Mon, Nov 21st, 2011
Mon, Nov 21st, 2011| Tanzania
The Parliamentary Select Team formed to establish legitimacy of collection of money to finance the Ministry of Energy and Minerals’ budget process has unearthed a number of reasons leading to leakage of government confidential documents.
Tanzanian Bunge (Parliament) in Dodoma
Presenting its report over the weekend, the team’s Chairperson, Eng Ramo Makani (Tunduru North-CCM), noted that some government officials and technocrats divulged secrets and documents because they were not happy with the state of affairs in their respective departments and institutions.
“As Parliament has built unquestionable credibility and trust in the eyes of the public, some government officials have decided to leak documents on theft and embezzlement of public funds to MPs, hoping that such move would help curb the vices,” reads part of the report.
Eng Makani mentioned another reason as discontent among officials and technocrats over salaries and other remunerations.
“To boost their income, some of the officials have even turned leakage of government information to a lucrative business by selling confidential documents to interested parties,” the report said about one of the officials who was questioned by the team.
The report further noted dissatisfaction on government’s machinery as another reason.
“Some of the officials and technocrats are dissatisfied with the government’s problem-solving machinery and seek assistance from MPs or the media by leaking classified documents,” noted Eng Makani.
The team therefore recommended for the government to cut on bureaucracy on public access to classified documents.
It also hinted that some government officials had been blocking access to government information as a ‘hideout’ for their vices.
“The government should make analysis and research and subsequently table A Whistleblower Protection Act to help uncover vices committed by government officials,” recommended the team.
The team was formed following recommendation by Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-CHADEMA), following a tip by Beatrice Shellukindo (Kilindi-CCM) who managed to produce a copy of a letter written by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, David Jairo requesting institutions to raise money for ‘successful’ reading and passing of the ministry’s budget in Parliament.
The team questioned 147 people including the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, former three Premiers, Chief Secretary Philemon Luhanjo, several former and incumbent ministers, 17 MPs, former Speaker of the National Assembly Pius Msekwa and Clerks of the National Assembly, heads of several government institutions and other prominent people.
Debating the report, Ms Shelukindo and Ms Anne Kilango Malecela (Same East-CCM) said the government should overhaul its system to enable public access to government information and reduce powers of Permanent Secretaries.
They also warned that government officials have been stealing mercilessly, leaving common people scratching the earth to earn a living.
The National Assembly on Saturday resolved that the government should take appropriate action against Mr Philemon Luhanjo and the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Mr Ludovick Utouh.
It has also resolved that the government should take disciplinary and legal action against the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja, his Deputy Minister Mr Adam Malima and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr David Jairo.
Mr Jairo had written to Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) requesting 50m/-, Rural Energy Authority (REA) 50m/-, TANESCO 40m/- and EWURA 40m/- for finalization of budget process of the ministry.
Three institutions contributed as requested except for EWURA who resorted to finance dinner at a cost of 9,797,600/- .
The team questioned the rationale of such collection considering the fact the ministry had in June, this year received 171,542,000/- from the Treasury as other charges.
Available documents show that the ministry had 35,500,000/- for such purpose while requirements stood at 207,042,000/-
Most of the MPs who debated the report wanted all culprits to be prosecuted to instill discipline and spirit of good governance and desist other government officials from committing similar offences.
They further called on the president to take urgent and stern actions against the culprits as they tainted his image and that of the presidency.
The MPs also attacked the CAG for discrediting his integrity and credibility.
The National Assembly also resolved that all ministry officials who were involved in the collection and embezzlement of funds be taken to task.
By LEONARD MWAKALEBELA, Tanzania Daily News