AfricaPress-Tanzania: PRESIDENT John Magufuli said on Monday that it will take time to name his full cabinet, urging newly-elected Members of Parliament to remain calm as he scrutinises qualified independent technocrats, who are able to implement the 2020-2025 CCM Election Manifesto.
“Lower your pressure!” he told MPs and former cabinet ministers shortly after administering an oath of office to the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango and Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi at the Chamwino State House.
He cited hard work and commitment to issues of national interest as among the key reasons on why Majaliwa was re-appointed Prime minister of Tanzania.
Mr Majaliwa, Member of Parliament for Ruangwa, in Lindi Region, was appointed by President Magufuli last Thursday before his name was endorsed by lawmakers to serve the seat for the next five years.
Dr Magufuli reminded his hand-picked premier not to be comfortable at his position, saying out of 11 Prime Ministers, Tanzania has had since independence only one, Fredrick Sumaye, who was able to complete his two five-year terms.
Responding to the concern that some MPs and former ministers are keenly watching to see if they will be entrusted to venture into the cabinet, President Magufuli said: “MPs were elected to be legislators, not cabinet ministers.”
He said following the October 28 General Election, CCM managed to bring in qualified MPs in the House, but his cabinet needs a limited number of not more than 30 people.
He said in 2015, it was a bit easier for him to appoint the cabinet compared to now when more names of qualified and competent MPs are on his table.
However, Dr Magufuli said he is seeking advises from the Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Premier Majaliwa and the Isles President Dr Hussein Mwinyi before appointing ministers.
He said the scrutiny involves reviewing each name and considering other factors.
“There is a challenge in appointing (the cabinet). We have to thoroughly look one name after the other as well as considering other factors,” he said.
He took the time to explain why he was in a rush to appoint Finance Minister Dr Mpango and Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Kabudi.
He said it was necessary the two are in office pending a full government that can be delayed for even three months.
The Head of State said each ministry has Permanent Secretaries who he believes can help to fulfill ministerial duties in providing service to the general public.
He was specific that Dr Mpango had made it to the cabinet for his good record and ability to increase revenue collection from 850bn/- to 1.2trn/- per month during his time as Commissioner General for the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
President Magufuli added that Dr Mpango has also helped the nation to graduate into lower-middle-income status countries, five years prior to the country’s target.
“There is a special need to have a finance minister, that is why I appointed him the finance minister in the first place,” said the president who earlier instructed both Dr Mpango and Prof Kabudi to get constituencies or return to their previous civil servant positions.
He said Prof Kabudi was appointed to the position on the ground that the nation needs a spokesperson for foreign affairs.
“There has been insults and list of questions without answers. He also managed the position,” he added.
President Magufuli said he had turned down a proposal from his aides to appoint Defense and Home Affairs Ministers pending the cabinet, saying “there is no urgency” to appoint the two.
“If the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) needs a military action he will report straight to the Commander-in-Chief (me) not the minister. This is the same with the police where they will report to their Inspector General of Police (IGP),” he noted.
The President insisted he would resort in a random announcement of his cabinet other than the usual style of announcing a full cabinet.
Magufuli said there is a huge assignment ahead and the people need an immediate and quick solution to challenges they face.
He argued that the trust that the people have had on the ruling CCM cannot be disgraced.
He said the ruling party’s central committee and the national executive committee worked hard to ensure those elected in the national assembly have the needed qualification to serve the public effectively and faster.