President Magufuli sacks Tanzania’s National Identification officials over expenditure of US $ 82 million


CPresident John Magufuli has sacked National Identification Authority (NIDA) Director General Dickson Maimu and suspended four other officials from the organisation.

According to an article in the Citizen, the NIDA officials were sent packing following the questionable expenditure of TSh 179.6 billion(US $ 82.05 million) by the organisation in the national identity cards scheme.

The four other suspended officers are ICT director Joseph Makani, senior procurement officer Rahel Mapande, director of legal affairs Sabrina Nyoni and transport officer George Ntalima.

According to the article, Magufuli also directed the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and Controller and Auditor General (CAG) to investigate how the money was spent.

“The President has therefore directed relevant agencies to conduct an investigation into all procurement processes carried out by Nida to establish whether there was value for money and the number of IDs that have been issued so far and determine whether there were elements of corruption,” said Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue.

The issuing of national IDs was originally scheduled to start in 2012, but was marred by various hitches, including lack of public awareness. So far, only two million people have been registered, and 1.7 million issued with IDs. The project was to be jointly carried out by Nida and the National Electoral Commission (NEC), and was to be completed before last year’s General Election so that the IDs could be used in the elections but this deadline was not met.

Malaysia’s Iris Corporation Bhd won the 5-­year contract to issue 25 million national IDs to eligible Tanzanian citizens. The government has said national IDs will soon be used as the only official identification documents for citizens and residents domestically. The benefits include linking up with government systems and databases such as those of the Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (Rita), TRA and Immigration Department.