The new president’s first action on taking up office was to declare his assets. He owns two houses – one in Dar es Salaam and one in his home town Masasi – an undeveloped farm, and four cars.
As he entered the new National Assembly for its first meeting, opposition MP’s joined in the applause. In his first message to parliament he warned that stern measures were in the offing for tax defaulters and irresponsible tax collectors. He was willing to enlist the support of the opposition in supervision of his government to ensure that it stuck to the CCM manifesto on which its election campaign had been based.
On tax evasion he said that anybody in arrears should pay immediately and action would be taken against those who did not. The government would also not entertain irresponsibility amongst tax collectors. With immediate effect all ministries and departments would have to spend only within their allocations. undisciplined government accounting officers would be fired.
The name of anyone taking a bribe would be made public and such persons would be fired. Properties of persons proved to have taken bribes would be confiscated.
President Mkapa said that the privatisation programme started by the Mwinyi administration would be continued. Small time miners, farmers, fishermen and herdsmen would be assisted through the provision of modern equipment.
The President has also made it known that he does not wish to be addressed as ‘Mtukufu’ which could be taken as implying that he was divine. He said he would rather be called ‘Ndugu’ (Brother) or ‘Mheshimiwa’ (Honourable) as these were the titles he was qualified for.
Coinciding with the President’s words two bribery cases were concluded. Police Officer Juma Nassoro was Sentenced to ten years in jail after having solicited Shs 5,000 in exchange for not taking a man to court for an alleged crime.
A Customs Officer was found guilty of soliciting a shs 50,000 bribe as a pre-condition for reducing tax of shs 140,000 on imported video equipment. Both reeived ten year jail sentences at a court in Mtwara.