9 June 2014

Tanzania: PCCB for Seizure of Illegal Property

Dodoma — THE Director of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, Dr Edward Hosea, has called for amendments to anti corruption laws to allow for nationalisation of properties of culprits found guilty of acquiring their wealth through corrupt means.

He made the plea in Dodoma at the weekend when responding to various questions in a seminar for members of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC).

He noted that the current law can only take corrupt individuals to jail but it does not look at the properties they acquired through corrupt means.

"In the amendments we would like to see that all those convicted with corruption and sent to jail have the properties obtained dubiously confiscated and nationalized as well," he said.

Dr Hosea noted that in the proposal there is also a provision in the law that should empower the PCCB to sue wealthy persons who will fail to explain the source of their riches.

He added that if such persons fail to explain before the court how they acquired their wealth, the court should therefore order for nationalisation. He added that the move would help in reducing dishonesty. "If we do this, corrupt individuals will be fearful.

Right now people have plenty and yet they cannot explain how they acquired the property," he said. Dr Hosea also proposed that monetary fines should be lessened because they have been easy for accused individuals, most of whom are rich people, to meet and walk away.

"We also ask Members of Parliament to help us return corruption offences in the category of Economic Sabotage offences, so that those found guilty would be regarded as involving in sabotaging the country's economy," he said.

Concerning the longtime demand by the bureau to have corruption cases handled solely by the bureau, Dr Hosea said that his office was not aiming at assuming the powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions, save for the fact that corruption cases needed specialty.

"PCCB has trained experts in handling corruption cases. We are not talking of imagination here. Other countries like United Kingdom, Uganda, Ethiopia, Siera Leone have given their bureaus these powers.

We have 95 specialist lawyers. Let's give them chance to help us in these cases which require specialty," he said.

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