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Yale Yale: Wizara ya Maliasili yakanusha upotevu wa mabilion ya fedha

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by iMind, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. i

    iMind JF-Expert Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry has refuted reports by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it was engaged in corrupt practices, stressing it submits all revenues to the Treasury except those it is legally allowed to keep.

    In a press statement made available to The Guardian yesterday the Ministry’s Spokesperson, George Matiko said the funds that are not returned go to finance the Foundation for Conservation of Wildlife (Tanzania Wildlife Protection Fund - TWPF).
    The PAC blamed the ministry officials on February 16 this year over poor fee collection methods, leading to a drop in tourism sector revenues from 77bn/- in 2010 to 52bn/- last year.
    The censure came after the Controller and Audit General inspected the sector’s financial accounts and gave the ministry a qualified certificate.
    According to PAC chairman John Cheyo for the past three years, it consecutively received a qualified certificate.
    The Ministry’s spokesperson Matiko said the Permanent Secretary Maimuna Tarishi gave clarification to the PAC after which it was decided that the Ministry sits with the auditors to explain the Fund’s legal mandate and operating framework.
    “Tanzania Wildlife Protection Fund (TWPF) is a government fund established by Act of Parliament no. 21 of 1978…in addition, the Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009 recognises the fund under Section 91 (1) of the Act,” he said.
    Sources of finance for TWPF have been identified under Article 91 (3) of the Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009 and include 25 percent of revenues from wildlife, sales of items nationalised under the Wildlife Conservation law, cash from tourists pictures out of National Parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Matiko explained.
    He said the money collected by the fund are used for, among other things, to control poaching, protect residents and their properties against life threatening wild animals, supporting community projects initiated by villagers/residents living close to national parks and reserves, wildlife researches, public education in the protection of wildlife resources, and taking care of game wardens.
    Implementation of all activities must be approved by TWPF board.
    He added: “The fund is audited by the CAG Office every year.”
    Contacted, Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Ludovick Utouh, confirmed that since TWPF is under the ministry, it must be subjected to audit by CAG.
    Matiko refuted the accusations that the ministry lacked reliable records on tourists entering the country which contributed to revenue loss, noting that about 714,367 tourists visited the country in 2009 and contributed 1.5trn/- to the country’s income, whereas in 2010 the number increased to 782,699, bringing in 1.7trn/-.
    Matiko further said that the ministry is ready to work with the CAG Office to implement all directives given by the PAC concerning the fund.
    The PAC chairman noted that tourists have been paying a lot of money but revenue has been going down, adding: “This is an indication that there is something wrong in the ministry.”
    Blaming the ministry for its failure to collect revenues from the hotel sector, Cheyo said this was one of the factors which led to the drop in income and government revenue.
    He also blamed the ministry for inefficiency in supervising donor funds, which led to withholding of further funding.
    He pointed out that in 2010 donors disbursed 26bn/- while in 2011 they provided 10bn/-.
    He said the donors have not disbursed any money to the ministry this financial year due to inefficiency in supervising projects and ensuring that the tourism sector grew to its full potential.
    The ministry’s permanent secretary Maimuna Tarish conceded that the ministry lacked an electronic system to coordinate revenue collection from different sources, a factor contributing to the revenue loss.
    She admitted that carelessness was another factor causing revenue loss, promising to take measures to put things in order.
    Tarish promised that the ministry will set up the electronic system to track records for tourists in the coming financial year.