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Pccb/police: Stop turning mountains into ant hills and vice versa!

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by ByaseL, Jun 1, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    In mathematics there is a very interesting principle known as the law of inverse proportion. For those who are math shy, popularly known as penguins (ngwini) at Mlimani, I will explain. This principal basically works in converse or opposite. For instance, the more you inflate the balloon with helium the lighter it becomes. In this case the volume of the balloon becomes inversely proportional to its weight and this is what makes the balloon fly up in the sky!

    Our law enforcing organs in Tanzania seem to be well endowed in math. Surprisingly even amongst lawyers who are the best known penguin species, some are mathematically savvy as far as the inverse proportion principle is concerned. The law enforcing bodies in this country particularly the police and to a some extent the anti-graft body (full of lawyers) are known and accused of applying the law of inverse proportion with abandon when it comes to enforcing the law and order in the country.

    In Tanzania we have two categories of law breakers. On one hand there is ( to use the Ugandan speak) the “Mafuta Mingi” : These are individuals who are either politically well connected or have fat bank accounts, call them the “haves” if you like. On the other hand lies the holloi polloi (have-nots) popularly known as “Walalahoi” in Kiswahili:- The wretched of the earth. If you happen belong to the haves social group and somehow find yourself on the wrong side of the law, no matter how serious it is, you do not need loose your sleep. Chances are that the law enforcement organs will work zealously to ensure you get off the hook without much ado! If circumstances are such that you are a “have-not” and break the law, ole wako! No matter how trivial your case may be the law enforcers will even look for the crimes allegedly committed by your distant uncle and pile them unto your criminal charge sheet for the full force of the law to take its course! Talk of double standards. This is Bongoland after all.

    Examples abound. We have a situation in this country where cold blood murder allegedly committed in broad daylight and in front of a van full of eye witnesses but because the alleged culprit happened to be a” Mafuta Mingi”, the criminal charges were brazenly toned down to manslaughter! A few days later the alleged culprit walked free under very “user friendly” bail conditions. In contrast a “kibaka” (petty thief) caught allegedly stealing a cheap Nokia phone is arraigned in court. However, because the alleged culprit cannot meet stringent bail conditions, the poor fellow is sent to Segerea Prison and the next hearing of his or her case is most likely to be held nine months away! If this is not a classical example of application of the inverse proportion principle by state organs, please tell me, what is it?

    In 2005 we witnessed top robbery suspects brought before the Court in designer suits and sleek mobile phones in hand ( like a fashion show) only to be put on what is technically a “watch list” but in reality left scot free! Not to be outdone the Minister responsible for public security (Mr. Mwapachu at that time) tells the whole world to stay tuned for the impending release of the equivalent “list of shame” for big time crimes like robbery and drug smuggling. It turns out to be hot air after all. We have been waiting for the infamous list until the cows came home, but wapi? No one dares to speak against big time organized crime in this country or else you risk going six feet under horizontally and unceremoniously. Meanwhile, our law enforcers are chest thumping and telling whoever cares to listen about how extremely serious they are on fighting crime in the country but in practical terms the battle fronts have been divided into two discriminatory castes- The “haves” and “ have-nots” with the latter bearing the brunt.

    For instance, it is mind boggling to see a situation where the anti-graft watchdog namely Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) investigates the tendering procedures for emergency power generation in the country and at the blink of an eye declares that everything went according to plan save for minor hiccups. And yet more than three years later the country is still reeling from the bungling of the shoddy procurement process that has been given a clean bill of health by the very watchdog. Reason? Political expediency to white wash the tattered image of the once- upon- a- time maverick politician. No wonder Parliament refused to buy this nonsense and decided to begin from ground zero to establish the full extent of the Richmond cracks. The rest, as they say, is history.

    I really do not understand why PCCB keeps coming short when it comes to tackling grand corruption. While it is appreciated that it is not an easy task to investigate let alone convict corruption culprits in courts, however, in the junk radar fiasco there was a window of opportunity for the anti-graft watchdog to redeem its decrepit reputation. Not anymore if the outlandish theatrical antics by PCCB are anything to go by. What was expected to be a mother of all criminal cases has now turned to be a joke of the decade. I somehow pity PCCB because I suspect they are really in a tight fix between the rock and hard place. PCCB must be feeling the heat and hopelessness on the way things eventually shaped up. How can PCCB rationalize the notion of not filling the bribery charges against some conmen masquerading as businessmen and instead prefer a lesser charge against one Gaileshi of perjury and lying to an investigation officer? What is even more comic about this farce is to bring this trivial charge against the culprit when he had already bolted out the country! Again this is another classical example of the application of the law of inverse proportion. To put it candidly, PCCB must be endowed with biblical miracles to achieve a monumental task of turning a mountain into an ant hill!

    Jamani PCCB! Poor Tanzania is out of pocket by a horrendous $12 million and people are yearning and itching to bring the culprits who chewed our money to book only to be shocked and awed that the alleged ring leader can only be charged with (in my layman’s view) misdemeanors! Really? Is this the best we can expect from the rejuvenated anti-graft watchdog? Indeed, if the radar criminal charges (against Gaileshi) stick as they are at the moment, there is a great likelihood that PCCB will consign itself into institutional irrelevance in the hearts and minds of the public sine die.

    Frankly I do not see how we can get to the bottom of the alleged corruption in the radar scam with this kind of approach. Short of bribery charges against the alleged ring leader I do not see how the other accomplices can be brought to justice. You need not be an up-market lawyer to see that PCCB is playing a “hide and seek” game as far as this radar misfeasance is concerned. Should we take this action as a red herring for something bigger to come or a prelude to a smoking gun to nail down the real perpetrators of the radar rip-off at some point in time? Again, in my considered view, not a chance in a million. Ndio imetoka.

    Indeed, we are tempted to think that this high profile criminal issue is deliberately being mismanaged or rather misrepresented by PCCB just to let the other local accomplices off the hook. With the alleged ring leader safely out the country and probably not reachable even to the long arm of the law, the local collaborators can meanwhile go to sleep soundly and quietly enjoy their “vijisenti” while it lasts. Had PCCB been alert and committed, Gaileshi’s flight into voluntary exile could have been forestalled the very moment the folks from London’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) came knocking on PCCB’s doors. Somehow, someone decided to look the other side when the alleged culprit was probably tipped off about the impending criminal proceedings and decided to ditch his country of birth to save his skin and those of his partners in crime.

    It is time up for the leadership in Police in general and PCCB in particular to put its act together and stop playing games on life and death matters critical to the very survival of this nation. Meanwhile, I strongly advice PCCB’s Edward Hosea to seek some divine intervention to save his plumy job and integrity lest he goes down in the dustbin of history as the most lousy and mediocre anti-graft Czar East and Central Africa has ever seen. Bwana Hosea, bottom-line, we need our junk radar money back and care less how. Be in cash or kind and for avoidance of doubt in kind means jail.

    Byase Luteke