As the Parliamentary sub-committee drawing members from the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Justice, Ethics and Parliamentary powers tasked to probe legislators accused of corruption practices commenced its work this week here, The Guardian on Sunday provides details on the members constituting the team.
The five-man probe team is led by its Chairman, Brigadier Hassan Athumani Ngwilizi (rtd). Other members on the team are John Zefania Chiligati, Riziki Omar Juma, Said Amour Arfi and Gozibert Begumisa Blandes.
Whereas Ngwilizi, Chiligati and Blandes are from the ruling Chama Chama Mapinduzi CCM, Riziki is from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) and Arfi is from Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema). NCCR-Mageuzi with four MPs and the United Democratic Party (UDP) with one MP are not represented on the probe team.
The team has two weeks to submit its report to the Speaker for appropriate action. The main task is to gather findings as to whether the corruption allegations levelled against a number of legislators, mainly those sitting on the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Energy and Minerals, are true or false.
The MPs, yet to be named officially are accused of receiving bribes or have somehow been influenced by oil dealers who failed in their bid to supply fuel to independent power producers. The alleged lawmakers are said to have been unduly influenced to raise their voices in favour of the oil dealers at the expense of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
Among those to be quizzed by the Committee are Energy and Minerals Minister Professor Sospeter Muhongo and Singida East MP Tundu Lissu.
While Muhongo alleges that there are legislators – without naming names -- with dubious trading deals with the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), Lissu called a media conference and gave a list of implicated lawmakers on the graft allegations.
Chairperson Brigadier Hassan Ngwilizi
Aged 68, Ngwilizi, a Member of Parliament for Mlalo Constituency in Tanga region since 2005, is a trained soldier. He was born on April 1 in 1944. From 2000 to 2005 he sat on the National Assembly as an appointed legislator during the second phase administration of President Benjamin Mkapa. He also once served as CCM’s deputy general secretary. During the same period, Ngwilizi also held the ministerial post for Regional Administration and Local governments.
He has served in the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF) under the Defence ministry at different ranks from 1968 to 1995 ranging from platoon Commander to Commandant at the Commander and Staff College, Monduli in Arusha. Over the period, he also served at the Mozambique Ministry of Defence as a commader between 1987 and 1988.
From 1995 to 1996, Brigadier Ngwilizi was Dar es Salaam City Director before he was elevated to the post of Regional Commissioner, a post he held from 1996 to 1997.
Ngwilizi received military training in Tanzania and at the Command and Staff college, Canada, in 1975 as well as at the National Defence College, India in 1986. He also undertook a commanders’ course in Pakistan .
Aged 61, John Chiligati is the current legislator for Manyoni East in Singida region since 2000, and has served in several positions at the ruling CCM and the government up to ministerial level. He is also a trained soldier at the Monduli Military Academy. He holds a Masters degree in Public Administration and international relations from the University of Dar es Salaam, from where he graduated in 1986.
Born on October 14, 1950 in Singida region, Chiligati has led various ministries as deputy and as a senior minister. They include portfolios as deputy minister for Home Affairs (2000-2005), where he was later promoted to a minister in 2006 under President Jakaya Kikwete. In February, 2008 he was appointed Minister for Lands Housing and Human Settlements Development. Prior to that, he had served as Minister of Labour, Employment and Youth Deveopement.
He is currently CCM’s deputy General Secretary (Mainland). He has also held the title of the party’s ideology and publicity secretary.
Riziki Omar Juma
A 56 years, the lawmaker is teacher by profession. She started teaching in 1975, then pursued a two-year teaching training course at the Nkrumah Teachers’ Training college in Zanzibar where she graduated in 1982.
Born on December 25, 1955, Riziki Omar Juma has been a legislator since 2005.
She has served as CUF’s Wete District secretary from 2005-2010. She has also held the post of party’s women association at district level.
Said Amour Arfi
Arfi is vice-chairman of the main opposition party Chadema and has been a Member of Parliament for Mpanda Central since 2005.
The 60-year-old lawmaker was born on February 9, 1952 and has worked in different offices including the East African Posts and Telecommunications (EAPT) in the 1970s. He has also worked as an insurance agent with the National Insurance Corporation (NIC)
Gosbert Begumisa Blandes
A lawyer by profession, Blandes is an MP for Karagwe in Kagera Region since 2000. Aged 49 years, Blandes holds a University Degree in Laws (LLB) from the University of Dar es Salaam (1992).
Upon completion of his studies, he worked as State Attorney at the Attorney-General’s Chambers for two years and later moved on to work as a lawyer at CRDB Bank between 1994 to1999; later in 2000, he joined the Building Architects Board in the same capacity, where he served for two years before working as an Executive Director of the United Law Chambers Advocates.
Born on 18 February 1963, Blandes also sits on the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC) since 2002.