The United Kingdom (UK) has transferred to Tanzania 7 million US dollars (more than 14bn/-) fine that Standard Bank paid as a result of its failure to prevent bribery, British High Commissioner to Tanzania Dianna Melrose confirmed yesterday.
The compensation was paid following the ruling by the British High Court in London in November last year over 6 million USD (about 12bn/-) bribery scandal in a treasury bond deal sealed on March 8, 2013 involving the London-based Standard Bank.
The case involved a sovereign note private placement undertaken in 2012-2013 between Stanbic Bank Tanzania Ltd and the UK-based Standard Bank Plc to raise $600 million (1.2 trilion/-) for the Tanzanian government as part of its five-year development plan.
As a result, Tanzania, through the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), conducted investigations into the scandal, which saw former Tanzania Revenue Commission (TRA) Commissioner General Harry Kitilya and two ex-senior officers at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited charged at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court.
Apart from the former TRA boss, the other accused are former Miss Tanzania and Head of Investment Banking at Stanbic Bank, Shose Sinare, and Sioi Graham Solomon, former Chief Legal Counsel to the bank.
Yesterday, the UK Government applauded the strong anti-corruption drive by the Fifth Phase Tanzania Government, insisting that it was delighted by President John Magufuli's representation by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa at the just concluded Anti-Corruption Summit in London.
"The UK is launching an Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub with other countries to encourage collaboration between social innovators, technology experts, data scientists and law enforcement and civil society organisations," said the British High Commissioner in a statement.
Among other issues, the Anti-Corruption Summit agreed the first ever Global Declaration against Corruption, with representatives from over 40 countries stating their commitment to work together to expose, punish and drive out corruption.
"We welcome Tanzania's country commitments and Prime Minister Majaliwa's remarks showcasing the government's actions to tackle corruption.
He stressed that political will is critically important, alongside strong legislative and administrative measures," said Ms Melrose.
According to the prime minister, the forthcoming third phase of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan will focus on involving all stakeholders--schools, civil society, grassroots organisations, the media and private sector in creating an anti-corruption culture.
The British High Commissioner added that UK and Tanzania were close partners working together to tackle corruption, financial and organised crime. A new partnership between Tanzania and the UK's National Crime Agency was launched at the London summit to share expertise in audit, financial regulation and anti-corruption investigation.
The UK Crown Prosecution Service is assisting work to establish Tanzania's Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court. Mr Majaliwa said in the National Assembly recently that a special Anti-Corruption Court would kick off its operation in July this year.
According to Ms Melrose, the UK Department for International Development supports Tanzania's institutions of accountability, including the PCCB and the National Audit Office.
She said it also supports grassroots and civil society organisations that assist local communities across the country in taking action to counter corruption, such as demands for bribes by medical staff or those involved in deforestation.