TZ MP furious “corrupt” ministers were cleared by gov’t

Jakaya-Kikwete

TOUGH ON CORRUPTION?: President Jakaya Kikwete’s stance on corruption being challenged

 

DODOMA: KIGOMA-Urban Member of Parliament Peter Joseph Serukamba (CCM) has openly faulted State House decision to clear former Energy and Minerals Permanent Secretary Eliakim Maswi and four other ex-ministers of any wrong doing in the controversial Tegeta Escrow Account and anti-oaching operation scandal.

Maswi who was suspended last December for allegedly swindling about Tsh306 billion from the Tegeta Escrow Account in Bank of Tanzania (BoT) was early this month exonerated by government investigators.

The government also cleared the former permanent secretary co-accused, four ex-ministers who were sacked for their role in the anti-poaching operation dubbed ‘Operation Tokomeza Ujangiri’ despite gross human right abuses as unearthed by the parliamentary select committee.

The ministers are Shamsi Vuai Nahodha (Defense) Emmanuel Nchimbi (Home Affairs), Hamisi Kagasheki (Natural Resources and Tourism), and David Mathayo (Livestock and Fisheries Development).

Debating the Prime Minister’s Office budget estimates for 2015/16, irritated Serunkamba demanded the formulation of another judicial inquiry committee to reopen probe into these scandals that led donor community to suspend aid to the East African nation last year.

The lawmaker charged the government had violated the codes of good governance in absolving ex-officials of any responsibility and hoped they don’t regain their positions.

“What is the government message to clear these people?” he wondered

Serunkamba then warned that if the energy minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo and his Permanent Secretary Maswi were cleared, then no one should be taken to court over their roles in facilitating the massive scandal that cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

“The two are prime suspects in the scandal as all documents were signed in their capacity to facilitate the money transfer,” he said

The widely publicized saga prompted development partners to withhold their budget support to Tanzania and led to the resignation of then Attorney General Fredrick Werema to resign.

President Jakaya Kikwete subsequently fired former Land and Housing Minister Prof Anne Tibaijuka. Three parliamentary committee chairpersons; William Ngereja, Andrew Chenge and Victor Mwambalaswa also resigned.

According to the MP, leaders who were held responsible over the energy scandal need to be cleared as well.

The angry legislator cited other major scandals including a 2008 report by parliamentary select committee that investigated the controversial contract between the government and Richmond Development Company to generate power, the probe led to the resignation of former prime minister Edward Lowassa.

Subsequently, Former Minister for Energy and Minerals Nazir Karamagi and then Minister for East African Cooperation Dr Ibrahim Msabah lost their posts.

President Kikwete also in May of 2012 sacked six ministers and their two deputies over corruption allegations and other accountability shortcomings.

Those disgraced ministers are Cyril Chami (Trade and Industry), Omar Nundu (Transport) and his Deputy Athumani Mfutakamba, Hadji Mponda (Health) and his deputy Dr Lucy Nkya among others.

Now the legislator says a special team should be formed to clear all these politicians. “I hate injustice. It’s totally unacceptable,” he said adding that the government cannot pick and choose who to clear and who to fau