Kumbe sikukosea niliposema kwamba kuna njemba zinatumiwa ili kuvuruga mjadala dhidi ya mafisadi Finns Facts: If we are not careful, grand corrupters will confuse us FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE THIS DAY DAR ES SALAAM REPORTS that there is a group of journalists who are writing sponsored articles to tarnish the image of President Jakaya Kikwete and his family, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, House Speaker Samuel Sitta, Same East legislator Anne Kilango Malecela, Kyela MP Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, Nzega MP Lucas Selelii and several opposition MPs and leaders are worrying. When I first heard the news, I thought well there are some check book journalists we often refer to as kanjanjas who can do such a silly job which is said to be bankrolled by some high level politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen who have recently made newspaper headlines for engaging in grand corruption and embezzlement practices. But after reading some very disturbing articles being done by highly qualified and respectable journalists, I am starting to get worried if we as journalists wish this country any good. Imagine a story linking Ridhwani Kikwetes employment at Ishengoma, Masha, Mujulizi and Magai Advocates with Home Affairs Minister Lawrence Mashas appointment to cabinet and Justice Alloycius Mujulizis appointment to the bar? If at all there is a scandal, say Ridhwani lobbied his father to give the two honourables such positions, why is it a scandal now when the duo have been in office for over two years? Then imagine Freeman Mbowes 15m/- loan taken from National Social Security Fund over a decade ago being considered a scandal because the debt has accumulated to over 1.2bn/-? Some newspapers devoted a whole front page for such a story? After all, Mbowe Hotels Limited has reportedly paid back 75m/- so far! And what about a story linking Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation executive director Joseph Butiku with loss of over 400m/- at the respectable institution, Samuel Sitta with misuse of 60m/- while undertaking official duty in parliament and, a promise of Anne Kilango Malecela bombshell this week? All these distinguished Tanzanians have one thing in common, honesty and courage as displayed recently during debate on the conduct of former President Benjamin Mkapa while at State House, the looting of over 133bn/- from Bank of Tanzania by 22 shell companies and news that taxpayers are footing a 152m/- daily capacity charge being paid to Dowans Holdings. Its not a coincidence, its planned, carefully organized by some of the culprits in the latest string of looting of public coffers and grand corruption practices. If authorities standby and watch some scribes being used to publish half truth allegations against our upright men and women who have championed the war against high level graft both in parliament and outside, then we are heading to disastrous direction as a nation. This country needs to rediscover its post independence leadership excellence by supporting the president, his prime minister and the ruling party which has the mandate to govern till 2010, stamp out high level graft which is a major liability to our economic success. We need to stay the course and ensure that people who own bogus companies at the port which are causing congestion due to inefficiency, have a stake in almost all private electricity producing companies being paid billions by Tanesco, benefited from Bank of Tanzanias external arrears payment account, played a role in the signing of questionable mining contracts such as Buzwagi, are arraigned in court and jailed instead of being called honourable MPs or cabinet ministers. The money which is allegedly being paid by this group of political eunuchs to some scribes is just a tiny fraction of the looted public funds which they illegally snatched from our scant resources needed to build schools, roads, pay teachers and other civil servants living wages as opposed to current slave labour wages. Serious journalism must ignore these sponsored articles with the disregard that they deserve and stay the course to ensure that thieving politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen are exposed, booked and jailed. The confusion which these sponsored articles are intending to cause by indicating that even those who have stood up and fought the culprits in public, must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances. Now is the time for editors forum and Media Council of Tanzania to act against journalists whose conduct in recent days is threatening the distinguished showing of this profession.