13th July 09 `One man eats 36bn/- Norwegian aid` Joyce Kisaka `One man eats 36bn/- Norwegian aid` Over 36bn/- in Norwegian aid given to Tanzania between 1994 and 2006 was squandered by an individual who was awarded a procurement contract without following tendering procedures, it has come to light. An audit into the aid money carried out jointly by Norway and Tanzania has established mismanagement on the Tanzania government side. Norway gave the money to the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry to finance the Management of Natural Resources Programme (MNRP) in Tanzania from 1994 to 2006. Speaking to The Guardian this week in an exclusive interview, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Shamsa Mwangunga said the audit has just been completed and they are yet to discuss the findings with Norwegian government officials. This person (without revealing the name) claimed to have made advance payment for the purchase of motorcycles which were meant to help increase efficiency among government officers in the ministry. However no delivery was made whatsoever, Mwangunga explained. It was alleged that the person said to be at the centre of the controversial transaction that siphoned the aid money at the expense of the nation had bad record, having committed similar misdeeds in other ministries, but was nevertheless shifted to the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism only to commit the offence. The man reportedly died last year. As I am talking to you now, legal action against those (ministry officials) who in one way or another are linked to the loss of the aid funds is underway, said Mwangunga. The minister added that her immediate plan was to hold a meeting with the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania to discuss the misappropriation uncovered by the auditors from both countries. Reached to comment on the matter, the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Jon Lomoy said that the government of Tanzania had requested postponement of the planned meeting pending completion of the ongoing parliamentary budget meeting in Dodoma. We have accepted that request and I dont think its proper to comment on the content of the discussion before we meet with the government representatives, Lomoy briefly said. The report compiled by Norwegian auditors revealed that some USD 30 million (over 36bn/-) given to Tanzania as grants over 12 years was misappropriated. The official report by The Norwegian Anti-corruption Resources Centre entitled Does Aid Work?, that focused on the challenges and effectiveness of Grants directed to major natural resources programmes indicated that a larger fraction of the funds received never reached the intended targets, but ended up in individual pockets.