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Magistrate adjourns 2bn/- lawsuit

5th February 2013
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Former Industry and Trade Minister, Iddi Simba

Presiding Resident Magistrate, Ilvin Mugeta yesterday adjourned to March 4 the case against former Industry and Trade Minister Iddi Simba and two other people.

As the prosecution, led by State Attorney Awamu Mbangwa, prepared to proceed with the case, the judge informed the court that he could not preside over the hearing because he had ‘other official duties’.

Simba and the two other officials are facing conspiracy, forgery, diversion and abuse of position and office that occasioned the loss of some 2bn/- the property of Shirika la Usafiri Dar es Salaam (UDA)

Other accused in the case are Salum Mwaking’inda, former Sinza Ward Councillor and board director and Victor Milanzi, former UDA General Manager.

According to the charge sheet, it was alleged that on September 2, 2009 in Dar es Salaam, the accused conspired together with other unknown persons to commit an offence of diversion.

On the second count, it was alleged that on the same date and place Simba and Milanzi with intent to defraud or deceive, forged a letter dated September 2, 2009, purporting to show that all bank accounts of UDA Ltd had overdraft facilities, which was not true.

On the third count, it was alleged that on the same date and place Simba and Milanzi on September 2, 2009 in Dar es Salaam, being the chairman of the board of directors and the general manager of UDA Ltd respectively, diverted for their own benefit, 320m/- intended to be an advance commitment and part payment for shares in UDA Ltd, the money, which they received by virtue of their position.

On the fourth count, it was alleged that between September 3, 2009 and March 31, 2010, Simba and Milanzi obtained from Robert Kisena 320m/- falsely pretending that the same money was an advance commitment and part payment for shares in UDA Ltd.

On the fifth count, Lincolin alleged that, on the same date and place, the accused, by willful act, did divert for their own use, the money intended to be paid as advance commitment and part payment for shares of UDA Ltd, the act which caused the said UDA Ltd to suffer pecuniary loss of the said money.

On the sixth count, it was alleged that between September 2009 and February last year in Dar es Salaam, Simba, Mwaking’inda and Milanzi, while discharging their duties, did intentionally abuse their position by disposing 7,880,330 un-issued shares of UDA Ltd, a company owned jointly by the Central Government and Dar es Salaam City Council for consideration of 1,142,643,935/- without conducting competitive tendering, an act in violation of Regulation 63(1) of the Public Procurement (Goods, Non-consultant Services and Disposal of Public Assets by Tender) Regulation, 2005.

On the seventh count, it was alleged that in Dar es Salaam and on various dates between September 9 and February 11 of last year the accused, while discharging their duties, intentionally abused their position by allotting 7,880,303 un-issued shares of UDA Ltd owned jointly by the Central Government and the Dar es Salaam City Council to Simon Group Ltd without involving the Central Government and Dar es Salaam City Council, an act, which was in violation of articles of Association of the Company and section 74 of the Companies Act.

On the eighth count, Lincolin claimed that on February 11 last year in the city of Dar es Salaam, all the accused, by reason of their failure to take reasonable care, sold to Simon Group Ltd 7,880,303 un-issued shares in UDA Ltd at 1,142,643,935/- without conducting competitive tendering proceedings that would have afforded an opportunity to prospective buyers to offer a competitive price for the acquisition of the shares, an act which caused a pecuniary loss, estimates at a monetary value of 2,378,858,878/80 as the best net return that the company would have achieved for the disposition of the same shares.

As the case looms on, for various reasons including a ‘busy judge’ the accused are out on bail.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN