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Mbowe: Prosecute Suspects of Mega Scandals; Maranda & Hussein as sacrificial lambs...

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by nngu007, May 25, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

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    May 25, 2011
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    Rosemary Mirondo
    25 May 2011

    The first convictions in the External Payment Arrears (EPA) account theft trials has revived calls to have suspects of other mega scandals arrested and charged.

    People behind the infamous Kagoda Agricultural Limited, one of the companies, which siphoned about Sh40 billion from EPA, should also be brought to book, the leader of official opposition in Parliament, Mr Freeman Mbowe, said yesterday.

    Mr Mbowe, who is the national chairman of Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), said: "It is time people who returned the money following an amnesty by President Jakaya Kikwete were also arrested and charged."

    Most people who spoke to The Citizen on the EPA case judgment said the verdict was a good sign that the government was committeed to fighting corruption. But they were also critical of the way the cases were being handled.

    According to them, it was wrong for the President to absolve those who paid back the money while knowing "very well that they are criminals". They said the reason was that the only body with authority to exonerate a person charged with a criminal offence was the court.

    Mr Mbowe said he respected the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's court verdict against Farijala Hussein and Shaaban Maranda. The two were jailed for 19 and 18 years, respectively, after being convicted of stealing Sh1.8 billion from the EPA account, but they will serve five years each as the sentences run concurrently.

    He suggested that the government should charge other suspects who had until now not been touched. He expressed his disappointment at the government for prosecuting a few while continuing to protect many more.

    "The government has used Messrs Farijala Hussein and Rajabu Maranda as sacrificial lambs to show that it is serious in the fight against corruption. But this is not enough unless all the people involved face justice," he said. According to him, President Kikwete was not right in forgiving those who were alleged to have refunded the money they stole.

    This is because up to now there has been no concrete evidence to show that the money was actually paid back. This is despite the government's promise that it would be used to boost agriculture, he said.

    For his part, a prominent lawyer, Prof Abdallah Safari, said the court decision was a good one. However, he explained, the public yearned for more justice, which could only be achieved by taking all suspects, including those involved in the Kagoda and radar scams, to trial.


    In his view, the government was practising double standards by protecting a few while using others as scapegoats. All this was in an attempt to show Tanzanians that it was serious in the fight against corruption, he said.

    "Messrs Maranda and Hussein and a few others who are facing trials are just being used as sacrificial lambs in this fight against corruption while there are still big fishes out there," he claimed.

    The Democratic Party (DP) national chairman, the Rev Christopher Mtikila, echoed Prof Safari's views. He said despite the fair trial that found the two guilty of the offence, the government should step up efforts to flush out Kagoda suspects and taking them to court
     
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