Mafisadi wafanye ufisadi wao! Halafu siri kali inaogopa kuwashughulikia eti kuna hatari kwamba nchi inaweza kulipuka! This does make sense at all! Both of you (Mwanyika and Mwema) need to resign as we're tired of your non sense and inability to act against EPA culprits Police boss warns on EPA probe 'dangers' By Damas Kanyabwoya THE CITIZEN More questions than answers continue to cloud investigations into the Sh133 billion External Payment Account (EPA) scandal. For the second time within a week, the top level team probing the massive theft of the funds from the Bank of Tanzania, yesterday sought to clear its role before the public. But a member of the probe team, Inspector General of Police Saidi Mwema, introduced a new intrigue, warning that the EPA investigation posed a great danger to the country. Mr Mwema's remarks, made at a press conference with media editors appeared to thicken the plot in what is turning out to be a riveting probe. The IGP who was flanked by Attorney General Johnson Mwanyika during the meeting said the investigation if no well handled could blow up the country. Mr Mwema likened the EPA saga to terrorists who have hijacked a plane and said it required measured approach to solve lest the country was torn apart. However evil the terrorists are, authorities would have to negotiate with them as one mistake can lead to the whole plane being blown up, he said. He was speaking at a press conference called by the Attorney General to plead more patience from the public on the EPA investigation. Mr Mwema did not however explain how the EPA investigations could blow up the whole country but pleaded for patience pending the completion of the investigations. This country belongs to us all. We are like in a boat. When it capsizes we will all drown. The EPA issue is complex, it needs high secrecy and we request you to understand that, said the police chief while elaborating why the suspects' identity could not be released yet. Both the AG and the IGP admitted that there are more questions than answers from the public surrounding the investigation and the circumstances under which nearly Sh60 billion of the EPA money has found its way back to state coffers. We know there are even people who think we have been corrupted by the suspects but should we seek to clear our names instead of defending the interests of this nation? IGP Mwema queried. The government has been under considerable pressure from the public and activists to name and prosecute immediately the EPA scandal suspects who have been returning the money. Early this week activists from the Legal and Human Rights Centre said by not revealing the identities of the suspects who return the money the government was damaging its credibility and seeking to protect those involved. Mr Mwanyika earlier sent a faxed statement to newsrooms saying the team would henceforth not release information over the probe until it finished its work. The sentiment immediately drew a harsh reaction from the public who queries the manner in which the investigation was being handled. The EPA scandal consists of the fraudulent payment of about Sh133 billion made by the Bank of Tanzania to about 22 companies in the financial year 2005/06. Under pressure from multilateral financial institutions the government commissioned in September 2007 the audit firm Ernst & Young to conduct an audit that revealed gross mismanagement of that account. President Jakaya Kikwete then proceeded in January to form a task force to investigate the fund misappropriation. He gave it six months to ensure all the money is returned and the people concerned are taken to book. The task force is chaired by the Attorney General and includes the IGP and the director general of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). Mr Mwanyika said yesterday the task force had collected about Sh60 billion in refund from some of the companies involved. He said the money was in the form of cash. He stated that some property had been seized and the valuation is still being done to determine the real value. He said no property has been seized outside the country though there was information that some suspects used the EPA money to purchase properties outside the country. Mr Mwanyika said the priority now is to recover as much as possible of the squandered money and only after that will the suspects be charged in the court of law according to the laws of the country. We are continuing with the investigation to ensure all those concerned in the EPA scandal are brought to book but the priority is to recover the money, he said. The AG refused to name the companies that have returned money or individuals suspected to have pocketed the money but affirmed that ultimately all suspects will be charged. Mr Mwanyika said the money laundering Act of 2006, the PCCB Act of 2007 and the Proceeds of Crime Act allow the task team to give priority to the recovery of the money and then prosecute after recovering the money. He said before the new acts were in place, the priority was to prosecute money embezzlement suspects at times without even recovering the money, causing losses to the nation, but now the laws require that the money be recovered first. Explaining further, the IGP said in criminal investigation there are two ways of proceeding, depending on the nature or environment of the crime. One is arresting the suspects and then making the investigation and another is making investigation and then arresting the suspects. In the EPA investigation, he said, it is the latter that is being used. Mr Mwema said mentioning names of suspects simply for the sake of exposing them or tarnishing their image would not help but would seriously hamper the investigation. Mr Mwanyika said ex-BoT governor Daudi Balali has not been arrested because investigations are still continuing. Once found seriously implicated he would be arrested, he said, refusing to state Mr Balalli's whereabouts. The AG dismissed calls that he resigns because his being implicated in the Richmond scandal has reduced his credibility. I am a clean person and I will continue maintaining my innocence to the last day, he insisted.