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EPA Scandal: How the State trapped them

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Nov 9, 2008
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    How the State trapped them

    2008-11-09 13:56:45
    By Staff Reporter

    For nine months, local analysts and politicians have waited with baited breath to see if President Jakaya Kikwete would punish those implicated in the external payment arrears (EPA) account theft or whether his tough talk on corruption would deflate with time, as it has so many times before in the country and continent�s history.

    But it seems Kikwete was not willing to sacrifice his popularity and credibility for the protection of a cadre of powerful but crooked businessmen, and this week 17 of the EPA suspects were finally arrested and arraigned at Kisutu Resident Magistrate`s court.

    Though some had worried that in recent months the President had signaled he would let the culprits off easy, fresh details show that Kikwete`s low profile was all part of a calculated plan stretched over nine months to trap the key suspects and ensure that they stayed in the country � and returned the money.

    The government has said it has recovered about 69bn/- of the 133bn/- taken from the account.

    According to credible sources, Kikwete publicly promised amnesty to suspects who returned the looted billions only to push key suspects to repay the stolen monies, and he never had any intention of actually letting them off the hook.

    EPA suspects might have thought Kikwete was rolling over on the scandal, but in practice, it was part of a well-laid plan to gather concrete evidence that could finally be used to prosecute them in court.

    The officials who planned the smooth execution of the EPA investigation and prosecutions � anti-graft czar Dr. Edward Hosea, Director of Public Prosecutions Eliezer Feleshi and the state`s chief legal adviser Johnson Mwanyika � studied the scandal`s impact on the administration`s image and evaluated how the situation could be handled to avoid public anger against the government.

    Behind the scene was also the intelligence community that studied the scandal carefully including monitoring every possible step during the investigation process plus how it was being handled by the media.

    The major aim of the trap was to ensure that all key suspects did not flee the country and that the evidence was not destroyed in the course of the investigation.

    ``These were very powerful individuals with strong connections and financial muscle,`` a senior official from the AG-led team told The Guardian on Sunday yesterday.

    ``The trap had to be planned in a way that wouldn�t raise an alarm.`` Nearly 90 percent of the people who planned and executed the dubious deal during the third phase regime are prominent businesspeople and strong allies of the ruling party.

    From Jeetu Patel to the heads of Kagoda Agricultural Development Co, the EPA suspects are powerful individuals with strong connections in the previous and current regime.

    The majority of these people have played crucial roles in the by-elections and general election by financing the ruling party and some candidates.

    ``Just after the release of the Ernst and Young auditing report, we sensed that there was a panic among key suspects and some of them were planning to destroy evidence or escape to unknown destinations,`` the senior official said. ``We had to do something to calm the situation and restore confidence.``

    The investigators were also wary of repeating any of the mistakes that led to Sailesh Vithlani � the key suspect in the controversial BAE radar deal � fleeing the country and avoiding prosecution by staying in Switzerland.

    According to reliable information obtained by The Guardian on Sunday, even the interrogation procedures were conducted congenially to ensure that no red flags were raised among suspects.

    Though inside sources say they knew what they were doing all along, they had to endure skepticism and heavy criticism from high-profile politicians and the public at large for appearing to be soft on corruption.

    ``What the public didn�t know is that the EPA wasn`t an easy task. It was a tough mission that needed a greater sense of wisdom in order to arrest all the suspects,`` the official said. ``But the public and politicians didn`t know this.``

    As time went on, EPA suspects started to relax, especially when President Kikwete addressed the nation on October 31 and announced that those who had returned the looted billions wouldn�t be touched.

    Just hours after Kikwete�s speech some suspects celebrated with champagne, according to reliable sources.

    On November 1, one of the suspects who was arrested on Thursday sent a text message to one of his close friends saying, ``The deal is over�they have realised that any prosecution could damage the party`s image as well as that of the government.``

    Though it seems none of the suspects saw it coming, a senior Dar es Salaam-based advocate told The Guardian on Sunday there was a tell tale sign that Kikwete was bluffing.

    ``This was a pure trap as well as a political game because the president can`t even issue amnesty to suspects � he can only do so to convicted persons,`` said the lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous.
    And now the suspects have played directly into the prosecutors` hands.

