17 August 2016

Tanzania: UVCCM Boss Hit With New Graft Claims

Dar es Salaam — The ruling party youth wing was put on its defence yesterday after a CCM member emerged to claim that the outfit has failed to take to task some of its current and former top leaders for their involvement in gross misappropriation of the organisation's property.

Mr James Mwakibinga, who described himself as a "card carrying member of CCM", told reporters yesterday that some of the top leaders of the ruling party's youth wing (UVCCM) including chairman Sadifa Juma were heavily implicated in the illegal sale of the wing's 210-acre farm in Iringa Region, among other things and that they should have been kicked out together with the three national and regional leaders who were suspended on Sunday for their involvement in the scandal.

The leaders who were suspended after the national youth council meeting that took place in Dodoma at the weekend include member of UVCCM Executive Council Seki Kasuga; head of Economic, Empowerment and Finance department Omar Suleiman; and deputy secretary for Iringa Region Ally Nyamwenga.

The national council also alleged that the MP for Mbinga Urban and UVCCM secretary general Sixtus Mapunda misused some of the organisation's title deeds and they forwarded their case to the CCM national secretariat for action.

"I commend UVCCM for the decision to suspend some of those involved in irregularly selling the Igumbilo-Iringa farm and for misappropriating other properties. Unfortunately, some of the top youth wing leaders implicated in the scandal have been left untouched," Mr Mwakibinga noted. He went on to mention names of various individuals he claims were involved.

But the youth wing chairman, Mr Juma, was quick to react to the allegations, saying they were not true and were uttered by a person who did not know anything about the operations of the UVCCM. "Where did he get all these lies? I am quite sure that what we did in Dodoma at the weekend (suspending the three UVCCM leaders) was correct since it was based on investigations and some of the implicated persons confessed. We have, however, formed a new committee which is now studying all UVCCM assets and any irregularities uncovered will be dealt with," Mr Juma told The Citizen in a telephone interview.

Acting UVCCM secretary general Shaka Hamdu Shaka was also forced to call a press conference yesterday in which he dismissed Mr Mwakibinga's claims. He went as far as disowning Mwakibinga, saying he is not even an active member of CCM.

"CCM members know that there are internal procedures to follow in raising such issues. Going public without an iota of evidence is not right," Mr Shaka argued.

He said that UVCCM is giving seven days Mr Mwakibinga to withdrawal his utterances, failure of which will lead to legal action against him. "If he does not retract his claims, we will take him to court."

He added that UVCCM is in control of its affairs and is currently conducting an audit of all its assets.

"We started the process in December 2015 when we requested the CCM secretary general to provide us with auditors to check all of our projects and asserted. No stone will be left unturned and no culprit will be spared," he asserted.

The specific investigations on Iringa assets was initiated by UVCCM following allegations of abuse of office from some members that emerged on December, 12 2015, according to Shaka.

Not only did they involved CCM's investigators, they also roped in personnel from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau.

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