Tanzania: PCCB in Rukwa Arrests Top Officials Over Swindling

THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Rukwa Region has arrested two top officials of Nkasi Teachers' Saccos for allegedly swindling fund amounting to over 55m/-, being property of the cooperative.

SACCOS' Chairman, Peter Kasomo and Secretary, Joseph Mwamakula were arrested by anti-corruption officials after they were allegedly involved in setting up a ghost loan scheme.

Equally, the anti-corruption watchdog has saved 3,500,000/-which Ms Esta Sikozi of Kanyere Agriculture Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS) in Kalambo District borrowed without following proper procedures.

However, Ms Sikozi has refunded the money by depositing the same amount into Kanyere AMCOS bank account.

In additional to that, PCCB has arrested a senior official from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in Rukwa Region for allegedly soliciting and receiving bribe amounting to 500,000/-from a business person so that he could help reduce revenue assessment.

The Rukwa Regional PCCB chief, Mr Hamaza Mwenda disclosed this during a press briefing held here in the municipality while presenting reports of work implemented during the period of October to December 2019.

"You may very well remember that recently anticorruption watchdogs were directed to probe into theft and misappropriation of fund by top brass of cooperative societies across the country. I am happy to inform you that during the period of October to December last year, we (PCCB) have unearthed appropriation of funds done by top leaders of three cooperative societies, including Nkasi Teacher's Saccos in Nkasi District, Kanyere AMCOS and Muzia AMCOS in Kalambo District, being property of cooperative members' he added.

Mr Mwenda further added that after carrying out investigations, the anti- corruption watchdog uncovered that Nkasi Teachers' Saccos chairman, Peter Kasomo and Secretary John Mwamakula swindled over 55m/-by preparing a phantom loan.

He further added that both have been ordered to refund the cash within 14 days by depositing the cash into Nkasi Teachers' Saccos account.

In a related incident, the corruption watchdog arrested Kanyere AMCOS chairperson, Ms Sokozi for borrowing 3,500,000/-in cash without following proper procedures.

However, she had already refunded the whole sum.

"We (PCCB) have been receiving complaints from business people on the foul play done by TRA officials who are not honest and engaging in soliciting and receiving bribes so that they can favor them," added Mr Mwenda.

He further noted that leaders of Muzia AMCOS were interrogated by police officers since 2018 and were subsequently arraigned in Sumbawanga District Magistrate's Court in 2019.

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