Mkuchika reiterates government resolve to combat graft

26Nov 2017
Edward Qorro
Guardian On Sunday
Mkuchika reiterates government resolve to combat graft

TANZANIA has exhibited strong political will to fight corruption and uphold good governance.

Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance) George Mkuchika

This, according to Minister of State in the President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance) George Mkuchika, has been portrayed in the arrest of corrupt government officials and the establishment of a special court dealing with economic crime and corruption in the country.

Fielding questions from journalists recently, Mkuchika alluded to the country's willingness to investigate and charge government officials as a positive move in uprooting graft in Tanzania.

"This is an important step and goes to show that there is political will in stamping out corruption," explained the minister on the sidelines of a continental consultative workshop organised by the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC).

According to Mkuchika, the court's presence will see people involved in corruption be put on trial.

The Economic, Corruption and Organised Crime High Court's Division became operational last year following the decision by President John Magufuli to assent the bill passed by the Parliament to establish such special court.

The establishment of the court comes after a heated debate, with most people alleging it would help address graft problems in the country and speed up dispensation of justice. Currently, there are three special courts established as divisions of the High Court, specifically handling labour, commercial and land cases.

For his part, AUABC Board Chairperson Begoto Miarom said the war on graft should not only target a specific group of people but all members of the society.

The advisory's board chairperson added that there were some ministers and top government officials in some African countries serving mother jail terms because of their involvement in corruption.

"The war on graft can only be won if we don't target specific groups," he observed.

The African Union (AU) has marked 2018 as the African anti-corruption year, with the theme of winning the fight against corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.

The global coalition against corruption Transparency International (TI) says nearly 75 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to have paid a bribe in the past year – some to escape punishment by the police or courts, but many forced to pay to get access to the basic services that they desperately need.