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kama ni kweli PCCB wamefulia

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Freetown, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Freetown

    Freetown JF-Expert Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
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    A new guideline on how to interrogate legislators will be introduced anytime, following a fierce battle between lawmakers and the anti-corruption watchdog that emerged this week.

    The revelation comes just days after the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) started quizzing MPs who sit in the parliamentary standing committee on energy and minerals for allegedly receiving allowances from government agencies while they also received allowances provided by the parliament whenever on official business.

    Speaking to The Guardian on Sunday here this week Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs), Philip Marmo (pictured) said there was no direct guiding principle on how such procedures could be undertaken.

    He said while the corruption watchdog was constitutionally empowered to summon any citizen for interrogation, there was a pressing need to have a clear policy on how such process could be handled, noting that MPs enjoyed the parliamentary immunity bestowed on them.

    “The ongoing misunderstanding between PCCB and Members of Parliament is a challenge for the government through parliament to formulate guidelines to avoid a repeat of the same wrangles,” said Marmo.

    Marmo noted that the parliament and any other government department ought to work together for the betterment of the nation, thus any interferences between government organs could only mar success of both sides.

    On Tuesday, Kyela MP Harrison Mwakyembe admitted that he refused to be interrogated for allegedly receiving double payments in allowances this year.

    He said officials of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) had wanted to interrogate him over the alleged payments during Parliamentary Committee meetings earlier this year.

    Mwakyembe argued that the move had no justification whatsoever. He viewed it as double standards on the part of the PCCB which also provides such allowances whenever it organises workshops and seminars for MPs.

    The PCCB alleges that MPs who sit in the parliamentary standing committee on energy and minerals erred by receiving allowances from some government agencies while they were receiving allowances provided by the parliament whenever they were on official business.

    Mwakyembe said the reports were not true, adding that the PCCB move was only intended to intimidate and silence outspoken MPs who have been on the forefront in the war against grand corruption.

    "There was nothing wrong that we did by accepting the lunch allowances which are usually given to MPs when committee meetings extend past lunch time. This is always done, and we were not the first MPs to receive that allowance," he said. He explained that such allowances are allocated in the national budget as hospitality allowances.

    Mwakyembe said it was ironic that the PCCB should start interrogating MPs for accepting lunch allowances during committee meetings when the same organisation provides similar allowances when hosting MPs in various seminars and workshops.

    "The PCCB organised seminars in Dar es Salaam twice this year and provided MPs with allowances. It even provided lodging for MPs, including some of us who already reside in Dar es Salaam. If they want to investigate people on corruption on such terms they should start with themselves first," he said.

    He said PCCB's initiative was marred by un-professionalism and ill intentions, especially considering that the head of PCCB, Dr Edward Hosea, was himself the subject of disciplinary action as proposed by Parliament due to his irresponsibility that contributed to government contracting a ghost electricity generating company, Richmond Development Company, in 2007.

    He also argued that the move was going against the Constitution and Parliamentary Regulations that protect MPs and give them freedom to speak their minds in Parliament.

    He said he has recently been the target of corrupt politicians who want to see him lose in next year's general elections in his Kyela constituency. But they will not succeed, he told them, unless they camp in the constituency for five years with their families to campaign against him.

    Since a month ago PCCB officials have been interrogating MPs who are members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on energy and minerals for allegedly receiving double payments in allowances when they had sessions with some government institutions.

    Speaker of the National Assembly also denounced PCCB action, saying his office was not informed that the corruption watchdog wanted to interrogate legislatures.

    He said PCCB was supposed to have written to his office on the alleged double payment and the intention to investigate MPs and that his office would consequently inform the legislatures.

    “ Let …inform any other authority like PCCB that would like in case of such action, the office of the speaker must be notified in writing for the parliament to communicate with legislators and give the guidelines,” Sitta said.

    He said the MPs enjoy parliamentary immunity just like any other government officials, adding that the law requires an MP to be arrested and interrogated by the top security official in accordance with law of the country as members of Parliament cannot run away.