31 October 2018

Tanzania: Tido Mhando Winds Up Defence Submissions

VETERAN Journalist, Tido Mhando yesterday wound up his deface case by insisting that the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) Board of Directors was fully involved in the transformation project of the state owned Corporation from analog to digital terrestrial broadcasting programmes.

He told Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar res Salaam that as the Director General with the TBC, he did not do anything without the consent of the board, as it is the same board that instructed him to do the initial original process.

"I handed over the matter after completing the preliminary process in 2009. Until I left TBC, no one talked about the subject, be it the government or the board itself," he accounted as he was being cross-examined by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Prosecutor Leonard Swai.

During examination, Mr Mhando, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Azam Media Limited, explained that he had taken a lead in holding discussions with several companies that were capable and well financed to take part in the transformation project.

During the process, he said when being led by his advocates Ramadhani Malete and Martin Matunda that he at the end managed to source one company from Switzerland, Channel 2 Group Corporation of Dubai and StarTimes Communications of China.

When asked by Mr Swai to explain the differences of agreements entered with the two companies, the seasoned journalist reiterated his earlier testimony that he signed the contract with Channel 2 Company just to assure them of their involvement in the project.

While the contract with StarTimes Company was final after the approval of the board, he said that according to the law, the genuine contract must be signed by two people, who are the director general and lawyer of the company and must contain the company's seal.

"The initial agreement between TBC and the Channel 2 Company of Dubai was signed by me as Tido because they wanted to be assured of their participation in the process," he conclusively testified.

After his testimony, the court directed the parties to file their final submissions on November 15, 2018.

On that day, the court will pronounce the date on which the judgment in the trial will be delivered. In the trial, the prosecutions are charging the ex-Director General of TBC with five counts of abuse of position.

He is accused of signing different agreements with Channel 2 Group Corporation (BVI) on a joint venture for operating and broadcasting television programmes, among others, and occasioning loss to the corporation of 887m/-.

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