Tanzania’s National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai resigned on Thursday, just three days after apologizing to President Samia Suluhu over his remarks on the country’s borrowing.
The Citizen (https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/) reported that Ndugai had claimed Tanzania risks being auctioned due to rising national debt.
Last week a video clip went viral showing the Speaker criticize what he called unhealthy borrowing.
The Citizen added that while he issued the apology, Ndugai said the clip had been edited to stain his relationship with Suluhu.
“If I have uttered any word to discourage the President in her efforts to rebuild the country, I apologise to her and to all Tanzanians in general,” The Citizen quoted Ndugai having said while addressing journalists on Monday in Dodoma.
In the same breath, The East African reported that Ndugai’s remarks drew Suluhu’s response.
She said the government will not be discouraged from prioritising external loans over domestic taxes to complete key projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and the Julius Nyerere Hydropower projects.
The East African went on, adding that Suluhu signed a new $1.93 billion deal with Turkish contractors Yapi Merkezi for another phase of the ongoing SGR project.
“There are people who thought these projects would ground to a halt so they would have something to say. That’s not going to happen. There is no country anywhere that doesn’t borrow – even the so-called developed countries have bigger loan debts than ours. We will borrow, borrow and borrow in order to finish the projects we have started.
“That way we will be able to complete these projects much sooner and start making money off them to pay off whatever loans we incur. If we were to depend on our own internal revenues, how long would that take?” The East African quoted Suluhu.
In a statement to media houses, Ndugai said he had written to his party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), over his “personal decision” to resign as Parliament speaker.
He also said that a copy had been submitted to the National Assembly Clerk for the procedures of getting another speaker according the constitution.
Ndugai who assumed the position on November 17, 2015 is the first the Speaker to resign while in office in the Tanzania’s history.