    ``You have stolen billions and you have proved it by returning the looted monies,`` he said. ``This is clear evidence that can be used to prosecute you before the court of law.``

    A new chapter
    The State`s decision to arrest and prosecute the EPA suspects has opened a Pandora�s box in the fight against grand corruption in Tanzania.

    For so long, anti-graft efforts in Tanzania and throughout Africa have proved futile, as law enforcers often deal with petty corruption cases but ignore the biggest scandals.

    ``This is a good start and no stone should be left unturned�the spirit should go beyond the EPA scandal,`` Dr. Willbrod Slaa, a critic of the government and a known corruption whistleblower, told The Guardian on Sunday.

    Some African countries like Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia have faced similar corruption scandals, but achieved little progress, especially in prosecuting the suspects.

    Corruption in Africa is costing the continent more than $148bn a year, according to a 2007 report by the African Union.

    Graft on the continent increases the cost of goods by as much as 20 per cent, deters investment and holds back development, the report found.

    Most of that cost, the report said, falls on the poor.

    SOURCE: Guardian
  2. Kinyambiss

    Kinyambiss JF-Expert Member

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    its good kwamba the money was returned and they have been prosecuted...
    Lakini the Head of State should be someone who doesnt go against his word. Next time a scandal like this happens, the culprits will know exactly what to do.. the State is 'bullshiting' and all they need to do is flee.
  3. M

    Mtanzania JF-Expert Member

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    Next time njia nyingine itatumika. JK ni mwanajeshi na jeshini bluffing ni silaha nzuri ya kumdanganya adui.
  4. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    How sure are you that the money was returned?
  5. Majita

    Majita JF-Expert Member

    Nov 9, 2008
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    Wanajeshi wakikusikia!!!!
    Nitajie vituo alivyofanyia kazi akiwa Mwanajeshi.
  6. Pdidy

    Pdidy JF-Expert Member

    Nov 9, 2008
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    basi mgambo kaka !!!ujui ni luteni kanali yule nstaafu???????????
  7. Majita

    Majita JF-Expert Member

    Nov 9, 2008
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    Kisiasa ni Mwanajeshi ila kijeshi si Mwanajeshi.Utajali kama utanitajia vyeo alivyowahi kushika kabla ya kuwa "Luteni Kanali".I love Tanzania.Luteni Kanali kikwete.
  8. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Imetolewa mara ya mwisho: 09.11.2008 1548 EAT

    • Waliorejesha fedha EPA matumbo joto

    *Serikali yajiandaa kuwaburuta kortini
    *Ni kufuatia kelele za wananchi,wasomi
    *Makubwa zaidi yatarajiwa mahakamani

    Na Waandishi Wetu

    WATUHUMIWA wa ufisadi katika Akaunti ya Malipo ya Madeni ya Nje (EPA) waliorejesha fedha walizochota baada ya kutakiwa kufanya hivyo na Rais Jakaya Kikwete, nao wataburutwa mahakamani hivi karibuni, Majira Jumapili limedokezwa.

    Habari za uchunguzi zilizolifikia gazeti hili zinaeleza kuwa Rais Kikwete tayari amekwishaagiza watu hao wafikishwe mahakamani kutokana na shinikizo kubwa huku wanasheria wakisema uamuzi wa kuwasamehe waliorejesha fedha za wizi ni ukiukwaji wa Katiba ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania.

    "Unajua kuna shinikinizo la kutaka kuwafikisha mahakamani watu waliorejesha fedha walizokuwa wameiba, kwa sasa unaangaliwa uwezekano utakaowezesha watu hao kuburutwa mahakamani," kilisema chanzo chetu cha habari kutoka serikalini.

    Jumatano wiki hii gazeti la serikali la Habari Leo lilichapisha habari likidai kwamba kundi dogo la wabunge wa CCM walikuwa wakisuka mpango wa kumpinga Rais Kikwete kuhusu hatua anazochukua dhidi ya watuhumiwa wa EPA.

