By Felister Peter
Wildlife Director and Assistant Director axed.
Natural Resources and Tourism minister Lazaro Nyalandu has dismissed Prof Alexander Songorwa the Director of Wildlife and the assistant Director of Wildlife Utilisation, Prof Jafari Kidegesho, over poor performance in the campaign against poaching in the country.
Nyalandu told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the decision is in implementation of Parliament’s resolution on December 22, last year following allegations of human rights violation during operation Tokomeza.
The Minister has appointed Paul Sarakikya the Acting Director of Wildlife and Dr Charles Mulokozi as Assistant Director of Wildlife Utilisation with immediate effect.
Nyalandu also appointed Julius Kibebe Assistant Director of Anti-Poaching Department to fill the position of Dr Mulokozi who has been appointed as Assistant Director for Wildlife Utilisation.
The Minister said that Nebbo Mwina will retain her post as Assistant Director for Research, Training and Statistics and as well as Herman Keiraryo as Assistant Director for Wildlife Sustainability.
“I direct all Directors and Heads of departments, organisations and institutions in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to prepare key performance indicators and submit them to my office within 30 days,” he said.
He said the indicators are a step towards achieving the ministry’s goals, accountability, transparency and efficiency in daily performance.
Minister Nyalandu said that each ministry staff should fulfill his responsibilities by abiding by a code of conduct which will be proposed and approved by the Workers’ Council.
Reacting to the measure Prof Songorwa said: “I have nothing to comment. What I can say is that the decision has given me a big relief.”
Meanwhile the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Environment has commended Nyalandu for sacking the top ministry officials who were implicated in operation ‘Tokomeza’.
The committee Chairman, James Lembeli said that in their report they suggested for firing of top officials including the Permanent Secretary, Maimuna Tarishi, who has not been sacked.
“This is a job well done. Most of suggestions in parliamentary committee reports are ignored but Nyalandu has showed the way,” said Lembeli, adding that he should consult relevant authorities on the issue of the PS because she is among the people who were involved in the operation.
He advised the minister to make sure that all officials who compromised the operation are sacked before the anti-poaching campaign is re-launched.
Earlier last month the minister suspended 21 wildlife officials from national parks and game reserves for allegedly being involved in poaching.
The officials were alleged to be corrupt and to collaborate with poachers’ networks to sabotage government efforts in the fight against poaching in the country.
Out of 21 suspended officials, 11 are from the special task force against poaching in Arusha, 4 from Rukwa-Lwafi game reserve, 1 from the task force in Bunda, 3 from Maswa wildlife reserve, 1 from Selous game reserve and a wildlife official from Lukwika-Lumisule-Msanjesi game reserve.
Late last year four ministers including Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Emmanuel Nchimbi (Home Affairs), Dr Mathayo David Mathayo (Livestock Development) and Shamsi Vuai Nahodha Minister for Defence and National Service were forced to resign in relation to violation of human rights during implementation of Operation Tokomeza.
The report by the Standing Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment under the chairmanship of James Lembeli (CCM-Kahama) tabled his report alongside a special investigative report that reveals the bad outcome of the performance of the operation ordered to be carried out in the country by President Jakaya Kikwete.
The committee report urged the government to hold accountable the ministers, whose departments were tasked to oversee the operation, including security forces such as the police, army and game warders.
‘Operation Tokomeza’ was launched in October 4th last year and was suspended in November to pave the way for assessment and evaluation.