THE WAR AGAINST CRIME AND CORRUPTION

The government continues to pursue criminals with greater vigour than before and is also active in its war against corruption although many criticize it for not tackling the top leaders alleged to be corrupt.

According to Rai former Minister for Works, John Magufuli, is alleged to have personally supervised the selling of some 8,000 government houses. They were supposed to be sold by the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA). The paper alleged that some houses were sold to his brother even though he was not a civil servant. Magufuli was also said to have also pressurised the TBA to sell a unit at the Kinondoni Flats, to his nephew after arranging short-term employment for him at TANROADS.

According to Nipashe the government has promised to take legal action against a former Deputy High Commissioner to Malawi who is accused of the embezzlement of some $194,000. Deputy Minister for East African Cooperation, Dr Diodorus Kamala, said this in Parliament while answering a question by Dr Wilbroad Slaa (CHADEMA). The diplomat was due to retire in November. The accountant who paid out the money had been recalled from Malawi.

There was considerable surprise and excitement amongst the public when veteran politician, government leader and Tabora Regional Commissioner, Ukiwaona Ditopile Mzuzuri (58), appeared in court on November 5 charged with murder. He was alleged to have shot Hassan Mbonde (33), a daladala driver, at around 7pm at the junction of the New and Old Bagamoro roads in Dar es Salaam. The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said procedures of interdiction used on public servants charged in court might be used in this case but that the final decision would be made by President Kikwete.

Police in Geita district have arrested ten primary school teachers on charges of being found with papers of the recently ended primary school final exams. It all started when the Prevention of Corruption Bureau (PCB) in the district was tipped off that pupils were asked to pay 20,000/- for answers to each subject. A trap was set and the teachers were caught red handed. They were found with question papers, answers and names of pupils who had paid up. The exams supervisor was caught as she tried in vain to swallow the papers. She was found with 260,000/- which was said to be her share of the loot – Majira.

Sixteen police constables have been transferred from duty at the JK Nyerere International Airport and are facing disciplinary charges in a military tribunal after being accused of letting passengers carrying drugs on to aircraft – Mwananchi.

Police in Kahama district are interrogating two of their own on charges of letting go robbery suspects who were arrested with one SMG rifle and ammunition. It was found that the local commander had asked for Sh 3 million as a bribe for releasing the suspects. The two officers would appear before a military tribunal – Majira.

Lists of some 130 alleged drug dealers have been submitted to President Kikwete by young drug pushers who decided to get out of the business. The lists were said to include a bishop in Mbeya and prominent businessmen. In fact, according Nipashe, ‘Mbeya is awash with bishops belonging to some 200 church denominations.’
After President Kikwete announced that he was going to take action, several of the alleged drug dealers were said to have left the country.

Majira reported on October 20 that the Prevention of Corruption Bureau (PCB) in Geita district was holding three government officials who were said to have chained up some suspects and extorted Sh 550,000 from them. The victims had to sell their houses so as to get the money.

Zanzibar police claim that they have smashed a crime ring suspected of being involved in a string of robberies following information provided by local residents. During the crackdown, a sub-machine gun with three rounds of ammunition was recovered. The police said that they had also recovered a Toyota car that had been used in the robbery of a Chinese investor.

The government of Zanzibar has discovered the existence of 1,400 ‘phantom’ public servants who have been draining state coffers of Shs one billion every year. An enquiry committee said that the matter came to light after the government asked all its employees to present their ID papers while collecting salaries – Nipashe.

Meanwhile, an earlier case, dating back to 2001 has come back into the news.
Our contributor Dr. Hildebrand Shayo writes:

‘It is now clear that the contentious sale of a £28 million aircraft control system to Tanzania that has been a nightmare in Tanzanian politics and in the eyes of development partners supporting Tanzania, has become the centre of a corruption probe, according to British Ministry of Defence (MOD) sources quoted in the press. The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the MOD are investigating the firm BAE systems over the deal, which was approved by Tony Blair against the objections of some of his cabinet colleagues. According to The Times, it centres on allegations of backhanders being paid to the Tanzanian government. BAE confirmed on November 13, as revealed in ‘The London Paper’ that the Tanzania project was being examined as part of a wider investigation by the SFO, but insisted it had done nothing wrong. Given other priority issues facing Tanzania, the deal had sparked a bitter split in the cabinet and in particular in the UK after Blair allowed the sale to one of the poorest countries in the world. Paid for with a loan from Barclays Bank, the sale was criticised by the World Bank which said that Tanzania could have bought a non-military system for a tenth of the price. Clare Short, the then International Development Secretary, said publicly that it was an inappropriate use of Tanzania’s limited funds. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, who had demanded an inquiry, has handed over a dossier of compelling evidence that will shed light on what took place. This should now get the Prime Minister’s support, given his stated dedication to Africa as far as ending poverty and instituting good governance is concerned.

According to the ‘Bribe Payers Index 2006’ just published by ‘Transparency International’ some government leaders in Tanzania are among those who are bribed by multinational corporations and investors from 30 big countries. Firms from France, Italy and India are said to be leading in bribing their way into poor countries. Though Tanzania is not directly mentioned, firms from these countries are doing business in Tanzania. In a range from ten to one Switzerland is placed top with 7.8 while India is at the bottom with 4.6. Overall, India, China and Britain are described as having bad records with Britain scoring 7.3. – Mwananchi.

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