Finance Minister Dr William Mgimwa yesterday said the government will not rush to making decisions on claims that some Tanzanians stashed billions of shillings in offshore accounts, including Switzerland.
The finance minister issued the government stand in Mwanza when speaking to reporters a few minutes before the graduation ceremony held for certificate graduands of Rural Development planning course in Lake Zone branch.
“It’s true there are claims that some individuals are holding offshore accounts abroad where billions of shillings are believed to be stashed.
However, the government cannot rush into taking action, “including arresting the people without following proper international legal procedures and rules and regulations,” he said.
According to Dr Mgimwa, some of the procedures include having in hand names of such individuals, involvement of Financial Intelligence Unit in investigating the claims and readiness of the Swiss government to prove the claims.
Dr Mgimwa said under the law not all money kept in an offshore bank account was ill-gotten. “That is why we, as the government, are planning to have foreign reserve abroad,” he said.
Dr Mgimwa denounced claims that the government feared to arrest the suspects to explain its failure of its decision to drag its feet in working over the matter.
“It’s not true that our silence means we are afraid of dealing with the suspects.
“For instance, we are making correspondence with the Swiss government where people are claiming individuals have stashed away billions of shillings.” he said.
“What my office is doing is to follow the international laws, rules and regulations in dealing with the matter. In that sense it is too early to blame the government over this issue,” Dr Mgimwa insisted.
He challenged people to name individuals they suspect so that the government can have a starting point.