    Ingawa juzi serikali iliahidi kuwashughulikia waliofanikisha habari hizo zilizoiitwa za uchochezi kuchapishwa, habari zinasema hatua hiyo huenda ikachochea watuhumiwa hao wakamatwe na kufikishwa mbele ya sheria kwa mashitaka ya jinai bila kujali kama wamelipa au la.

    Kwa mujibu wa habari hizo, endapo watu hao hawatafikishwa mahakamani serikali itachukuliwa kwamba inatengeneza matabaka ndani ya jamii, jambo ambalo halikubaliki kisheria.

    "Fedha walizorejesha kisheria ni conclusive evidence (ushahidi tosha) hivyo tukiwaachia bila kuwafikisha mahakamani tutakuwa tumejiwekea rekodi moja chafu ya kulinda wahalifu," alisema afisa mwingine wa Serikali aliyezungumza na gazeti hili kwa sharti la jina lake kutochapishwa gazetini.

    Hatua ya Serikali kuelekea kusalimu amri na kuanza mipango ya kutaka kuwafikisha mahakamani watu hao inatokana na shinikizo kutoka kwa makundi mbalimbali ya kijamii wakiwamo wanasiasa.

    Taarifa nyingine za kuaminika zilieleza hadi juzi jioni baadhi ya watuhumiwa vigogo walikuwa wakihojiwa tayari kwa kuunganishwa na wenzao 17 ambao tayari wamefikishwa mahakamani kusomewa mashitaka yao.

    Kati ya wanaohojiwa inadaiwa kuwa wamo waliorejesha fedha hizo lakini ili maelekezo ya kuwafikisha mahakamani yatakapotolewa suala hilo lisichukue muda zaidi.

    Wataalaam wa masuala ya siasa wanasema kuwa kwa hali ilivyo sasa hakuna sababu ya kuendelea kuwaficha watuhumiwa wa EPA na kwamba wanapaswa kuwajibishwa kwa mujibu wa sheria ingawa hatua zinazochukuliwa zilipaswa kuwa zimefanyika mapema.

    Akizungumza na gazeti hili jana gwiji wa sheria nchini , Profesa Abdallah Safari alisema serikali inatakiwa kuhakikisha inawafikisha mahakamani watuhumiwa wote wakiwemo waliorejesha fedha walizochota katika akaunti ya EPA ili sheria ichukue mkondo wake.

    "Watu hao hawapaswi kusamehewa kwa sababu ya kurejesha fedha walizoiba, inatakiwa wamefikishwe mahakamani ili sheria ichukue mkondo wake,"alisema na kuongeza kuwa sheria inaruhusu watu hao warejeshe fedha walizoiba baada ya kutumikia adhabu zao.

    "Hivyo ndivyo tunafundisha,bila kufanya hivyo Serikali inaonekana inabagua" alisema na kuongeza: "Fedha walizorejesha ndio ushahidi muhimu, kitendo cha kushindwa kuwafikisha mahakamani ni kuvunja Ibara ya 13 ya Katiba inayoeleza kuwa watu wote wapo sawa mbele ya sheria," alisisitiza.

    Agosti 21 mwaka huu, Rais Kikwete alilihutubia Bunge na kuwapa hadi Oktoba 30 mwaka huu wawe wamerejesha fedha hizo zilizochotwa Benki Kuu (BoT) zinazofikia jumla ya sh. bilioni 133.

    Hadi Oktoba 30 mwaka huu, asilimia 76 ya fedha hizo zilikuwa zimerejeshwa ambapo wale ambao walikuwa hawajareshwa wanaendelea kukamatwa na kufunguliwa mashitaka ya wizi kwa njia ya kughushi. Hadi Ijumaa wiki iliyopita watuhumiwa 17 walikuwa wamefikishwa kortini.

    Rais Kikwete aliunda kamati ya kuchunguza fedha na mali za wenye makampuni hayo 22 yanayotuhumiwa katika wizi huo mwenyekiti wa kamati hiyo akiwa ni Mwnasheria Mkuu wa Serikali, Johnson Mwanyika.

