07 March 2006
Anaishi Royal Palm Hotel....
Hii habari amenisukumia Kaka yangu mkubwa 'MtiMkubwa' kwa vile ni nyeti sana nimeona nami niisukume kwa wananchi wazalendo wenzangu ili tuweze kuijadili kwa kina, haya tuendelee jamani...
Tanzania ni nchi yenye miujiza anuai. Tuna miujiza ya kiasili kama vile Ngorongoro, Mlima Kilimanjaro, Ziwa Tanganyika na mengineyo. Pia tumejaaliwa kuzua miujiza ambayo yaweza kumstaajabisha hata mtoto mchanga aliyezaliwa leo. Moja ya miujiza hiyo ni ule wa kuuza mali za umma zilizoimarishwa kwa mtaji wa umma wa Watanzania masikini. Mojawapo ya mali za umma zilizouzwa na serikali ya awamu ya tatu ni majumba ya serikali yakiwemo ya mawaziri.
Mengi ya majumba hayo yaliyouzwa ni sehemu kubwa ya historia ya nchi yetu. Kwani majumba hayo yalijengwa na wakoloni wa Kijerumani kabla ya kujiingiza "mdhamini" wa Kiingereza mwaka 1948. Kinachofuatia baada ya kuuzwa au kuuziana majumba hayo "maswahiba" wa serikali ya awamu ya tatu ni kwamba baaadhi ya mawaziri serikali ya nne wamepangiwa kuishi mahotelini makubwa kama wafanyabiashara au watalii. Humo mahotelini wanakula vipsi na kuku, wanaogelea kwenye maswimingi puli, wanaletewa rumu sevisi, na gharama zinginezo nyingi na kubwa!
Nimepungukiwa na ya kuandika lakini naomba usichoke kusoma maelezo zaidi hapo chini:
Uproar over Tanzania's hotel ministers
By Vicky Ntetema
BBC News, Dar es Salaam
Many Tanzanians are outraged by the revelation that dozens of ministers have been staying in luxury hotels since the beginning of the year at the taxpayers' expense.
The Courtyard is popular with tourists at more than $109 a night
All ministers are supposed to be given subsidised housing but the new ministerial homes have not been completed after the existing buildings were sold off to civil servants by the former government.
So some of those named since President Jakaya Kikwete took office last December have been staying in hotels, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.
This expense has been strongly criticised at a time when more than 3m people are on the verge of starvation due to prolonged droughts.
The newcomers into cabinet were given until the end of February to vacate their hotel rooms or pay the bills from their own pockets.
Yet the government has admitted that 36 ministers and their deputies, who come from outside Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, have not yet been re-housed.
Although the government does not want to reveal the exact names of these temporary dwellings, it is an open secret that some of them stay in expensive hotels which cater for top class tourists and international executive high fliers.
It's like home - we serve international cuisine and there is no doubt that security is very high
The Courtyard's Abysai Mashambo
One of these is The Courtyard in one of the upmarket areas of the commercial city of Dar es Salaam, within walking distance of most ministerial office buildings and State House.
Rates for rooms at this five-star hotel range from $109 to $189 per night.
The Courtyard's spokesperson Abysai Mashambo says ministers like this costly hotel for many reasons.
"It's a very quiet place - it's like a home; it's not very far from the city centre; we serve international cuisine - continental, Indian, African and there is no doubt that security is very high," he says.
"The ministers take rooms which suit the budget of the government - because the government pays for them. They don't pay from their pockets."
Not all ministers enjoy the comfort of such luxurious hotels.
At least two deputy ministers are accommodated at the three-star Landmark Hotel, about 7km (four miles) from Dar es Salaam city centre, in the overcrowded Ubungo area.
Most local residents whose houses are dwarfed by this five-storey hotel are either unemployed or have low-paid jobs.
Here the rooms cost about $40 to $60 per night.
The scheme to build government quarters started last year under the leadership of retired President Benjamin Mkapa, after most official homes were sold off to civil servants, including ministers, at what were seen as give-away prices.
These houses for ministers and deputy ministers will not be sold
Minister Juma Akukweti
The policy was unpopular and authorities blamed for what many saw as a misuse of public funds.
Many were then baffled by the government's decision to spend taxpayers' money on hotel bills for new appointees, leaving retired civil servants in the affordable state accommodation.
The ministry of infrastructure development last month reassured Tanzanians that ministers would move into their new homes by the end of February.
John Kijazi, the ministry's most senior civil servant, says that the delay has been caused by the construction hitches encountered at the start of building.
He said he could not put a figure on how much the taxpayers will have to cough up to foot the hotel bills until every single minister had moved into their new homes.
Builders at the Msasani Peninsula on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam are working tirelessly to complete the finishing touches on some bungalows - the official residences for cabinet members.
The houses will have servants' quarters and large gardens
But one minister and his wife could not wait any longer and have moved in amid the rubble.
I found Minister of state in the prime minister's office in charge of Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs Juma Akukweti and his wife inspecting their three-bedroom house close to the Indian Ocean beach.
"I am quite comfortable. I like the house - the rooms are quite spacious. I have a big family, as an African that's usual. This is enough for my family," he said.
He promised that these newly constructed houses with servant's quarters and spacious back and front yards - some as big as a football pitch - would not be sold off to ministers in 10 year's time.
"These houses for ministers and deputy ministers will not be sold. If one wants to buy a house - ask from a bank. But these ones are not for sale. And that's okay."
With this assurance, I left the happy minister and his family to settle into his new house.