Why Job Ndugai opted for resignation
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has seen a number of resignations of several high-ranking politicians over its 60-year history, with this option preferred over sacking or removal by a vote of no confidence.
Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa resigned in 2008 alongside Mr. Nazir Karamagi (then Minister of Energy) and Ibrahim Msabaha (Minister of East African Cooperation) who previously held the Energy portfolio.
The decision came after the submission of a parliamentary report criticizing their role in what was then known as the “Richmond Affair”.
Former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who opted for the same way out in 1977, was then Minister of the Interior.
He made the decision after the murder of elderly people in the regions of Shinyanga and Mwanza, but unlike Mr. Lowassa who was advised to do a self-assessment by the parliamentary committee chaired by Harrison Mwakyembe, then MP for the constituency of Kyela, Mzee Mwinyi made the decision without pressure. .
“I resigned of my own free will, I received no pressure from Mwalimu Nyerere or any other person,” he says in his biography Mzee Rukhsa: Journey of My Life.
A similar decision was repeated Thursday by then-Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai, who submitted his resignation letter to the CCM’s secretary general and made a copy available to the clerk of the Assembly. national, Nenelwa Mwihambi.
The first 58-year-old president to make such a move resigned under increasing pressure from CCM supporters following his remarks on government borrowing.
Analysts argue that opting out gives embattled leaders a safe exit strategy that may guarantee them some terminal advantages.
Although he resigned as minister, Mzee Mwinyi went on to rise through the ranks to become President of the United Republic of Tanzania after briefly serving as President of Zanzibar.
It is also what is considered by some political experts to be a political accident, showing that a person taking this route can still achieve future political ambitions.
For Mzee Mwinyi, his decision may have taken place against a background of political responsibility.
In the case of Mr. Ndugai, instead of continuing to divide the ruling CCM and hamper President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s development program, the option was a lesser evil because it would guarantee him some security and a possible return. future.
In this case, he is guaranteed to enjoy his retirement benefits which would make his life comfortable even after staying out of the leadership realm.
For example, the Political Service Retirement Benefits Act (Revised 2015 Edition) reveals that despite resigning, Mr. Ndugai would be granted a bonus in an amount equal to 50 percent of the total sums he received. as wages while in office. the President and an annual pension granted monthly in the amount of 80 per cent of the salary.
Mr. Ndugai, who had been Speaker of the National Assembly since November 2015, succeeding Ms. Anne Makinda, would also receive liquidation compensation in an amount equal to the amount that would be received as salary by the outgoing President for a certain number of months. depending on the case. determined by the competent authority.
“A single motor vehicle to be licensed once and which will be maintained by him; a driver; a diplomatic passport for himself and for his spouse (s); 70 liters of fuel per week and a maintenance allowance for a motor vehicle at a rate equal to 40 percent of the fuel allowance, ”the law reads.
When contacted, Richard Mbunda, professor of political science at the University of Dar es Salaam (Udsm), supported the argument that policymakers aim to show certain levels of accountability.
“After diverging with the (executive) institution, Mr. Ndugai was working in close collaboration. He had no other decision but to resign, ”said Dr Mbunda.
According to him, with the CCM having a majority in Parliament, Mr. Ndugai could be removed by a vote of no confidence, which could have affected his status and his pension benefits.
“He could lose his retirement benefits after being dismissed. This could have motivated his decision because on top of everything, we need the advantages, ”he said.
Dr Mbunda was seconded by Prof Ali Makame Ussi of Zanzibar State University (Suza) who said the decision showed higher levels of accountability.
“Making such decisions brings peace to everyone and not just to supporters, members and executives of the CCM,” he said.
However, a political analyst, Mr Deus Kibamba, disagreed with the duo, saying that Tanzanians historically did not have such a culture, but instead were forced to resign when the going got tough. .
“They are doing this after knowing that failing to take bold decisions they will be fired, money and property will be confiscated and face trial,” he said.