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Graft scandal threatens to split Dar’s ruling party

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Aug 7, 2011
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    Posted Sunday, August 7 2011 at 11:51

    A financial scandal involving senior members of the ruling party in the irregular sale of a city transport firm is threatening to cause a major falling out among its leadership.

    The government has already instructed its security apparatus to initiate investigations into the sale of Usafiri Dar es Salaam (UDA) to local firm Simon Group Ltd of Dar es Salaam, in which senior members of the Chama cha Mapinduzi were said to be deeply involved.

    At stake is the already battered image of the ruling CCM, which weathered stiff competition from the opposition in last year’s general election.

    Members of Parliament have already demanded a parliamentary probe after CCM MPs raised the issue of the sale of the city transport firm to a local company for $1 million, with the first installment of $200,000 deposited in a prominent CCM member’s account.

    The deputy chairman of the Public Organisations Accounts Committee, Deo Filikunjombea, a CCM legislator, alleged in Parliament that Iddi Simba, the former Cabinet minister as well as former UDA board chairman, ordered Simon Group to deposit part of the money for the deal in his private account. The documents tabled in parliament by Mr Filikunjombe indicate that Simon Group Ltd was directed by the suspended UDA general manager, Victor Milanzi, to deposit the money in Mr Simba’s account because the transport firm’s accounts had overdrafts.

    When contacted, Mr Simba denied that the money was meant for UDA. He said some $200,000 (Tsh270 million) was deposited into his personal account but the money has nothing to do with the sale of the UDA stake.

    Dr Azaveri Lwaitama, a political analyst from the University of Dar es Salaam, told The EastAfrican last week that the scandal has tainted the entire government.

    Dr. Lwaitama said that Tanzanians cannot afford to have important matters of governance held up because the ruling party’s energies are focused on dousing the fires of impropriety and scandal. Prominent CCM members have been accused of involvement in scandals, which political analysts say threaten the future of the ruling party in the next general and presidential polls in 2015.

    The ruling party has in the recent past been dogged by scandals, the major one being the External Payment Arrears Account (EPA) saga as well as Bank of Tanzania’s twin towers scandal.

    The EPA scandal involved fraudulent payments of about Tsh133 billion ($116 million) made by the BoT to 22 companies in the financial year 2005/06 involving the repayment of the country’s external debt.