Mara — TARIME District Council has failed to disburse over 1.5 bn/- coughed up by TANESCO to compensate hundreds of villagers affected by rural electrification project.
The money has reportedly been kept in the council's deposit account for nearly three months now. Civic leaders including councillors are now accusing the council top officials of purposely delaying the payment exercise to meet their personal economic gains. "How come they stay with the money in the bank for so long?
We are so much worried if the money is safe. There is something hidden and it is like they are doing business with the money," several councillors from the villages with hundreds of peasants eligible to receive the compensation told this news paper in Tarime.
Officials said the compensation exercise has been marred by a lot of irregularities. "The money was provided by TANESCO and it is in the bank but what is delaying us is the citizens themselves.
Some are setting up temporary buildings so that they can get the money when they are not eligible," a senior official with the Tarime District Council who wished to remain anonymous said when reached for comment.
Tarime District Council Chairman, Mr Amos Sagara confirmed that several teams have been formed to verify the exact number of people eligible to be compensated. "The list has both eligible and fake names and some people entitled for compensation were left out.
The team is making final verification as we are speaking," the top council leader said. He confirmed that the money was received by the council in May, this year.
"The money was mistakenly channeled via Land Department account but we requested and transferred to the account it is in to date," Mr Sagara explained. He did not say when the verification exercise which is said to have consumed millions of money will end.
"We are not spending the same money for the verification exercise. We are using money from our own sources," he pointed out. The money was availed to compensate unspecified number of villagers affected by rural electrification project that has brought lights to dozens of interior remote villages of Tarime.
But, there are reports that the first list sent by Tarime District Council to TANESCO contained many fake names. Tarime District Executive Director (DED), Mr Athuman Akalama was not immediately available for comment.