14 June 2018

Tanzania: Sacked Student Loans Board Directors Likely to Face Prosecution

Photo: The Citizen
HESLB's Executive Director Abdul-Razaq Badru (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — Six directors who were yesterday sacked from the Higher Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) are likely to face prosecution over the loss of Sh7.1 billion.

The HESLB authorities have contacted investigative organs of the government over the matter that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the six.

Prof William Anangisye who chairs the HESLB board said he had directed their lawyer to liaise with other authorities on the possibility of taking legal action against the former top officials who have been found culpable.

Prof Anangisye who is the Vice Chancellor of University of Dar es Salaam announced the sacking of the directors for gross negligence and occasioning loss to the government of the colossal amount of money.

"Together with this punishment, the board has directed the HESLB executive director who doubles as the board's secretary to inform other government authorities on other actions whenever they find appropriate," said Prof Anangisye in a statement read to reporters by Mr Abdul-Razaq Badru who is HESLB's executive director.

The sacked directors include the director of loans refund Hamid Chagonja and his deputy Robert Kibona.

Others are the director of loans allocation and disbursement Onesmo Laizer, the assistant director of loans disbursement John Elias, the chief internal auditor Heri Sago and assistant director of loan planning Chikira Jafari.

The six were suspended from work between 2016 and 2017 pending investigations over the alleged loss of funds at HESLB. Prof Aningisye yesterday said investigations have found them culpable and thus the decision to fire them altogether.

Those sacked, according to HESLB lawyer, Abdul Mtibora, may appeal against the decision to the public service commission if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation.

According to the VC, actions by the individuals had hindered effective work at HESLB. He warned other HESLB employees against engaging in acts that were against the law establishing and regulating the body. He said the board will not tolerate any vice.

HESLB was last year put under investigation after a scandal involving reported double loans allocation and payment of ghost beneficiaries among other suspicious transactions running into billions of shillings.

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