    Ili kuipa nguvu kamati hiyo, alimteua Mkuu wa Jeshi la Polisi Nchini, IGP Mwema na Mkurugenzi Mkuu wa Taasisi ya Kuzuia na Kupambana na Rushwa, (Takukuru), Dkt.Edward Hosea katika kamati hiyo kuhakikisha wahusika wanachukuliwa hatua.
  9. bokassa

    bokassa JF-Expert Member

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    Hivi yusuf manji hayupo ktk list ya watuhumiwa wa EPA?????

    Kipindi alipokuwa gonjwa, alizungumzwa sana humu JF kuhusu kuhusika kwake na EPA!! hata baadhi ya magazeti yanayomilikiwa na IPP yaliandika sana kuwa amekimbia kukwepa mtego wa EPA????

    Tueleweshane wajameni!!!!
  10. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Kusema kweli Kikwete amecheza kama Pele ktk issue hii...sikutegemea kabisaaaa!
    Kazi kubwa imebakia mahakama zetu kufanya kazi yake...
  11. Mwawado

    Mwawado JF-Expert Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    Kwa mtazamo wangu naona ni mapema mno kumvika jezi ya Pele Mkuu JK,nitafurahi nikisikia akina Meremeta,Deep Green,Tangold na Mwananchi Gold wanapelekwa Mahakamani hapo nitampa jezi ya Ronaldo de Lima Bwana Kikwete.

    Ukweli wa mambo ni dalili nzuri kuwapeleka hawa jamaa mahakamani,lakini pia ni mapema mno kumwaga sifa,kwani hali ilipofikia hakukuwa na jinsi bali ni kuwapeleka hawa jamaa Mahakamani ili kurudisha ingawa kwa kiwango kidogo imani ya wananchi kwa serikali yao.

    Mkuu Mkandara mambo bado sana,kama ni soka hatujafika hata half time.....
  12. deny_all

    deny_all JF-Expert Member

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    Nyuma ya hatua hizi za kuwafikisha mahakamani hawa watuhumiwa wa EPA kuna shinikizo kubwa tu kutoka ndani na nje ya nchi. Sidhani kama utawala wa CCM umeamua kwa moyo mweupe kabisa kuwashitaki hawa, ukizingatia kuwa hata kuchunguza EPA mwanzoni walikuwa hawataki wakisingizia ni kelele za wapinzani tu.

    Wamepima uwanja wa siasa wameona kuna gharama kubwa zaidi wakiacha kuwapeleka hawa maswahiba wao mahakamani kuliko kuwashtaki. Wanajua kuwa 2010 ipo karibu, kwa hiyo hii inaweza kutumika kama kete yao ya mwisho kujaribu kuwateka wananchi ukizingatia kuwa kwenye utekelezaji wa ahadi na sera wako nyuma vibaya sana.
  13. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Nakubaliana nawe katika hili na kwa kuongezea inasemekana waliokamatwa ni kutoka katika makampuni 9 tu kati ya 22 yaliyohusika na wizi wa pesa za EPA. Hatujui hao wa kutoka makampuni 13 ni lini watafikishwa mahakamani. Tusubiri tuone mwelekeo wa kesi hii. Natumai tukiridhishwa na mwelekeo wake na pia kupata majibu ya maswali mengi kuhusiana na kesi hii kama vile majina ya waliorudisha shilingi 69 billioni kuwekwa hadharani na kiasi kilichorudishwa na kila mmoja na pesa hazo zimewekwa wapi basi wengi wetu hatutasita kummwagia sifa kem kem JK.
  14. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Nakubaliana nanyi sana tu ila kusema kweli kama nilivyoandika hapo juu sikutegemea kabisa Kikwete kufanya alofanya..ndio maana kuna neno amecheza KAMA!.. mchezo mmoja tu.

