27 June 2012

Tanzania: MPs Drop 'Bombshell' Over Escalating Graft

Dodoma — Members of Parliament have complained bitterly about the rising wave of abuse of office, massive thefts and grand corruption.

Debating the 2012/13 annual fiscal budget for the Prime Minister's Office, some MPs opposed the government plan to spend the money obtained from the compensation for a controversial radar purchase to buy books.

Mr Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-CHADEMA) and Ally Keissy Mohammed (Nkasi North-CCM) called on the government to return immediately the reported 300bn/- stashed in a Swiss bank account. "It has been reported that six Tanzanians have stashed away 300bn/- in Swiss accounts. This money is ill-gotten and must be returned to Tanzania. We want the Prime Minister to name these people.

"He should also explain how they got the money and they must be taken to task. PCCB should also investigate this matter," stressed Mr Zitto. Mr Keissy noted that such colossal sum of money was a wake-up call that Tanzania must keep an eye on their resources especially gas.

He demanded that the government prosecute all culprits responsible for the downfall of the National Insurance Company, Air Tanzania Corporation Limited and Tanzania Railways Limited. His statement was echoed by Ms Mariam Msabaha (Special Seats-CHADEMA) who wanted all ill gotten wealth to be confiscated and culprits prosecuted. "PCCB has failed us and this failure should also be investigated. Big time thieves are left scot free while petty thieves are crucified," he lamented.

Mr Godfrey Zambi (Mbozi East-CCM) castigated the Minister for Water, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, for abuse of office when he was Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives. He charged in the august House that Prof. Maghembe set up an incompetent Board of Coffee with biased composition and unilaterally composed coffee regulations.

"Out of the nine members of the board, five come from Kilimanjaro region while Mbeya region, which is the second coffee growing region had only one. This minister is irresponsible and biased, tainting image of CCM government,' he charged. Mr Zambi charged that the chairperson of the board (name withheld) despite being incompetent, she is also pursuing her personal interest detrimental to the interest of the board.

"The chairperson is now representing Exim bank in a court case against the board. In the case the bank wants the board headquarters building in Moshi to be auctioned. This is ridiculous," he charged further. The legislator wanted the government to urgently dissolve the board and abolish all regulations that govern the coffee industry. On her part, Ms Anne Kilango Malecela (Same East-CCM) said that people, protected by big shots, had invaded Shengena Forest in search of gold.

The fiery MP accused some leaders over abuse of office and negligence at the expense of the people of Same who are said to be drinking contaminated water. "The forest is the source of four rivers. Due to human activities near the river, my people have been drinking poisonous, chemical-laced water for two years now. Some are planning to parade their case before the UN.

"Despite several tours by government leaders including the former Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, mining activities continue unabated", she claimed. Ms Malecela wanted the government to stop such activities by yesterday and that all culprits, regardless of their status, face the music. She also presented DVDs to be given to the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister showing destruction of the forest and environment.

Ms Riziki Said Lulida (Special Seats-CCM) dropped another bombshell that there was a syndicate of thieves in councils. Mentioning the names of such 'thieves' (names withheld), Ms Lulida claimed that after siphoning millions of shillings, the 'thieves' were transferred to Ngorongoro, Nanyumbu, Babati and Kilwa. "Lindi has been turned into a hideout for these culprits. Such transfers are hampering the Kilimo Kwanza initiative especially in Lindi region", said Ms Lulida.

She categorically stated that she would not support the budget unless the government disbanded the syndicate and expelled one notorious official (name withheld) from Lindi region. The emotional Ms Lulida was forced to retract her statement after mentioning one tribe (Chaga) that is in pilot seat of the syndicate. Mr Keissy, Mr Kaika Telele (Ngorongoro-CCM), Ms Lydia Mng'ong'o (Special Seats-CCM) and Michael Laizer (Longido) opposed the plan to use radar money for purchase of books.

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