THERE is a Chinese saying that man loves gold but fears weapons used to guard it that is why any precious thing (in this case public fund) must be protected so that its intended goals are realized.
To be precise, the Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango in Mtwara Region on Monday issued a strong warning against theft of medicines and medical equipment in public health facilities, vowing that the government will take stern measures against the culprits.
This is a serious crime for a trusted public servant to commit and tantamount to killing the goose that lays you the golden egg, because public funds play an important role in the development of the country not for enriching individuals.
It should be known that public funds help provide health programs, community services i.e. water provision, restoration programs, public service programs, and even environmental programs, which at the end of the day benefit the members of the community, in which the funds are intended.
That is why the government must be supported to uproot dishonest civil servants in its workforce, who are not patriotic enough and only think of their welfare, yet still behaving as employees.
There are funds provided by donors and the government (collected as taxes from the public) to fight HIV/AIDS, purchase ARVs which prolong lives of infected people, build roads, buy desks in schools to ease learning environment in schools, you name it, only to be waylaid and fleeced by dishonest servants. In this case, every citizen must support Dr Mpango when he said: “Let me start by issuing a warning, I am not as polite as you think…I don’t entertain those who steal public properties including medicines and medical equipment.”
It is also good that he directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Pro Abel Makubi, to ensure the culprits are brought to book, fired and immediately taken to court. According to the vice-president, the health ministry, Medical Stores Department (MSD), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) departments and pharmacies are the main areas where thefts occur, yet very sensitive in the lives of the people.
He said it was disheartening to note that the government is losing a lot of money due to drug theft by the people who the authority entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the lives of people.
It is not just firing, taking to court such people will be enough lessons to the public, their property should also be auctioned to compensate for the losses incurred and in this area, Tanzanians expect Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to be tough and clever enough to trace their wealth and frozen.