18 August 2016

Tanzania: Ex-NIDA Boss, Seven Others in Court Over 1.2 Billion/ - Fraud

Photo: Daily News
Former National Identification Authority (NIDA) Director General, Dickson Maimu and seven other senior officials at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday, where they were charged with 27 counts, including abuse of position and occasioning loss of over 1.2bn/-.

Former Director General of the National Identification Authority (NIDA), Dickson Maimu, and seven other senior officials appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with 27 counts, including abuse of position and occasioning loss of over 1.2bn/-.

Other accused persons are Avelin Momburi, the authority's Director of Business Support; Benamini Mwakatumbula, Manager of Finance and Accounts; Joseph Makani, Budget and Estate Manager; George Ntalima, Transport Officer and Sabina Raymond, Director of Legal Services.

The rest are Xavery Kayombo, whose official capacity was not disclosed and Astery Ndege, the Director of Aste Insurance Brokers Company Limited.

The accused persons are also facing charges relating to use of documents intended to mislead principal and conspiracy to commit an offence.

Before Principal Resident Magistrate Respicious Mwijage, the accused persons were not allowed to enter plea to the charges because they are charged under Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.

They were all ordered to go to remand until August 31, when the case will be mentioned. Investigations into the case, according to the prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Awamu Mbangwa, have not been completed. The magistrate ordered that bail would be considered by the High Court since the amount involved in the matter exceeded 10m/-.

But he said he would deliver a ruling on bail application for Mobuli and Makani on Friday, following arguments that the two accused persons do not face economic charges like the others.

Other members of the prosecution team are Mr Leonard Swai, Ms Janeth Machuria, Mr Joseph Kiula and Ms Fatma Waziri. The prosecution alleged that on diverse dates between 2010 and 2015, being employed in the public service, Maimu and Mwakatumbula abused their positions by effecting payments to Gotham International Limited worth 5.175 million US dollars and 6m/-.

It was alleged that the accused did not use selling exchange rates established by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) in violation of Clause 19.3 of the agreed contract between NIDA and such company, thereby causing the same to obtain undue advantage and causing loss of 167,445,676.67.

It is alleged further that on diverse dates between August and November, 2012, at NIDA, Maimu, Mwakatumbula and Ntalima, abused their positions by authorising and effecting inflated payments of insurance premium to Aste Insurance Brokers Company Limited amounting to 117,020 US dollars.

The prosecution told the court further that between February and April 2012, at NIDA offices, while discharging their duties, Mombuli, Mwakatumbula and Ntalima abused their positions by effecting 22,582,281/- to the insurance company, thus causing it to obtain undue advantage of the said amount.

It is alleged that Ndege, being the director of the insurance company contracted by NIDA to provide insurance services, with intent to defraud or deceit his principal, intentionally used several invoices containing false particulars purporting to be insurance premium of four per cent of the insured amount.

As a result, the prosecution claims, the insurance company obtained undue advantages. The court heard further that Maimu, Mwakatumbula, Ndege and Ntalima, by their willful acts, caused NIDA to suffer a loss of 55,312,800/-.

The prosecution told the court that on diverse dates between 2012 and 2013 at NIDA offices, while discharging their duties, Maimu, Mwakatumbula and Makani intentionally abused their positions by authorising and effecting additional payments of 24 million US dollars to Iris Corporation Berhad.

It was alleged that such payments were given for a proposed new schedule to fast track delivery of cards and equipment without amendments of the existing contract - in violation of Clause 45 of the General Conditions of Contract between NIDA and the company. Such act conferred the corporation undue advantage of the said amount.

In June 2013 at NIDA offices, Mwakatumbula, Ntalimamand Kayombo allegedly conspired to commit offence under the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Act, which is using documents, intended to mislead principal.

It is alleged that in June 2013 at NIDA offices, Mwakatumbula and Ntalima, with intent to defraud their principal, NIDA, used a minute sheet containing false particulars purporting to show that Gwiholoto Impex Limited deserved payments of an outstanding balance of 45,515,961/- while it was false.

The prosecution further alleged that in June 2013, at NIDA offices, while discharging their duties, Mwakatumbula and Ntalima abused their positions by authorising and effecting payments of the said amount to Gwihololo Company, thus causing the same to obtain undue advantage of the amount.

It was also alleged that in June 2013, at NIDA offices, by their willful acts, Mwakatumbula, Ntalima and Kayombo caused the authority to suffer loss of the said amount.

The court was told also that between August 2010 and November 2011, at NIDA, Maimu and Raymond intentionally abused their positions by procuring the School of Law, formerly Faculty of Law of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), in association with M-0S Law Partner, a provision for consultancy services.

Such services, it is alleged, related to review of existing legislations and propose a legal framework to support the implementation of the National Identification programme, knowing that there was in existence of a similar contract between NIDA and Gotham International Limited.

The prosecution alleged that as a result, such company, Gotham Company, obtained undue advantage of 901,078,494/-. Between November 2011 and April 2012, at NIDA, by their willful acts, Maimu and Raymond caused the Authority to suffer loss of the said amount.

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