FORMER Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) Managing Director Charles Ekelege (second right) being escorted by a policeman in the company of family members as they exit the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court after being sentenced to three years in jail and pay 68m/- in connection with abuse of office charges. He will, however, serve for a year as the sentences run concurrently. (Photo by Our Correspondent)
THE former Director General of Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Charles Ekelege, was on Thursday sentenced to three years in prison after a Dar es Salaam court found him guilty of several offences, including abuse of power.
Reading the judgment, the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court, Ms Augustina Mmbando, said the accused was also found guilty of giving unlawful exemption of administration fee to two companies without an approval by the TBS board.
The court ordered the convict to pay 68m/- for the loss that he caused to TBS due to the exemption. Ekelege was charged with the offences of abuse of power and embezzlement of funds, subjecting the country's standards watchdog to 68m/- loss, after he removed 50 per cent of the administration fee, which is equivalent to 68m/-, from Jaffar Mohamed Ali and Quality Motors Company without the approval of the TBS council.
The presiding magistrate gave the verdict after being satisfied with the evidence and exhibits provided by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
She said the accused has been found guilty of all the three charges whereby he was sentenced to one year in prison for every offence, equivalent to serving three years sentence in court.
The sentences will run concurrently, meaning that Ekelege will serve for only one year. Earlier, PCCB advocate Janeth Machulya asked the court to give a severe punishment to the accused to serve as deterrence to other leaders who might contemplate misusing their powers.
Ekelege allegedly misused his powers between March 28, 2008 and August 7, 2009 by giving 50 per cent fee exemption to the two companies, which is equivalent to 68m/- without the approval of the Board of Trustees, contrary to TBS regulations. Also in the second and third charges the accused is alleged to have caused 68m/- loss to TBS by giving the fee exemption to theofpower