BY PROF. DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, ETN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
Tanzania’s new Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, swung the axe again when in a surprise move he sacked the Chief Executive of the Tanzania Tourist Board, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, accusing him of poor performance and of his position having become “untenable,” political slang for being put to the sword for very likely internal wrangling, power games, or worse even, a vendetta.
From usually well-informed circles it was learned that it was apparently the Board of Directors of TTB which stuck the knife into Nzuki’s back by reportedly writing to the Minister and demanding Dr. Nzuki’s dismissal, which the minister, after consulting with his senior staff, agreed to. While it appears that Dr. Nzuki has been thrown a sort of a lifeline with the possibility of redeployment within the ministry, this seems unlikely following the éclat this decision has caused and the embarrassment he suffered at the hands of his board baying for his blood and the minister willingly giving it to them.
Only a month ago Nyalandu had sacked his Director Prof. Alex Songorwa and Deputy Director for Wildlife Prof. Jafferi Kidegesho just weeks into his term as substantive cabinet minister, after serving previously as Assistant Minister.
Contacts in Dar es Salaam are tightlipped right now, with some on condition of strict anonymity saying that Tanzania’s performance at the just ended ITB may have played a role where Rwanda won the first prize as best African exhibitor, followed by Burundi and Kenya taking the two runner up positions.
Ms. Mdachi was immediately made Acting CEO of the Tanzania Tourist Board while the board of directors was given instructions to immediately begin the recruitment process for a new substantive CEO, with just 21 days allowed by the minister. The ministry is on record confirming that the final selection will be done from among the three selected top choices for a final appointment.
Another source based in Arusha, surprised by the breaking news, suggested that there might be more sackings ahead, in both the wildlife department and other departments under the ministry like forestry as the fight against poaching is slowly gaining momentum again.