A Member of Parliament yesterday told the government that there is a need to arrest, prosecute and confiscate property of all people who caused the collapse of the state- owned firms, such as Air Tanzania Limited and Tanzania Railways Limited.
The lawmaker, Ally Keissy Mohamed (Nkasi-North, CCM) was debating the Prime Minister’s Office 2012/13 budget estimates tabled in the House on Monday.
“We always talk about revamping these companies but we have never asked ourselves who caused their collapse…the government should arrest and prosecute those involved and have their property confiscated,” Mohamed said.
He recommended that the death penalty be meted to the culprits, noting that their greediness has caused the country a big loss.
Mohamed added that the country’s ports are currently not performing well, but the money is being eaten by some few people …the government should confiscate these people’s property.
He however accused the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) of failing to execute its duties including arresting people associated with embezzlement of public funds.
The system used by PCCB is not proper because sometimes when tipped on corruption allegations, instead of conducting investigations they start contacting those people accdused of the misconduct.
“The bureau should also be investigated because we are not satisfied with its performance,” Mohamed said.
Commenting on the radar money he said the UK government has taken its citizens involved in the deal to court. “What action has our government taken against Tanzanians who were involved in the scandal?” queried Mohamed.
The refunded money (change), he said, should not be used to purchase books, but to buy desks and construct teachers’ houses.
“The money should be used to buy durable things. The text books you are talking about will wear out soon. This is another form of corruption,” Mohamed said.
The legislator also advised the government to abolish the Constituency Development Fund or come up with a proper system to distribute the money.
He said the money is not fairly distributed to the constituencies since they don’t take into account their sizes.
“Other constituencies are big while others are small, but at the end of the day we are given an equal amount of money,” he said.
In another development, Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma-North, Chadema) yesterday asked the government to investigate the reports that there are corrupt Tanzanians, including prominent business tycoons and top government officials, who have stashed over 300bn/- in Swiss banks.
Kabwe said there was a similar scandal in the past whereby some Tanzanians deposited huge sums of money in Indian banks but when the Indian government disclosed their names there was no investigation of the same.
“We want PCCB to establish who are behind the stashing of this money in the banks and whether the money has been legally obtained and if not ways should be found to return it to the country,” he said.
Last week our sister paper, The Guardian on Sunday revealed that some corrupt Tanzanians, including prominent business tycoons and top government officials, have secretly stashed away a whopping 315.5bn/- in Swiss banks.
According to a report released by the Swiss Central Bank, early last week Tanzania is among eleven African countries whose nationals have secretly stashed away millions of dollars into the European country’s banks.
Reacting to the report by the Swiss Central Bank last week Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) director general Dr Edward Hosea said: “We are going to write Swiss authorities to demand a copy of the report.”
“We want to know the names of those who have secretly stashed billions of shillings to Swiss banks…we promise to recover the stolen billions once we have the list,” the PCCB chief told The Guardian over the phone.
The anti-graft czar further said, “People should stop laundering money to Swiss banks because they are no longer a safe haven as they used to be in the past.
“Things have changed so much that in today’s world, no matter how long it might take, in the end all the culprits would be known and arrested,” he said.
Between 2001 and 2008 Tanzania lost an estimated $1bn (1.6trn/-) due to corrupt deals jointly masterminded between corrupt tycoons and some top government officials.