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Puzzle as UDA millions paid to board chairman

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by MiratKad, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. M

    MiratKad JF-Expert Member

    Dec 22, 2011
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    Just run into this, ......................Anyone know what happened to these thieves????

    Puzzle as UDA millions paid to board chairman

    Tuesday, 02 August 2011 21:58
    By The Citizen Team
    Dodoma/Dar. Some Sh270 million meant for the purchase of State-owned commuter transport firm Usafiri Dar es Salaam (UDA) was deposited in a private bank account of Mr Iddi Simba, a one-time Cabinet minister and former UDA board chairman, according to official documents.Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee yesterday declared illegal the reported sale of UDA and ordered the immediate suspension of all ongoing plans to privatise the struggling firm. The move announced in Dodoma deepened the controversy surrounding the privatisation, coming hot on the heels of revelations of suspect financial dealings worth tens of millions of shillings at the public transport company.

    The chairman of the Public Organisations Accounts Committee (Poac), Mr Zitto Kabwe, told a press conference in Dodoma that they had asked Parliament to direct the State to suspend any transfer of UDA assets pending an in-depth investigation into the sale.

    “As a matter of public interest, my committee has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly to communicate our view that the deal is null and void,” said Mr Kabwe, who is also the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament.The Kigoma North MP spoke in the presence of his deputy, Mr Deo Filikunjombe (Ludewa-CCM), and Ubungo MP John Mnyika (Chadema). They said the controversial deal would feature prominently when MPs debate the Transport ministry’s 2011/12 budget estimates to be tabled in Parliament this morning.

    The MPs spoke moments after the executive chairman of Simon Group Limited, Mr Robert Simon Kisena, strongly defended the firm’s purchase of UDA, and demanded that the government fully implements its part of the deal.
    The same documents in The Citizen’s possession showing that Sh270 million was deposited in Mr Simba’s account were produced by Mr Filikunjombe, who said the investor had been “conned”.

    The figure was also quoted in a lengthy document sent to Parliament by Consolidated Holdings Corporation (CHC) confirming the payments to Mr Iddi’s accounts in three separate transactions in unclear circumstances.
    According to CHC, the body tasked with handling the privatisation of public entities, the UDA deal was controversial and pinned the blame on the board that stayed in office for nine years without the Treasury Registrar’s supervision as required by law.

    According to the documents, Simon Group was directed by the suspended UDA general manager, Mr Victor Milanzi, to deposit the money in Mr Simba’s account because the transport firm’s accounts had overdrafts. The amount was commitment fees and was part of the Sh1.2 billion the investor was supposed to pay for a 52 per cent stake in UDA.

    However, Mr Simba denied that the money was meant for UDA when The Citizen reached him for comment last week. “It’s very true that Mr Kisena deposited about Sh270 million into my personal account...that money has nothing to do with the sale of the UDA stake,” he said. Mr Simba added that Mr Kisena was the right person to explain why he deposited the money in his personal account.

    “If you read carefully, the bank slips show that the payments were for transportation…that’s all,” he said without elaborating. A total of Sh20 million was deposited in an account of Pride Tanzania Limited, also associated with Mr Simba.The former MP and Cabinet minister said all issues related to the privatisation of UDA were being handled by CHC.

    But when asked yesterday about Mr Simba’s claims, Mr Kisena maintained that his firm had paid the money as part of the purchase price, adding that the cash was paid to Mr Simba as directed by the UDA management.
    “We have documents showing that we were asked to do that, and we have raised the matter with the other shareholders after learning that the money was not paid to UDA as expected,” said Mr Kisena.

    He told The Citizen he had no business dealings with Mr Simba other than the UDA deal, adding that the firm owned by local investors wanted to invest billions of shillings to improve public transport in Dar es Salaam.
    But Mr Kabwe said the committee would not allow the sale to proceed because it “reeks of corruption”. “This matter will land someone in jail…we promise that this will not end here,” he said.

    The MPs said documents were forged to push the deal through. Mr Kabwe also said some individuals were hiding behind the deal and their real intention was to grab UDA assets, including land.Available documents show that Simon Group Limited deposited Sh270 million into an account (name of bank and account number withheld) belonging to Mr Simba on September 2, 2009.

    The documents further indicate that Sh20 million was deposited in a bank account (name of bank and account number withheld) belonging to Pride Tanzania in December 2009. Mr Simba is chairman of Pride Tanzania, a micro finance institution involved in the provision of credit to small and micro entrepreneurs in Tanzania.Mr Simba acknowledged the depositing of the money, but said it was a private business transaction between Mr Kisena and himself and had nothing to do with UDA’s privatisation.

    CHC said last month that there was a case in the High Court (Commercial Division) concerning the privatisation of the Sh12 billion worth of the public transport firm’s assets.

    Reported by Tom Mosoba in Dodoma and Mkinga Mkinga in Dar