30 July 2012

Tanzania: Noose Tightens On 'Corrupt' MPs

Dodoma — THE National Chairman of NCCR-Mageuzi, Mr James Mbatia, has questioned the moral authority of the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee on investigating MPs accused of corruption.

The MPs have been implicated of being bribed in a plot to oust Energy and Minerals Minister Prof Sospeter Muhongo and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Eliakim Maswi. They have also been associated in financial scams in the management of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).

Addressing a news conference here, Mr Mbatia doubted whether the committee would be able to soberly probe the implicated MPs since some of them are members of the parliamentary committee.

"The committee needs to come clean since some of its members have been implicated in the corruption scandal. We also ask the implicated parliamentarians to take responsibility and resign immediately to preserve the dignity of the National Assembly," Mr Mbatia declared.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, on Saturday dissolved the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals after it was revealed that some of its members were part of corrupt acts at TANESCO.

Namtumbo MP Vita Kawawa (CCM) had moved a motion earlier, citing Parliamentary Standing Order number 113 (3), seeking for dissolution of the committee since some of its members had been implicated in corruption.

Ms Makinda announced shortly before closing business on Saturday that she has directed the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee to meet and scrutinize the committee and any other committee associated with malpractices.

However, Mr Mbatia went further saying disbanding of the committee was not enough and challenged the Speaker to name the culprits within a week, otherwise his party would go public and name them.

"Implicated MPs are supposed to be stripped of their positions or be jailed for three years in accordance to the Parliamentary Privileges and Ethics Regulation number 32," according to Mr Mbatia. He said the regulation was very clear and therefore there was no need to waste time and wait for other organs to take action.

The NCCR-Mageuzi Chair, alleged also that there are other six parliamentary committees that were involved in the saga, he however failed short to mention the other parliamentary committees.

The Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee is chaired by Brig. Gen. Hassan Ngwilizi (Rtd) while Mr Christopher Ole Sendeka is the Deputy. Other members are Mr Rashid Ali Abdalah, Mr John Chiligati, Dr Maua Daftari and Dr Christina Ishengoma as well as Ms Riziki Omar Juma, Mr David Kafulila, Mr Vita Kawawa and Mr Philemon Ndesamburo,

The other committee members are Mr Agustino Manyanda Masele, Mr Said Arfi, Dr Agustino Mrema, Ms Hilda Ngoye, Ms Halima Mdee and Mr Gosbert Blandes.

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