Tanzanian President John Magufuli has ordered the demolition of the state-owned electricity supply firm, Tanesco’s, headquarters in Dar es Salaam to pave the way for road construction.
Also to be flattened is the fence of offices of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation which like the Tanesco building are located along the Morogoro Road at Ubungo in the country’s largest commercial city.
During a site visit at the Ubungo Interchange Wednesday, Dr Magufuli directed Tanzania National Road Agency (Tanroads) to mark ‘X’ on the building and wall in readiness for the demolition saying they sit on a road reserve.
“The law, like a saw, cuts both ways. If the government errs, it’s condemned. If the president builds on a road reserve, the same punitive action will be taken against him,” said President Magufuli.
Tanzania this year launched Dar es Salaam road upgrade projects — $88 million Ubungo Interchange and the $17 million Tazara overpass — that are intended to ease traffic flow.
The World Bank-funded Ubungo project, commissioned in April by the president, is expected to be completed in September 2020. It is being constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. Mr Reginald Kayanga, the consultant engineer, said actual construction is scheduled to start next month.
Before the site visit, President Magufuli had also inspected the Tazara overpass at Sam Nujoma and Nyerere roads junction where an engineer Mr Richard Baruani said 64 per cent of the project was done. It is expected to be completed by October 2018.
In the past few months, more than 1,300 houses, public buildings and places of worship have been demolished by Tanroads to pave the way for the roads upgrade.
As a Minister for Works, Dr Magufuli had ordered the demolition of the Tanesco headquarters among other buildings on road reserves but the then Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda had blocked the move.