Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House, Zitto Kabwe has distanced himself from corruption allegations leveled at him, saying he will be ready to face the consequences if investigations prove that he is involved in the scandal.
Kabwe who is also the Kigoma North MP (Chadema) and chairperson of the Parliamentary Parastatal Organisations Accounts Committee (POAC) told a press conference here yesterday that his committee should also not be dragged into the scam advising the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Privilege, Ethics and Powers to only deal with him since he was the primary suspect.
“Since I am the only accused in my committee, there is no need for the Speaker to dissolve the whole committee. It is better I take the responsibility to be quizzed by the ethics committee and if it finds that I am guilty, then I will be ready to quit as the committee chairman,” he said.
According to Kabwe, the ongoing discussions on legislators’ involvement in corrupt practices are being fanned by a few individuals out to damage him and tarnish his party’s reputation.
He explained that his committee’s decision to call Tanesco Board of Directors and the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) was intended to get information as to why Tanesco managing director, William Muhando was suspended for investigation.
“I have never had any communication with Tanesco. POAC has never discussed with Engineer Muhando…I have urged Chadema to effectively investigate the matter,” he insisted.
The legislator said POAC supervised 256 parastatal organisations that include Tanesco.
He said for four consecutive years the committee has proved efficient in fighting against waste of public funds, citing Kiwira and Consolidated Holdings Corporation (CHC).
Kabwe refuted claims that he sent a warning through a mobile message to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, saying the circulating message is not the original one he sent.
He said the committee commissioned to investigate the matter should be provided with the message and confirm with the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) on its authenticity.
Meanwhile the legislator said for the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to offer stable power supply to the country, Tanesco has to allocate 42bn/- each month to cover electricity expenses that include paying Symbion and Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL).
He said the minister of energy and minerals Prof Sospeter Muhongo when tabling his budget estimate for 2012/13 fiscal year said Tanesco was collecting more than 60bn/- a month while only 11bn/- was spent to pay employees and other charges.
“Ask yourself where was the remaining 40bn/-. The truth is that it was used to pay power generating companies of Aggreko, Symbion, Songas and IPTL…instead of discussing why it should pay out all this money, legislators and media outlets are discussing MPs,” he said.
Members of the Parliamentary standing committee have been accused by other legislators of receiving bribes from oil marketing companies that wanted to be awarded the tender of supplying heavy funnel oil to Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) plant for emergency power generation.
It’s for that reason the Speaker Anne Makinda dissolved the parliamentary standing committee for energy and minerals last Saturday instructing the ethics committee to launch immediate investigation into the matter.