The Tanzanian Electoral Commission (TEC) has returned $5m (£3.4m) to the state after it wasn’t spent during last year’s general election. I would be honest with you – this astonished me. In Africa? I am delighted to report that the TEC Chairman handed over a cheque to President John Magufuli. I wouldn’t hide under the patriotic blanket claiming it is to be expected and any special attention or commendation is unnecessary. I disagree. African institutions are not recognised for honesty, and they ought to. BBC has reported it and I hope other mainstream news outlet will not tuck this news item under the carpet. – Jide Salu
TEC Chairman Damian Lubuva insisted the election ran smoothly without the money:
Mr President, we were very stingy yet very diligent in our duties. So this surplus shouldn’t mean that our work was compromised anyhow.” was how he expressed this gesture .
President Magufuli called the gesture patriotic:
You could have easily kept all this money and claim that you spent it all. Or even say that it wasn’t enough. And nobody would have questioned it”
He has directed the money to be used in the construction of the electoral commission’s offices.
What a lesson to INEC, Nigeria’s version of the electoral commission. What a lesson indeed!