2 September 2013

Tanzania: 'NCAA Irregularities' Irk Main Opposition in Parliament

Dodoma — PRESENTATION in Parliament of the 2012/2013 audited accounts of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) without approval by the Board of Directors (whose tenure in office has expired) has irked the main opposition in Parliament, Chadema, now calling for the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Amb. Khamis Kagasheki to take responsibility for the alleged disregard of operation regulations by the Authority.

Addressing journalists in Dodoma on Sunday, the party's main spokesperson in the sector, Rev. Peter Msigwa (Member of Parliament (MP), Iringa Urban - Chadema) said operations within Ngorongoro have continued in total violation of the established regulations.

"NCAA has remained without Board members contrary to the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority Act (NCAA) of 2002. According to Section 17 of the Act, the Board is required to approve annual financial reports on income and expenditure including the assets and debts," Mr Msigwa explained, adding; "The report is submitted to the responsible minister within a period of six months after verification of the Authority's Accounts, ready for submission to Parliament.

The Opposition in Parliament wants to know how the minister presented the accounts, while Ngorongoro Conservation Board does not exist contrary to Section 18 of the NCAA," he inquired.

Citing another aspect considered as anomaly, Mr Msigwa said allocation of professional hunting blocks did not comply with the NCAA's five-year development plan.

"The opposition is in possession of documents indicating that Leopard Tours Limited, Maasai Sanctuaries were allocated to Ndutu and Oloololo hunting blocks against the plan by the Authority," he explained .

Part of the document, Msigwa said, shows that the Minister wrote to Leopard Tours Ltd, saying that he had instructed NCAA to allocate five acres at an agreed value of 30,000 US dollars.

The minister acted contrary to the established hunting block allocation regulations and was not right to communicate with the tour company directly. Again, the spokesperson said; "Knowing that he has vested interest in the Catherine Foundation owned by Catherine Magige (MP Special Seats - CCM), he should have not played any role to make sure that the Foundation received 10m/- for allegedly NCAA corporate responsibility," he observed .

It was further explained that before money was issued to Catherine Foundation for purchase of desks, twice did the authority reveal through the NCAA Manager of Community Development that no funds were accessible for the support even from the donation fund.

The last communication was done on December 14, 2012. However, according to Mr Msigwa, the amount was dished out on June 18, this year, contrary to the advice previously given that the Foundation should wait for the financial year 2013/2014.

"The opposition demands explanation for the irregularities as from which basket fund the cash was obtained and we (Chadema) oppose gross violation of the established regulations and call for the responsible .

Minister to resign for failure to defend national interests," he concluded. Asked to comment on the allegations, Amb. Kagasheki started by saying that it was inconceivable for him to press for financial support to Catherine Foundation, adding he was aware of the corporate support initiative by NCAA, but he does not interfere with the process whatsoever.

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