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Nation `hijacked` by corruption

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, May 24, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
    May 24, 2009
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    Nation `hijacked` by corruption

    -Local civil society coalition makes its voice heard

    ALVAR MWAKYUSA
    THIS DAY
    Dar es Salaam

    MEMBERS of various local civil society organisations declared yesterday that the country has effectively been hijacked by grand corruption, with a few powerful persons in the private sector now influencing major government decisions, policies, and regulations.

    In a strongly-worded joint statement issued in Dar es Salaam, a coalition of over 50 CSOs warned that corruption has reached a truly dangerous state in Tanzania, leading to the ’’capture of the state.’’

    ’’Stories of syndicated grand corruption in the country are horrifying, and force us to draw one solid conclusion - that the Tanzania state has been hijacked,’’ says the statement issued by CSOs under the umbrella of the Feminist Activist Coalition (FemAct).

    ’’It is FemAct’s conclusion that this increasing trend of syndicated grand corruption is due to the capture of the state by powerful moguls working as one in a powerful corruption network/syndicate,’’ it adds.

    Signatories to the statement include a number of influential non-government organisations, namely the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Walio Katika Mapambano na AIDS Tanzania (WAMATA), Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA), HakiArdhi, Women Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), and Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT).

    State capture has been defined in various international fora as a phenomenon in which outside interests (often the private sector, mafia networks, etc) are able to bend state laws, policies, and regulations to their (mainly financial) benefit through corrupt transactions with public officials and politicians.

    State capture is recognised as a most destructive and intractable corruption problem, above all in transition economies with incomplete or distorted processes of democratic consolidation and insecure property rights.


    In their statement, the FemAct members cited various scandals that highlight ’’the mushrooming of grand corruption and state hijacking operations in Tanzania.’’

    They include ’’acts of grand corruption in mining development agreements (MDAs), with specific reference to the Buzwagi project scandal and energy contracts such as Richmond LLC/Dowans and Independent Power Project Tanzania Limited (IPTL).’’

    The CSOs also blasted ’’wanton privatization contracts’’ such as the National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Kiwira Coal Mine, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), and Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC).

    Also cited in the FemAct statement are the Bank of Tanzania Twin Towers project, the external payment arrears (EPA) account looting with specific reference to Kagoda Agricultural Limited, the Commodity Import Support (CIS) fund, and the Debt Conversion Programme (DCP).

    Other scandals catalogued by the activists include defence contracts, the military radar deal, purchase of the Gulfstream presidential jet, TANGOLD, Meremeta, Deep Green, and general plunder of natural resources.

    FemAct demands ’’indiscriminate and immediate’’ government action ’’without excuse, to prosecute all persons suspected of grand corruption cases and dismantle their corruption networks.’’


    The government is also asked to fully implement recommendations of the Richmond parliamentary report as endorsed by the National Assembly, and disclose all existing investment contracts for public access and scrutiny.

    ’’Citizens are also responsible to identify and reject all corrupt elements to occupy elective political offices through ballot; refuse to implement policy decisions reached outside the law and without public participation/scrutiny; and be vigilant against acts of land alienation by corrupt elements.’’

    ’’They (citizens) should also fearlessly continue interrogating and exposing grand corruption and persons behind the schemes; and supporting like-minded elements exposing acts and actors of grand corruption,’’ says the FemAct statement.


    The CSOs also urged members of the public and the media to ’’maintain their exemplary public advocacy to expose grand and petty corruption; rescind from being ’used’ by and in favour of corrupt syndicates/actors to misinform the public about the genuine common cause of fighting corruption; and continue disseminating civic education that will ultimately contribute to increased civic competence to hold the government to account.’’

    Religious leaders are also challenged to ’’stand up and be counted’’, by publicly declaring their respective positions in the war against grand corruption.

    According to the executive director of Concern for Development Initiatives in Africa (ForDIA) which is one of the FemAct members, Buberwa Kaiza, civil society organisations are concerned by the way the government is handling allegations of grand corruption in the country.

    ’’I can give an example of Shailesh Vithlani (radar deal fugitive), who was detained by the state, released, and is now at large. (Former president Benjamin) Mkapa is also understood to have borrowed money from NSSF and CRDB Bank, and has not refunded the funds - but nothing has been done so far,’’ said Kaiza.


    LHRC Executive Director Francis Kiwanga said it was high time Tanzanians woke up and tackled the corruption monster in unity.

    Likewise, TAMWA Executive Director Ms Ananilea Nkya blasted public leaders who misuse funds from government coffers for their personal interests
     
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #2
    May 24, 2009
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    EYE SPY: Government on the dock

    [ADAM LUSEKELO
    THIS DAY
    DAR ES SALAAM ​

    MY spies say that the government has been placed on the dock and asked to explain the obvious collusion between the 'waheshimiwa' and the country's grand corruption.

    I hear some 50 non-governmental organizations, under the umbrella of the Feminists Activists Coalition (FemAct), on Wednesday met to deliberate on recent corruption outrages committed with the tacit nod of the government, they claim. Later they released a hard hitting statement which my spooks on-passed to me.

