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Grand corruption in Tanzania: UK envoy calls for suspects prosecution

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Apr 30, 2008
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    Grand corruption in Tanzania: UK envoy calls for suspects� prosecution

    -Remarks come on the back of more and more allegations facing top politicians, govt officials

    Dar es Salaam

    BRITAIN has urged the Tanzanian government to bring criminal charges against suspects implicated in high-level corruption scandals.

    According to the British High Commissioner to the country, Philip Parham, while the resignation of politicians named in corruption allegations is a welcome gesture, the government ought to go further and formally prosecute all suspects guilty of wrongdoing.

    Speaking in an exclusive interview with THISDAY in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Parham said the recent resignations of senior cabinet ministers over corruption allegations would go a long away towards enhancing the confidence of development partners and members of the public in the government of the day.

    ’’t is always a very good sign when senior public officials take responsibility for their actions...this will improve people’s confidence in their government and also that of the donor community,’’ said the British envoy.

    Asked if he was satisfied with the government’s handling of the corruption allegations and whether or not more action should be taken against the politicians after their resignations, he said: ’’We are told that investigations are still going on, so I can’t comment on individual cases.’’

    He added: ’’Generally, I’d call for legal action to be taken if the allegations are proved right and the people involved are found guilty.’’

    Ambassador Parham has in the past been quite candid about allegations of high-level corruption in the country, and has publicly called for serious follow-ups by investigators on what he described as ’big stories’ on suspected grand corruption appearing in the local media, to establish the facts behind them.

    Tanzania is one of the biggest recipients of British aid money, receiving about 300bn/- from the UK during financial year 2007/08 alone for development purposes.

    The UK has also been the origin of substantial foreign direct investment in the country, with investments worth about $1.1bn (1.4trn/-) being made in almost all sectors of the domestic economy.

    Parham’s latest remarks come on the back of a growing catalogue of corruption allegations facing several prominent politicians and senior government officials in the country.

    The latest such scandal saw the resignation of former infrastructure development minister Andrew Chenge, after being linked to the dubious 28 million pounds sterling (approx. 70bn/-) military radar deal.

    Investigators from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are alleged to have traced suspicious payments of more than $1m to Chenge’s offshore bank accounts, made at the same time the much-criticised 2002 deal was approved by the third phase government of former president Benjamin Mkapa.

    At the time of the radar deal negotiations and conclusion, Chenge was serving as the country’s attorney general, and is understood to have handed out crucial legal advice in favour of the transaction.

    Apart from Chenge, other recent political casualties of corruption scandals are ex-prime minister Edward Lowassa and two other senior cabinet ministers, Nazir Karamagi and Dr Ibrahim Msabaha, who all resigned back in February after being implicated in the Richmond power generation fiasco.

    There have been numerous calls from members of the public and political opposition leaders for a full-scale official investigation of they and other high-profile local personalities linked to such corruption allegations.

    There are also growing public fears that such individual suspects may not be made to face any criminal charges once they have resigned from whatever high-profile posts they may be holding.

    The state-run Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has frequently come under strong criticism for failing to make any real progress in the fight against high-level corruption in the country.