No mum we are not attacking you because you're a woman, but we are attacking you because you lied to Tanzanians and you are trying your level best to make sure the BOT report is not released to all Tanzanians in order to benefit mafisadi. By The Citizen Reporter THE CITIZEN Finance minister Zakia Meghji yesterday lashed out to critics calling for her resignation following the theft of over Sh133bn from the Bank of Tanzania. She made the remarks in the wake of growing pressure from the Opposition and a cross-section of the public who have been urging her to step down for allegedly defending illegal payments at BoT. Speaking to The Citizen in a telephone interview, Mrs Meghji said those pressuring her to resign were "misinformed and lack concrete grounds" for their stance. "I am confident that I have done my work properly...I promised that the allegations would be investigated and that has been done." She gave five reasons why she would not resign as Finance minister, adding that those calling for her resignation were harboured a vendetta against her. Firstly, she was the one who ensured that massive theft of public funds within BoT was thoroughly investigated by both the Controller and Auditor General and an external auditor. Secondly, Mrs Meghji stated the looting of public coffers under BoT's watch took place when she had not yet been appointed Finance minister, and wondered why the Opposition was baying for her blood. "I have no any reason to quit my position...those pressuring for my resignation have a hidden agenda," she added. The third reason why Mrs Meghji won't resign was that she was misled by the immediate former BoT governor on illegal payments made by the central bank. "This is a man who was trusted by the state, but he decided to lie to me before I discovered that his claims lacked ground," Mrs Meghji said. The fourth reason is that nobody can accuse her of any wrongdoing as far as the loss of billions of shilling of taxpayers' money is concerned. "I am innocent. It seems that people are attacking me because I am a woman or have other motives best known to them," said Mrs Meghji, who is the first woman to hold the finance docket. "These things happened when I was still new in this ministry and some people might have capitalised on this to mislead me. However, I managed to establish the truth and act accordingly," she said. On Monday, Mrs Meghji revealed how former BoT governor Dr Daudi Ballali "lied" to her about the illegal payments amounting to Sh39 billion ($30.8 million) made by the bank to Kagoda Agricultural Co. She said Dr Ballali told her that $30 million payment was meant to take care of "sensitive national security issues". She said she wrote a letter on September 15, 2006 to Deloitte and Touche of South Africa, which was then auditing BoT accounts, explaining in writing that the funds were used for security matters. However, four days later, she discovered that Dr Ballali's claims lacked ground. She therefore wrote another letter retracting the previous one. Asked on whether she took any disciplinary measures against the former governor, Mrs Meghji replied: "I summoned the governor and told him that he has lied to me." Speaking about the just concluded EPA investigations, the minister said she was very happy that the truth has finally come out and all culprits would soon be taken to the court of law." However, Chadema secretary-general Dr Willibroad Slaa maintained that the opposition camp would push for the resignation of Mrs Meghji and Industry, Trade and Marketing minister Basil Mramba who was then Finance minister. "How do you sign something that has been written by third party? Is this the way they run the Government?" Dr Slaa asked Dr Slaa further went on: "We shall continue to mount pressure until we make sure that the two cabinet ministers have resigned for failing to protect the public funds."