Chenge case not yet closed,says UK Send to a friend Thursday, 11 November 2010 00:09 digg Andrew Change By The Citizen Reporter Dar es Salaam. It is too early to judge people implicated in the radar scandal because the issue has not been concluded in court, the British Government said yesterday. A statement issued by British High Commission yesterday, said because the issues has not been decided in the court, it was impossible to draw conclusion on people who were interviewed in the course of investigations of the issue. The statement noted that the British Government was aware of a statement made by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) on Monday that its joint investigations with UKs Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has failed to link the former Attorney General, Mr Andrew Chenge with the corruption allegations around the controversial purchase of a military radar. The radar, valued at around $40 million, was sold to Tanzania by BAe System of UK through an agent. It is alleged that during the deal, a number of Tanzania officials and businessmen received kickbacks, raising unreasonably the price of the radar. At this stage the case relating to BAe and its dealings in Tanzania is yet to go to court in the UK. It is therefore not possible to draw conclusions either way relating to those who were interviewed in connection with the case, said the British High Commission yesterday. The PCCB Director General, Dr Edward Hoseah, phone was not reachable yesterday while the Bureau Public Relations Officer, Ms Doreen Kapwani could not react to our queries. I am in meeting, please call me after half an hours, she said. But when she was called after 30 minutes, she did not pick her phone. According to the embassy, on Feb 5, this year, SFO announced that it had reached a settlement with BAe following an investigation into a defence contract with the Government of Tanzania. The embassy said regarding Tanzania, BAe admitted that it had failed to keep reasonably accurate accounting records in relation to its activities in the country. BAe has said it will plead guilty to the aforementioned offence, and that it will pay a sum of 30 million Pound Sterling by way of a penalty and also for reparation to Tanzania. A hearing in the crown court will determine the amount of the financial order (fine) with the balance to be made available as an ex-gratia payment to the people of Tanzania, said the statement adduing: The plea agreement between BAe and the SFO brought to an end all outstanding investigations by the SFO. However, because the plea agreement has not yet been before the crown court in the UK, it is not possible to say at this stage whether the agreement will stand. A crown court judge will determine whether the plea agreement between the SFO and BAE can be accepted. The hearing will start on November 23, this year. PCCB said on Monday that its joint investigations with SFO have failed to establish the involvement of former Attorney General Andrew Chenge The radar was purchased by the government from BAE Systems of UK at a cost of $40 million in 1998. A statement signed by the PCCB public relations officer, Ms Doreen Kapwani, said that joint investigations by the local anti-corruption watchdod and UKs Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have failed to link Mr Chenge with the bribery accusations in the radar deal. We would like to let the public know that investigation and evidence collected by PCCB and SFO on corruption allegations in the radar deal, has failed to link Mr Andrew Chenge with the allegations, said Ms Kapwani in a two paragraph statement. But she appealed to people to continue feeding the Bureau with information that would enable it stamp out corruption in the country. Cooperating with PCCB is the responsibility of every mwananchi, she said. For years, the SFO had been investigating the $40 million contract signed in 2002 to facilitate the supply of a radar system to Tanzania, in which kickbacks amounting to $12 million are alleged to have been paid to a number of government officials through the agent. A six-year investigation by SFO involved roles played by Mr Chenge, who was the Attorney General when the deal was agreed, and the former Bank of Tanzania Governor, Dr Idris Rashidi. The statement that cleared the former Attorney General, put credibility of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) at stake, with some people doubting the way the investigations have been carried. Commenting on the issue on Tuesday, the Civic United Front (CUF) national chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba said he doubts the PCCB credibility because cleansing suspects was not among the core functions of the Bureau. With the PCCB background of protecting some government big wigs who have been involved in several scandals, I may conclude that I dont have trust with PCCB, Prof Lipumba said He said Chenge has until today failed to explain how he obtained money found in his off shore account, which is incomparable with his salaries as public servant. Prof Lipumba added also that it was immoral for PCCB to clean Mr Chenge at a time he was contesting for the Speaker of the National Assembly post. Contacted for comment yesterday the PCCB chief Dr Edward Hoseah said the media and other groups who have been questioning the PCCB decision they have hidden agenda. Why are you asking me on the statement? Its better you ask the one who signed it and not me, please! Dr Hoseah said Commenting on the matter, Wawi Member of Parliament elect Mr Hamad Rashid Mohamed (CUF), said according to the PCCB statement, Mr Chenge was cleared by SFO some months ago and wondered why the information has been made public now. During the last Parliamentary sessions the issue became hot even we wanted the government to bring us proper information on the refund but it has been silent, Mr Hamad said.