Prosecute all corruption suspects, says US envoy


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Prosecute all corruption suspects, says US envoy

By Erick Kabendera

4th March 2010

Lenhardt2.jpg

US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso E. Lenhardt.



The US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso E. Lenhardt, yesterday hailed the Kikwete government for the boldness with which it has been confronting high-profile corruption.

However, he said prosecuting all suspects and confiscating property in the hands of those convicted would send a stronger message to the public that corruption was evil and therefore unacceptable.
The envoy made the remarks at a session he held with editors from selected newspapers in Dar es Salaam to brief them on his experiences during the first 100 days since President Barack Obama posted him to Tanzania.

He said he appreciated the fact that powerful officials in the government had resigned following their implication in various scandals, but he insisted that prosecution had to follow or the process would only have gone half-way.

"Corruption must be eliminated… PCCB (Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau) is doing something… I am neither a prosecutor nor an investigator but I refuse to believe or admit that it is part of culture and cannot be rooted out. I wasn't here when the EPA (Bank of Tanzania's External Payments Arrears account misuse) scandal happened … but prosecute to show that it was unacceptable," said Ambassador Lenhardt.
He conceded that there was corruption even developed countries like the US, adding that the difference was that it was always identified, investigated and prosecuted.

The envoy's comments come hardly a week after President Jakaya Kikwete opened a PCCB annual general meeting attended by the bureaus heads of department, zonal directors and regional bureau chiefs saying that the incidence of corruption in the country was on the rise.

The President noted that corruption denied Tanzanians access to vital services, pleading that the people view the fight against the vice as a national crusade and therefore take full part in it.

High-profile corruption or abuse of office cases pending in court include that of former ministers Basil Mramba and Daniel Yona who, alongside former Treasury permanent secretary Grey Mgonja, stand charged with occasioning the government loss of over 10 billion/-.

Ambassador Lenhardt, a former president and CEO of the US-based non-profit National Crime Prevention Council, strongly recommended the confiscation of the property of those convicted of corruption.

He added that his government has long made the putting in place of mechanisms to deal with corruption a condition for extending funding to projects benefiting from US government support.
The envoy said in the more than three months he has been in Tanzania he has visited a number of Mainland and Zanzibar regions "and I have been greatly concerned that poor people are descending further into poverty, which calls for more proper distribution of available resources".

He said demographic data show that Tanzania's population will have risen to about 60 million by 2025, noting that the challenge remained how to educate and feed the swelling population.
"We need to figure out how to build health centres in every village and schools. I have seen this being done in other parts of the world, and it can be done here," he pointed out.

He said he was pleased that the reconciliation process between Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume and Civic United Front secretary general Seif Shariff Hamad was progressing well "and that the two leaders are again shaking hands".

Ambassador Lenhardt also commented on the rise in the incidence of sea piracy, calling on more countries to review their laws to open more doors to the prosecution of Somali pirates arrested in the Indian Ocean.

"Right now, Kenya and Seychelles are the only two countries in Africa that are prosecuting pirates. More countries need to come forward. That's how to stop it," said the envoy, a retired US Army Major General.

Tanzania is currently reviewing its laws, partly with a view to enabling the prosecution of pirates arrested in its territory. But Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe clarified recently that one of the things the government would be careful was to ensure that the review did not lead to terrorist attacks on the country.




SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
 
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Naamu mkubwa naye kasema, Ngoja tuone mashitaka ya Rada yatakavyokuja yameeandaliwa kifisadi kwa mshitakiwa kuishinda PCCB,...Kagoda, Richmond/Dowans, etc
 
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hawa mabalozi wa nchi zilizoendelea hawaaminiki kabisa, sijui huwa yanatoka moyoni au la, mara wamfagilie , mara waume kidogo
 
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Na ndivyo tulivyo tegemezi, tumebaki kupokea amri tu. Kisha sema kamanda wa mabeberu, balozi wa marikani, kitakachofuata, ni manyapara wetu kufuata amri. Ndivyo tulipofikishwa, watawala wetu wametufanya tegemezi wa mali na hali. hatuna utu kwa sababu hata kufikiri tumekabidhi kwa tunaoomba omba kwao. Watawala wetu wanawajibika sana, kwa wafadhili na si kwa wanaoowaomba kura. Kwa mwendo huu hatufiki popote, safari tunayoisafiri si yetu ni yao, hao wanaotoa amri.
 
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Kwani kabla ya huyo diplomat kusema hayo, umma haukuwa ukipigia kelele jambo hilo? Si mbaya lakn, walau amejipambanua upande wa umma ambao umekuwa ukipaza sauti hiyo tena na tena, walau yake pia imeongezeka. Je sikio la kufa la serikali yetu TUKUTU, (aaah, waliomo wanaiita tukufu) litasikia?
 
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- Huyu sasa na yeye mpaka leo hajajua kuwa anaongea na masikio ya kufa, aahhgrrrr!

Respect.


FMEs!
 

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