CORRUPTION -SIGNIFICANT COURT CASE

There has been much discussion inside and outside Tanzania in recent months about what appeared to be the determination with which the government was tackling small scale corruption but its apparent lack of attention to corruption involving ‘big’ people. However, on December 28, former Works Minister Nalaila Kiula and his former Principal Secretary, Director of Roads and Aerodromes, Chief Engineer Rural Roads and the Director of a construction company appeared in the Kisutu Magistrates Court in Dar es Salaam to answer corruption charges involving the loss of Shs 3.3 billion. They were charged under the Economic Sabotage and Organised Crime Control Act and were initially remanded in custody. Giving details of the case, the Guardian reported that on January 2 1966 the Minister had allegedly been found in possession of houses in Dodoma (valued at Shs 25 million), and Dar es Salaam (Shs 5.5 million), various sums of money (Shs 33.9 million) an air ticket to Tokyo for his wife, and a car (Shs 18 million) which the prosecution alleged had been ‘reasonably suspected of having been corruptly obtained’. Similar charges were made against the others. It was said that the accused would have to apply to the High Court for bail and this was granted on Deceember 31. House Speaker Pius Msekwa announced later that Niula would remain an MP until any changes against him had been proved.

Other developments in the government’s anti-corruption drive have included the following: Two lorry loads of smuggled goods were intercepted at the Geita lakeshore and the guilty persons were fined a total of Shs 11 million in August. 105 drivers were arrested in a crackdown on people with faked drivers licenses. The very active Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) seized goods worth about Shs 15 million on the Tanzania Kenya border on August 14 as tax had not been paid on them. On September 27 the CID began questioning 16 people suspected of committing theft and fraud between January and September 1999 in 34 branches of the National Bank of Commerce. The Judicial Services Commission announced in October that one magistrate had been sacked and two others retired for acting against professional ethics. Two businessmen and six land officers are in court on charges of bribery involving acquisition of plots of land. Ten oil marketing companies have had their licenses revoked for suspected tax evasion. However, the former Director of National Parks has been acquitted on charges of corruption in the Arusha Magistrates Court.

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