    They were openly outraged; ''Stories of syndicated grand corruption in the country are horrifying, and force us to draw the conclusion that the Tanzanian state has been hijacked!'' The NGOs claim that the state has been bought wholesale and is dancing to the tunes of a few powerful moguls working as one in a powerful corruption network and syndicate to the detriment of the majority of Tanzanians.

    ''FemAct recognizes syndicated and grand corruption as all private gain-motivated abuse of public office, plunder of public property and lying in the name of 'nationalisation', corruption in the electoral processing, lack of transparency in public contraction processes, (meaning public procurement, public investment, privatization), budget execution without consideration of national priorities, discriminatory enforcement of laws and regulations and disobedience of public leadership ethics,'' the hard hitting statement said.

    FemAct demanded that government immediately and without excuse to prosecute all persons suspected of grand corruption cases and dismantle their corruption networks.

    They held the government responsible to implement wholly the parliamentary resolution on Richmond and provide credible a public restatement on all grand corruption scandals currently in public debate.

    FemAct also demanded that the government disclose all existing investment contracts for public access and scrutiny and ensure state function enforcement organs especially the cops, the directorate public prosecution, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and the National Security (intelligent services) conduct their respective business in an accountable manner under strict adherence to professional ethics and expected competences.

    The NGOs sounded genuinely angry. But will the government listen to such demands? Few believe it will. So far it has displayed a thick skin and pooh poohed the countrywide protests.

    Most analysts expressed strong doubts if the government will listen this time.. ''These guys are amazing. They are busy fiddling while Rome is burning. Either that is being tough or foolhardy.''One analyst sighed resignedly in the city yesterday.


    alusekelo@gmail.com
    adamlusekelo.globspot.com
     
  3. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #3
    May 27, 2009
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    War against grand corruption: Govt mum on CSOs `state capture` alert

    THISDAY REPORTER
    Dar es Salaam

    THE government appears to have shrugged off a strong warning from local civil society organisations about the state of corruption in the country.

    Attempts by THISDAY to obtain an official government response to a hard-hitting statement by a coalition of more than 50 CSOs, suggesting that the nation has been effectively hijacked by grand corruption, have met with a stonewall silence from senior officials in the establishment.


    All our overtures, including direct questions posed to the Minister for Information, Culture and Sports, Capt. John Mkuchika, have proved unsuccessful.

    Declining comment, Mkuchika - who by virtue of his portfolio is the bona fide government spokesman on all issues of importance to the public at large said in a brief telephone interview:

    ''They (CSOs) have used their freedom of expression. The government has already issued a statement on this issue (of corruption)...the government position still stands.''

    The minister's apparently unfazed reaction was not well-received by members of the civil society lobby, several of whom pointed out that transparency is the key to rooting out the problem of grand corruption in the country.

    ''It is regrettable that the government has chosen to keep mum on such serious matters. We will build public awareness and mobilise society to act against the corruption situation in this country,'' asserted one senior CSO actor who for his own reasons preferred anonymity.

    Likewise, the deputy opposition leader in parliament, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, called on members of the public to continue pressing the government to take decisive action against high-level corruption.


    The Karatu legislator backed assertions by CSOs that corruption has reached truly dangerous levels in the country.

    ''It is quite right that the nation has been hijacked by grand corruption. It is also quite encouraging to see civil society organisations actively engaging themselves in the war against this vice, by mobilising support from the grassroots level,'' said Slaa.

    The CHADEMA party lawmaker, who famously made public a 'List of Shame' containing the names of senior public leaders tainted with corruption allegations, criticised the government's handling of the matter in general.

    ''This is the time to act. I applaud the few brave Tanzanians who have publicly condemned corruption in high places,'' he stated.

    In a joint statement issued last Friday, local CSOs under the umbrella of the Feminist Activist Coalition (FemAct) declared that a few powerful persons in the private sector are now influencing major government decisions, policies, and regulations through 'syndicated grand corruption' methods.

    ''The stories are horrifying, and force us to draw one solid conclusion - that the Tanzanian state has been hijacked,'' the FemAct statement said.

    ''FemAct's conclusion is that this trend is due to the capture of the state by powerful moguls, working as one in a powerful corruption network/syndicate,'' it added.

    State capture is recognised as a most destructive and intractable corruption problem, especially in transition economies with incomplete or distorted processes of democratic consolidation and insecure property rights.

    In their statement, the FemAct members cited various scandals that highlight ''the mushrooming of grand corruption and state hijacking operations in Tanzania.''

    These include ''acts of corruption in mining development agreements (MDAs), with specific reference to the Buzwagi project scandal and energy contracts such as Richmond LLC/Dowans and Independent Power Project Tanzania Limited (IPTL).''

    The CSOs also blasted ''wanton privatization contracts'' such as the National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Kiwira Coal Mine, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), and Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC).

    Also cited in the FemAct statement are the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Twin Towers project, the external payment arrears (EPA) account looting with specific reference to Kagoda Agricultural Limited, the Commodity Import Support (CIS) fund, and the Debt Conversion Programme (DCP).

    Other scandals catalogued by the activists include defence contracts, the military radar deal, purchase of the Gulfstream presidential jet, TANGOLD, Meremeta, Deep Green, and the general plunder of natural resources.
     
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