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Ministers quizzed over CAG report

7th May 2012
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PCCB Director General Dr Edward Hosea

The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) is investigating ministers and government executives implicated by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report in corruption, embezzlement, abuse of office and other malpractices.

The anti-corruption watchdog’s latest crackdown against “alleged-corrupt” ministers and executives comes a few days after President Jakaya announced his new cabinet line-up in the wake of massive corruption allegations in the public circles.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian yesterday, Dr Edward Hosea PCCB Director General said that interrogation of the respective ministers had already started and is continuing.

“In fact, we have started questioning them …but I cannot be specific about when the task will be completed,” said Hosea.

“Remember such investigations take time and involve a number of procedures,” he added.

The PCCB chief refused to disclose the ministers and executives interrogated so far or lined up for questioning, all the ministers and executives who were implicated in the CAG report would be investigated.

The bureau’s investigations would focus on the allegation of corruption, accumulation of huge and questionable wealth (such as posh residential houses) facing the ministers. “These are the areas we will focus on, as per the law that established the bureau,” he insisted.

He stressed: “As per the law, after the investigations are completed, PCCB is required to submit the report to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for further legal actions against the culprits.”

In the new-look cabinet line up, President Jakaya Kikwete left out six cabinet ministers and two deputy ministers, accused of mishandling their dockets, including corruption and possessing posh houses among other allegations.

Those who lost the president’s confidence are minister for Finance Mustafa Mkullo, who has been replaced by a new face, Dr William Mgimwa, William Ngeleja, who has been replaced by a new appointee, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, and minister for Transport, Omari Nundu, who has been replaced by Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, who has been promoted from the ministry of Works where he was a deputy minister.

Other ministers who were dropped included Ezekiel Maige Natural Resources and Tourism minister whose portfolio has been filled in by former deputy minister for Home Affairs Khamis Kagasheki.

Industry and Trade minister Cyril Chami, has been replaced by Dr Abdallah Kigoda, while Dr Hussein Mwinyi has been named the new minister for Health and Social Welfare replacing Haji Mponda.

Announcing the new cabinet line-up, President Kikwete said he had decided to make the changes upon receiving a report on the heated debate in the national Assembly during the April seating in Dodoma, where seven ministers were accused of being irresponsible, resulting in the country losing billions of shillings through malpractices, including embezzlement and outright theft.

He however cautioned: “We have decided that the ministers are taking political responsibility, but sometimes the ministers face such action without themselves having been involved in the misdeeds.

So, we have decided that executives whose actions have resulted in the ministers vacating their posts will also be shown the door, be they chief executive officers or directors. We’ll get rid of them.”

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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