and not fail us like his predecessors did, clearly sentiments voiced in support of the new man at the helm but also spelling out for the new minister what complex and contentious issues await him during his tenure until the next elections. Watch this space to learn right here which way Tanzanias conservation and tourism will go in coming months.