Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

23 February 2014

Tanzania: 38m/ - Voucher Books Disappear in Katavi

Mpanda — KATAVI Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Rajab Rutengwe has ordered disciplinary action, including suspending or sacking, be taken against all those involved in the disappearance of 945 voucher books for subsidising agricultural inputs in through the voucher system valued at over 37.8m/-.

The disappeared voucher books were for subsidized urea fertilizers being property of Nsimbo Council in Mlele District meant to be distributed to farmers in the area. Mlele District currently has two councils, Mlele District Council as well as Nsimbo Council in Katavi Region.

The RC also directed the Katavi Regional Security and Defence Committee to investigate the matter and that all suspected officials be suspended pending results of the investigation.

Dr Rutengwe issued the orders when closing a two-day seminar for cooperatives and agriculture officials held recently after being briefed over the matter which has caused uncertainty amongst farmers and losses to the council.

"This behaviour cannot be tolerated, we cannot just stay mum while dishonest officials continue to rob the government blind.

I hereby direct the security and defence committee to ensure that all those involved are taken to task. This theft and the law must take its course," the livid RC said.

According to Katavi Regional Agriculture and Livestock Development (RALDO) Officer, Mr Shaniel Nyoni, since Nsimbo Council currently does not have storage facilities, Mlele Acting District Agriculture and Livestock Development (DALDO) Officer, Ms Tusume Mwaimbila handed all voucher books to her counterpart for Mpanda District, Mr Severine Lwiza to store them.

"Ms Mwaimbila handed over all the voucher books to Mr Lwiza without any proper documents. The disappearance of the books was discovered a month ago and they started asking each other.

The then decided to report the matter to the Mpanda District Voucher Committee which alerted the Katavi Regional Voucher Committee chaired by the RC and eventually it was reported to Central Police Station in Mpanda Township," he added.

Mr Nyoni told the 'Sunday News' that Mr Lwiza has already been arrested for interrogation on Thursday, reports which were also confirmed by the Katavi Regional Police Commander , Mr Dhahiri Kidavashari.

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