14 January 2013

Tanzania: Sacked TPA Officials to Face Court Action

Photo: The East African
Port of Tanzania: Five top port officials have been sacked for alleged corruption.

THE Seven Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) officials who were suspended last year before they were finally terminated last week will now be arraigned to court to answer various charges including economic sabotage.

They will also have to answer charges of theft, embezzlement, mismanagement and occasioning losses to the institution and the nation.

Authoritative sources within TPA told the 'Daily News' that prosecution of the terminated TPA officials was one of the recommendations made by the probe team formed by the Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe.

Most of the charges according to the sources, fall under procurement security and mismanagement of office. TPA is the only port where transactions are conducted in hard cash, they revealed. However, it was not immediately clear as to when the sacked officials would appear in court.

When contacted, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr Eliezer Feleshi, declined to comment on the matter because he's on leave. "I have been on leave for more than two weeks now, you may go to the office to verify the information you seek," Dr Felesh told the 'Daily News'.

In August last year Dr Mwakyembe suspended the officials from TPA and Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ) pending investigations on several allegations including mismanagement, embezzlement and occasioning losses to the institution and the nation. The sacked officials include the former TPA Director General, Mr Ephraim Mgawe, his two deputies, Mr Julius Mfuko and Hamadi Koshuma.

Others are the Port Manager, Mr Cassian Ng'amilo, the KOJ Engineer, Mr Emmanuel Mataro; Jetty Master Capt Joseph Bwakabale and the Oil Terminal Manager who was also responsible for managing the Single Point Mooring (SPM), Capt Tumaini Masaro.

A committee of seven members was formed by the government to probe among other issues, massive loss of containers being handled by the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services Limited. When receiving the probe team's report in October last year, Dr Mwakyembe promised to act on the recommendations given in the report which included charging the officials in the court of law.

Efforts to reach Minister Mwakyembe or his deputy Dr Charles Tizeba on the matter proved futile yesterday as their mobile phones were not available.

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