    Kila mmoja wetu hapa JF alimwona mjinga, msanii, fisadi na kadhalika lakini mkuu naposoma na kuyatazama mavuno yake...well, ametufunika wote.. njia zote tulizokuwa tukiomba zinaonekana zina mapungufu mengi isipokuwa hii aliyochukua yeye imeweza kufunika kiuchumi na kisiasa..

    hayo maswala ya Meremeta, Deep green mkuu wangu ni legue kuu, sidhani kama Kikwete ana team ya kucheza huko.. Hata hii issue ya EPA itakwenda kwa samaki wadogo, wale wakubwa tayari wamekwisha kuwacovered zamani wakati wakiandaa mpango huu na ndio maana utaona majina ya baadhi ya vigogo hayamo ushihidi umesha funikwa zamani..
    Kumbuka Kikwete sii pekee anayefuatilia swala hili ana watu wake na watu wake hawa bado ni Royal ama wanalipwa na baadhi ya viogogo wakubwa kuwapa info pindi zinapotokea...
    Mtu kama Mkapa, Kikwete mwenyewe kwa ulimi wake alisema tumwache mzee wa watu astaafu kwa amani hivyo tayari kisha pewa amnesty..Kwa maana hiyo tusitegemee huko..
  15. ChingaMzalendo

    ChingaMzalendo Senior Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    Follow the above subject. Kazi ipo, PUNDIT apata kipigo !
  16. M

    Mkandara Verified User

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    Pundit!!!!?... vipi tena mbona sikuelewi mkuu wangu..
  17. Rev. Kishoka

    Rev. Kishoka JF-Expert Member

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    Okay, hebu tuache kutoa tuzo hapa na kuangalia mambo kisheria na katiba.

    Habari ilivyoandikwa inaonyesha kuwa eti Rais Kikwete alitangaza msamaha kwa atakayerudisha pesa, lakini maelezo ya Hosea, Mwanyika na aliyeandika habari hii, inaonyesha kuwa Kikwete alikuwa amedanganya umma na hata watuhumiwa.

    Hii si mbinu ya medani kupata ushahidi au kulegeza upande mwingine ulegee, huku ni kukiuka matumizi ya madaraka na maana halisi ya msamaha wa Rais.

    Je walipomaliza uchunguzi wao, Kikwete katoa tamko lingine kufuta tamko lake la awali la kutoa msamaha?

    Nitaomba tumuulize wakili wetu Augustoons kama msamaha wa Rais uliotangazwa hadharani unaweza kuvunjwa bila tamko rasmi na kutoa sababu za kufuta msamaha!
  18. Mzee Mwanakijiji

    Mzee Mwanakijiji Platinum Member

    Nov 10, 2008
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    HIvi kesi zikienda huko mahakamani, na baadaye ikaonekana wenye makosa siyo waliokutwa na fedha bali walioidhinisha (watu wa BoT) na hivyo wale watuhumiwa wakisema walifanya yote bona fide na hivyo walifanya mambo yote kihalali nani atalalamika? Itakuwaje kama Mahakama itaona kuwa fedha zilizorudishwa zimechukuliwa na serikali kinyume na sheria na kwa njia ya udanganyifu na vitisho (coercion) na hivyo mali hiyo irudishwe kwa watuhumiwa, mnajua mtakuwa mmefungwa goli kali kweli?

    Ndipo JK atakaposimama na kusema "tulifuatilia jambo hili, tulifanikiwa kurudisha bilioni 70 lakini mahakama imeonelea kuwa kuna sheria hazikufuatwa. HIvyo mahakama imeamuru tuwarudishie. Ndugu watanzania, sisi ni nchi ya sheria na hivyo lazima tuheshimu uamuzi wa mahakama".

    mimi sisemi lolote hasa hadi kesi iishe na rufaa ziishe. Kuna walioshangilia sana yule kada wa CCM Arusha alipofikishwa mahakamani, kuletwa ushahidi na hatimaye kwenda lupango. Miezi michache hukumu yake ikatupwa na akawa wa kwanza kumpokea Lowassa. Watu wakashangaa imekuwaje. Well, kitabu chao bado kinafanya kazi.
  19. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

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    Pamoja na kusoma makala nyingi kuhusu EPA since the scandal inception mpaka leo hii huwa sielewi JK alipandia wapi kwenye hii ishu ya EPA na kwa sasa ameshuka au ananin'ginia mlangoni juu ya hii. Anahusikaje na anahusishwaje? Vyomba vya dola sasa hv vinafanya chini ya maelekezo yake au ni huru na kama ni huru kulikuwa na umuhimu gani yeye kuingilia mchakato huu mzima??????
  20. P

    PauliMasao JF-Expert Member

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    I fully agree with Mkandara.