Govt suspends seven officials as 1,3 bilion/- goes missing

16Sep 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Govt suspends seven officials as 1,3 bilion/- goes missing

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday suspended seven officials in the Kilombero District Council and Ifakara Town Council in Morogoro region over misappropriation of 1.3bn/-.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa addresses civil servants in Kilombero District yesterday as part of his official visit to Morogoro Region. Left is Morogoro regional commissioner Dr Steven Kebwe. Photo: PMO

The premier who was on the second day of an official tour of the region also ordered that the suspended officials return the money which was mobilized through council levies within three days, before his visit comes to an end.

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office said the levies were duly collected but instead of being banked as required, the fund was wired into private accounts of the staff.

Among those who have been ordered to stay home is an executive director of one of the councils who is alleged to have pocketed 5m/- in public funds that was deposited in his bank account without explanation, the statement noted.

“Morogoro Region has a chronic problem of misappropriation of public funds; money is collected but does not get to the banks—it ends up in people’s pockets. This is a problem and we won’t tolerate it,” he said.

Majaliwa became aware of the fraud circumstances though the report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) over the past two years where for Ifakara Town Council, the audit indicated that total collections amounted to 2.7bn/- but only 1.9bn/- was banked while the remainder was siphoned by the staff.

Another fraud was unveiled by a whistleblower within Ifakara Town Council whereby 348m/- was said to have been swindled. The money was wired into the account of various officials by a Ward Executive Officer, he said.

The premier directed unconditional reinstating of the head of Information and Communication Technology at the council who revealed the theft and who had been irregularly suspended, naming him as John Mvanga.

“You suspended him because he revealed what you did. I order that he returns to work and be accorded security,” the premier said while addressing the council staff.

At Kilombero District Council, the premier said a total of 600m/- could not be traced while 98.5m/- was wired to private bank accounts of the council staff.