Hatimaye hawa jamaa waliokuwa wamelala usingizi miaka chungu nzima huku ufisadi ukishamiri waanza 'kumchunguza' Chenge. Je, watafanya 'uchunguzi' wa kweli au watafanya usanii kama walioufanya walipochunguza kashfa ya Richmond? The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau speaks out on Chenge's fate Mr Andrew Chenge. By Mkinga Mkinga THE CITIZEN The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) said yesterday that it had launched 'comprehensive' investigations into graft allegations against former Infrastructure Development minister Andrew Chenge. PCCB director general Dr Edward Hosea told The Citizen in an interview in Bagamoyo that the decision on whether to or not prosecute Mr Chenge would be known soon. 'We know that the public is eagerly waiting for the outcome of investigations on Mr Chenge. Very soon, everything will be known, he said. This is the first time PCCB has publicly stated that investigations have been launched against the former minister, who also served as attorney general for 10 years during the Third Phase government. Mr Chenge resigned earlier this month after it was revealed that he was being investigated in connection with $12 million in kickbacks paid by British arms maker BAe Systems to people who facilitated the sale of an overpriced radar to Tanzania in 2002. Mr Chenge said in his resignation letter to President Jakaya Kikwete that he has stepped down to pave way for thorough investigations into the allegations. British newspaper The Guardian reported that investigators with the UK's Serious Fraud Office had established that Mr Chenge operated an offshore account in Jersey having over $1 million (Sh1.2 billion). Mr Chenge has since denied any connection with the radar deal. According to the PCCB chief, investigating big shots like Mr Chenge was a daunting task, adding, however, that his office would ensure that no stone was left unturned. Dr Hosea, whose credibility and that of PCCB was badly dented following the release of the Richmond report in February, said: 'Mr Chenge's issue should help to restore the public's trust and confidence in us.' However, he could not reveal which areas they were investigating, citing Clause 37 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2007, which bars him from giving details on those being investigated. 'It is difficult for me to disclose what we are investigating. Be patient and you will see the outcome very soon,' he replied when asked to explain exactly what the investigation was about. The PCCB chief also hinted that apart from investigating Mr Chenge, the bureau was also closing in on suspects implicated in the controversial $172. 9 million Richmond scandal. ''We are currently working on the Chenge and Richmond affairs the results will be out soon for further action,'' he said without mentioning others who are also under investigation. Last February, the parliamentary select committee that investigated the Richmond scandal questioned the integrity of PCCB and called on its top officials to resign for failing to detect irregularities in the deal. The PCCB declaration came a day after the Minister of State in the President's office responsible for Good Governance, Ms Sofia Simba, told our sister newspaper, Mwananchi, that local and international investigators had started investigating allegations levelled against the former minister. But she could not reveal which local and foreign organisations were tasked with investigating Mr Chenge who last week became the fourth minister to resign from the Cabinet this year on corruption allegations. The SFO was investigating the Bariadi East MP to establish whether he received part of the $12 million paid to Sailesh Vithlani by BAe system, following the conclusion of the 28 million pound sterling (Sh70 billion) radar deal. In its report early this month, The Guardian newspaper quoted Mr Chenge as distancing himself from the deal. ''Chenge does not dispute the money in his Jersey accounts the obvious inference (of the investigations) is that I have received for my benefit 'corrupt payments' from BAE. This is untrue,'' the UK newspaper reported. Mr Chenge said he was only involved in minor aspects of the radar deal, which was promoted by other ministries and approved by the Tanzanian cabinet. His bank records, he said, would show investigators that ''there is no connection to the BAE Tanzanian radar deal''. The Harvard University graduate's lawyer who served the country as Attorney General till 2005 when he resigned to join politics told reporters on arrival at the Julius Nyerere International Airport that: ''I too want to know the truth about these grave allegations I hope that this investigation will reveal the truth.'' He was part of President Kikwete's delegation to Asia countries early this month. So far Mr Chenge has been linked with Sh1.2 billion in an offshore account. However, media reports suggested yesterday that he has billions more in a local bank. Reached for comment on PCCB's revelation and reports of more bank accounts, Mr Chenge said he was shocked by news that that he owns operated an account with Sh15 billion in a local bank. He declined to give details saying he hasn't read the papers to see what has been reported. Speaking from Dodoma on yesterday, Mr Chenge said: ''It is me again..this time it is Sh15 billion I really don't understand what's going on''.