16 March 2011 Dar es Salaam The United States helped to investigate allegations and prepare corruption charges against a former Bank of Tanzania director of personnel and administration, Amatus Liyumba, according to leaked diplomatic cables. In the latest Dar es Salaam cables released by the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks, US deputy ambassador D. Purnell Delly revealed how a team of investigators from New York City's Department of Investigation helped Tanzanian authorities to prepare the groundwork for the high profile prosecution two years ago. Mr Delly told his superiors in Washington that officials from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) "expressed their gratitude for the support, which helped to prepare the case against the indicted officials." The leaked cables that were filed on March 2, 2009 referred to the January 27 charging, in a Dar es Salaam court, of Mr Liyumba and former project manager Deogratius Kweka. The charges covered the period from 2001 to 2006. The two were charged with causing the government to lose $153 million (Sh221 billion) during the construction of the BoT twin tower headquarters in the Dar es Salaam city centre. It was reported then that the project's original cost of $89 million (Sh125 billion) nearly tripled before completion. Kweka was released after a short stint in police custody but Liyumba was on May 24 last year found guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to two years in jail. His appeal was thrown out in December by Judge Emilian Mushi, who cited "lack of merit." Yesterday the PCCB director general, Dr Edward Hoseah, refused to comment on the leaked cables and referred The Citizen's to the agency's public relations official, Ms Doris Kapwani who, however, also said she was not in a position to say anything because she had not yet seen the contents of the cables. In the cables, Mr Delly suggests donor aid to Tanzania, especially through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which was used to push for the involvement of the US investigators at a time when public pressure was growing over alleged corruption at BoT. Tanzania is among very few African countries that have qualified for the Compact Programme in which the US has committed to provide $750 million (over Sh1 trillion) in project aid to the country in five years. He wrote: "The US Millennium Challenge Account - Threshold Programme, played an important role in this prosecution. Using funds leveraged from the UK Department for International Development, the Threshold Program arranged for a team of investigators from New York City's Department of Investigation (a police body tasked with investigating procurement fraud) to provide advice and guidance to PCCB." Mr Delly said at PCCB's request, the New York City DOI team offered guidance specifically on the BoT twin towers case that came following the now investigations into the infamous Sh133 billion External Payment Account (EPA) deals in which phantom companies siphoned money from the central bank through a debt buy-off scheme. Both Liyumba and Mr Kweka had been removed from their positions in early 2008 following the EPA investigations that were a major concern for President Jakaya Kikwete's government whose efforts to portray itself as one crusading against corruption suffered a setback. Mr Delly appeared to capture this concern in the leaked cables by writing that the Liyumba and Kweka indictments "show the interest of PCCB and the GOT more generally in keeping actions against corruption on the front pages (of newspapers). "It is not clear to what extent the massive cost overruns at the BoT Towers resulted from corruption as opposed to grandiose plans and poor management," the deputy ambassador said, pointing out that one of the charges facing the accused was "failure to or discharge duties in a reasonable manner".