PCCB boss at centre of media smear campaign THISDAY REPORTER Dar es Salaam THE Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Dr Edward Hosea, appears to have become the primary target of an intense mudslinging campaign as the battle to tackle high-level corruption in the country gathers pace. And according to THISDAY findings, a section of the local media has become embroiled in the elaborate scheme to smear the images of both Hosea in person and the PCCB as an institution. It is now understood that a group of local businessmen at the centre of ongoing corruption investigations being conducted by the Bureau, have been circulating various allegations against the PCCB boss through the Internet and some local newspapers. The businessmen have reportedly hired the services of a currently out-of-work media practitioner in Dar es Salaam to coordinate the campaign, and have been sponsoring the circulation of an email message with the subject title Kashfa nzito PCCB (Major scandal at PCCB). Several journalists have been offered up to 500,000/- to publish the allegations against Hosea in their newspapers?after the email was copied to all major media houses in the country, an impeccable source told THISDAY. It has also come to light that in a new email message surfacing this week, journalists are roundly criticised for failing to conduct proper investigative research and publish the allegations against Hosea. In the smear campaign apparently aimed at discrediting his reputation, the PCCB boss and governments chosen corruption czar is directly accused of not only diverting Bureau funds for personal use, but also alleged to own mansions in both Dar es Salaam and the United States. He is further alleged to be on the payroll of certain, unspecified business interests. And the latest email message, from a sender identified only as Nyerere Hayati (The late Nyerere), says Hosea is finalising preparations to fly to the US to spend Christmas and New Year holidays at his castle, using funds allocated to the Bureau (PCCB) for fighting corruption. At a budget support review meeting in Dar es Salaam last month, some representatives of the donor community are reported to have raised concern about the allegations, obliging Hosea himself to take to the floor and give a statement. Although the PCCB boss was yesterday not available to make further comment to THISDAY, he has already told at least one local newspaper that he remained unfazed by the attacks. And contacted by phone in Dodoma yesterday, a close aide of Hosea asserted that the allegations being levelled against the Bureaus top man would not deter them in their responsibilities to fight corruption. Still, apart from one or two major cases, the PCCB has remained largely criticised for failing to register any real progress in fighting high-level corruption in the country. Hosea himself has been calling for patience, citing several ongoing investigations against grand corruption including multiple allegations of graft at the Bank of Tanzania, mining contracts, the military radar scandal and several others.