- Aug 2, 2010
Corruption which is afflicting many public institutions in Tanzania has finally hit the country's leading money minting business district, Kariakoo, which is under the tutelage of the Dar es Salaam Development Corporation, DDC that operates under the Dar es Salaam City Council.
The problem was discovered early in August, this year (2011) when the Dar es Salaam City Mayor, Dr Didas Masaburi toured DDC's enterprises that includes its rented premises.
Apparently Dr Masaburi who is himself under spotlight following his involvement in the illegal sale of shares of the Dar es Salaam bus commuter company, UDA, also under DDC, embarked on the exercise in order to expose Dar es Salaam members of parliament who had taken him to task over the UDA scandal.It was discovered that a company which goes by the name of Nimeta that collects revenue on behalf of the DDC, has been charging very high rents, but submits to the DDC less than what it collects.Dr Masaburi also discovered a number of discrepancies in the collection of rents on buildings and offices rented out to Dar es Salaam businessmen and women.
The former sublet their premises to other people whom they overcharged and pocketed the difference.For instance, according to available information, Nimeta has been charging between 1.3m/- and 2.5m/- per months in rent to business operators in Kariakoo area.
However, the contract between the firm and DDC shows that Nimeta was supposed to charge Kariakoo businessmen and women 300,000/- each in rent and pay 40 per cent of the money to the DDC.
The million dollar question is where does the difference from overcharged rent go to?
A random survey shows that Kariakoo is a very good source of income, in rental, for the DDC and the government in general if the Tanzania Revenue Authority, TRA, was doing its work diligently.
Unfortunately the reverse has been going on in the DDC which is currently facing debt to the tune of 500m/- that is supposed to have been submitted to the NSSF as part of employees' contribution to the Fund.
The DDC could have solved its debt problems if it had been diligent in collecting its revenues which presently go to unscrupulous people.It is important to bear in mind that as the country's leading money minting business district, Kariakoo sees over 20bn/- in business a day!However, surveys show that the DDC is running at a loss in a number of its enterprises and ventures, meaning that it has failed to make use of the lucrative business that goes around in its own business district!
There is however, a strong reason to believe that such loses are not incurred by the DDC by accident, but through well calculated moves that aim at benefiting individual officials both in the DDC and DCC as clearly illustrated in the simmering UDA scandal.
For instance, some of the questions that ought to have been posed a long time ago by powers that be is why did Dr Masaburi embark on his touring exercise now and not before his name was mentioned by Dar es Salaam MPs in relation to the UDA scandal?
Had Dr Masaburi embarked on his ‘shame corrupt elements' exercise long before his name was linked to the UDA scandal, his present exercise would have not only been deemed genuine, but also respected.
During the controversial exercise, Dr Masaburi suspended a number of top officials in the DDC, accusing them of being involved in corrupt tendencies.
Interestingly, all those who had been suspended continued to turn up at their respective places of work, defying the Mayor's orders!
The suspended officials' conduct-namely, their decision not to honour Dr Masaburi's directive, could only mean one thing; that the honourable Dar es Salaam City Mayor is not in-charge of the Haven of Peace!
And the question that the powers that be ought to ask themselves is why is Dr Masaburi not in charge of the Dar es Salaam City he is supposed to be its Mayor?
It is important to recall that during the first phase government, President Julius Nyerere could order his subordinates that included top government officials and ministers to do anything he wanted them to, and they all heeded his directive.
There are also people he banished them in the rural areas for misconduct and no one could raise a finger against the founding father.There are those who may be quick to say that Mwalimu did what he did because he was a dictator.
Unfortunately the foregoing argument could have held water for only sometime.
Later, Mwalimu, just like any other dictator under the sun, could have failed to exercise his power.
Mwalimu was able to sustain his powers even when he was outside both the ruling party and the government because he had moral authority.
A corrupt leader cannot exercise his powers over his subordinates, especially if such subordinates are also steeped in corruption!Indeed, how can a corrupt or non-corrupt person respect a person whom he knows to be as corrupt as he is?