Minister tells how he bought Sh656m house
Natural Resources and Tourism minister Ezekiel Maige
By Mkinga Mkinga | The Citizen Reporter
25 April 2012
Natural Resources and Tourism minister Ezekiel Maige yesterday denied reports that he acquired a posh house in Dar es Salaam’s upmarket Mbezi Beach area through corruption.
Mr Maige told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that he bought the house on Plot 2001-2002 Block E for $410,000 (about Sh656 million at current exchange rates).
Media reports this week said the minister bought the one-storey house for $700,000 (about Sh1.1billion).
Mr Maige said he obtained two loans – of Sh184 million and $200,000 (Sh320 million) – from CRDB Bank.
Showing this reporter the loan acquisition and house purchase documents, the minister said the market price of the home sold to him by Savanna Real Estate, was $450,000, but he bought it for $410,000.
According to loan documents made available to this newspaper by Mr Maige, he began servicing the second loan in January, this year, and will repay it over 48 months to December 2015 at a monthly rate of $5,127 per month (Sh8,203,200). He said this was well within his means since he has income generating businesses. “I secured the $200,000 loan from CRDB Bank after using my house worth $410,000 as collateral and surrendering the title deed to the bank,” Mr Maige said.
Mr Maige said he found it easy to buy a new house rather than build a new one.
He said he had declared all his property with the Secretariat for Leadership Ethics Commission, and showed copies of his declaration forms.
Mr Maige, who also declared to have shares in MEM Logistic Company which is run by his wife, said the company deals with cargo transportation to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He said for the time being he has two trucks which earn him about $20,000 per month.
He said he created the transportation firm after he had acquired a loan through Parliament in 2005.
“You need to know that I’m in conflict with a certain group of people….this wrangle has been caused by my stand on issues at the ministry, the decision to sack some officials at the ministry headquarters has created tension among my enemies who were benefiting from those culprits,” Mr Maige said
Without mentioning the names of ‘his enemies’ but categorically indicating that they are among members of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for Lands, Natural Resources and Environment, he said some of the them have been agents of the hunting block deals in collaboration with some officials at the ministry.
Reached for comment yesterday, an agent for the minister’s house Mr Athuman alias Ustaadhi said Maige bought one of the four apartments which was put on business some months ago now.
He could not shed more light on how the minister acquired the house, but distanced himself from the saga. On Monday, Parliament asked the government to discipline Mr Maige following corruption and ineptitude accusations by some staff under his watch.
A report of the Parliamentary committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Environment revealed disorder in hunting blocks allocation and inappropriate issuance of permits and licences to hunt and export wildlife.