TZ corruption watchdog discovers vice within the consumer protection agency

weights-and-measures-agency-tanzania-18-638

Tanzania’s anti-corruption body Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has unearthed corruption tendencies in the country’s consumer protection agency Weight and Measures Agency (WMA).

The development comes after PCCB and WMA team of investigators sent around the country six months ago as part of anti-corruption drive, wrapped up their field trips, finding serious corruption problems in the agencies inspection activities.

Presenting the Weights and Measures Agency (WMA) corruption baseline survey to stakeholders in Dar es Salaam Thursday, Sabina Seja, PCCB Director of Research and Control said corruption at the agency was 19.5 percent higher than other agencies which participated in the campaign.

PCCB found corruption at procurement of weighing and measuring instruments and working standards at 18.1 percent and patterns of bribes in approving of manufactured or imported instruments was at 17.3 percent.

Corruption in initial verification of imported instruments stood at 15.8 percent, misuse of public office at 15.1 percent and graft was at 5.3 percent.

The new study which was conducted in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mara Mbeya, Morogoro, Ruvuma, Mwanza and Tabora involved key informants, field group discussions targeting at least 1370 samples.

Magdalena Chuwa, WMA Chief Executive Officer said the purpose of the survey was initially to understand the scope of corruption at WMA

“We believe weights and measures play a significant role in the country’s economic development. We wanted to identify the kind of corruption we face and why it has been escalating,” Chuwa said at the meeting in Dar es Salaam Thursday.

She said with the new findings will help the agency chart ways to stem the plague to the consumers, producers and the government’s benefit.

Presiding over the workshop, Hab Mkwizu Acting Permanent Secretary for Public Service Management in the President’s Office argues weight and measures is a special component for the country’s economic development.

He said WMA remains critical in ensuring customers get the desired products in lawful and standard quantity and quality and that it helps the government levy and collect appropriate taxes.

 

Citing agriculture as an example, the Permanent Secretary said for sustainable agricultural production farmers need actual agro-input measures to boost productivity.

Mkwizu was also concerned about the rampant illegal importation of weights and measures instruments and dishonest businessmen posing serious threat to the economy.

He urged government to consider the possibility of reviewing the WMA legislation to provide for stern penalty for corrupt officials and businesses.