THREE officers with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the Police Force appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with corrupt transaction for allegedly soliciting bribe of 2m/- from a businessman from Kariakoo area.
They are Charity Ngalawa (28), who is Assistant Customs Officer with TRA and Police Constables Ramadhani Uweza (28) and Simon Sungu (26), both police officers.
They denied the charge before Principal Resident Magistrate Huruma Shaidi. The magistrate granted them bail on condition of securing one surety each. Every surety, according to the magistrate, was required to sign bond of 5m/-.
The case was adjourned to July 10, 2019 for mention, as investigations into the matter have not been completed.
Prosecuting attorney from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Sophia Gura told the court that the three accused persons committed the offence on October 29, 2016 at Kimara Mwisho areas within Kinondoni District in the city.
Being employees of the TRA and the Police Force, the trio allegedly corruptly solicited for themselves the 2m/- from businessman Ramadhani Ntunzwe as inducement to release his goods which was claimed to be under declared, hence paid low tax, a matter which is in relation to their principal's affairs.
Before their arraignment, the PCCB Director General, Commissioner of Police (CP) Diwani Athumani released a statement showing that the directives of President John Magufuli he issued at a meeting with businessmen at the State House in Dar es Salaam last Friday have started to be implemented.
Apart from the court action against the trio, CP Athumani informed wananchi that the PCCB was investigating on other suspects who allegedly involved in one way or another in the matter.
He explained another development that originated from the meeting in question that the PCCB are holding four TRA officers from Ilala Regional Zone in Dar es Salaam, who are linked with inspection and assessment of tax done to some goods owned by businessman Dilesh Solanki.
Mr Solanki, according to the statement, is the owner of Art Company called Steps Entertainment. CP Diwani explained that such officers were being investigated for abuse of their positions, contrary to section 31 of the PCCB Act No. 11 of 2007.
He stated that the four officers are accused of providing high assessment of 3.1bn/- as tax of different goods of the businessmen, something which implies the influence of corruption.
He said that investigations into the issue were going on and more information would be provided later. The third issue reported by the PCCB boss related to the allegations of harassment and corruption claims for workers at the Tanzania Leaf Tobacco Factory Company in Morogoro Region.
Following such claims that involved police officers, CP Diwani states that the PCCB from Headquarters has reinforced the investigation team in the region, which was under Bureau Chief's Office in Morogoro.
He said that his office will provide full information upon completion of investigations. "We urge the citizens to continue supporting President John Magufuli, who has always been in the forefront of leading the fight against corruption.
We also request citizens to be willing to give evidence in various cases investigated by PCCB to support the fight against corruption in the country," he said.