Tanzania: Ex-Minister, Two Others Face Criminal Charges

FORMER Home Affairs Minister Lawrence Masha and two other officials have appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam facing two criminal charges relating to violation of laws establishing the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF).

He is charged jointly with Malvinne Kitilya and Innocent Macha, who are co-Directors of Eco-Protection Tanzania Limited, on charges of failure to furnish returns of employees and pay statutory contributions to the Fund's Director General.

It is alleged that ECO is the leading waste management business in Tanzania providing collection, treatment and recycling services.

Through the expertise of her people and investment in technology, the company promotes and delivers sustainable waste management solutions.

Before Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba, the three accused persons denied the charges, which are alleged to have been committed contrary to sections 73 (10 (a) and (7), as well as section 75 (1) (2) (3) (4) of the Workers Compensation Act, 2015.

They were granted bail on each of them securing one surety, who signed bond of 2m/-.

The case was adjourned until April 1, 2021 for preliminary hearing. Investigations into the matter, according to the prosecution led by State Attorneys Deo Victor and Slyvia Mitanto, have been completed.

Before adjournment of the case, the prosecution requested the court to issue an accused summons against another director of the company, Edmund Hazal, whose charges against him were not read over because he was not present.

The court granted the request in question and subpoenaed him.

Prosecuting, the trial attorney told the court that on diverse dates between June 30, 2016 to to date in the City of Dar es Salaam, the accused persons failed to furnish to the Fund's Director General some returns of earnings of employees of Eco Protection Tanzania Limited.

It is alleged that between July 2015 and July 2018 in the city, while carrying business registered as Eco Protection Tanzania Limited, the accused failed to pay statutory contributions of 12,946,770/40 to the WCF Director General vide demand notice of July 12, 2018 and reminder notice dated August 24, 2018.

The Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) is a social security scheme established in accordance with Section 5 of the Workers Compensation Act.

Main purpose for the establishment of the Fund is to provide for adequate and equitable compensation for employees who suffer occupational injuries or contract occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of their employment and in case of death, for their dependants.

The Fund's mission is to mitigate the social and economic impact of occupational accidents and diseases on employees, their families and employers through the provision of adequate and equitable compensation in a sustainable, transparent and efficient manner.

According to the Act, an employer shall in each year furnish the Director General with a return in the prescribed form certified by the employer.

The form must show earnings paid by the employer during the period with effect from the 01/03 of the immediately preceding year up to and including the last day of February of the following year and such further information as the Director General may require.

Failure to comply with the requirement is an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding a sum of 50m/-or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both fine and the imprisonment sentence.

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