MPs: Abattoir scam bigwigs stole 15bn/-

27Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
MPs: Abattoir scam bigwigs stole 15bn/-

THE Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Water has recommended the arrest and prosecution of top officials in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, executives of the National Ranching Co. Ltd (NARCO) and the National Investments Co. Ltd (NICOL) over misappropriation of 15bn/-.

The committee said top ministerial officials conspired with executives of the two companies to swindle the amount during the running of the Dodoma abattoir.

Speaking during a visit to the slaughterhouse at the weekend, committee chairman Mahmoud Mgimwa said that top officials in the ministry and the executives of the two companies occasioned the loss between 2008 and 2015 but remain undisturbed.

“It’s baffling that no action has been taken since 2008 when this massive theft of public money came to light. I call upon the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau to arrest and prosecute all those who were involved,” he appealed.

Anthony Komu (Moshi Rural-CHADEMA) advised that the government put in place a functioning and continuous system of identifying and taking action on misappropriation of public funds.

After five years of poor meat production at the facility, in December 2017 the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Mpina, formed a five-member team to make a thorough assessment of the implementation of a contract between the government and the Tanzania Meat Co. Ltd (TMC) to run the abattoir.

The minister even directed that the Kongwa Ranch in Dodoma Region start slaughtering animals at the Dodoma abattoir, a government facility built between 2002 and 2003, starting to operate the following year.

In December 2018, minister Mpina revoked the purchasing agreement between the government and NICOL after the probe report unveiled the misappropriation of 15bn/- and massive violation of contract, hence returning the facility to the state.

Following the cancellation, NICOL was required to repay 9.7bn deducted from payments the government received when the firm purchased the abattoir in 2008.

The government has ordered NICOL to settle all debts of the Tanzania Meat Co.  Ltd (TMCL) totaling 5.2bn/-.

TMC was operating under the Tanzania Livestock Marketing Project (TLMP), part of the directorate of livestock production and marketing in the ministry.

In November 2008 the government privatized and handed the facility to NICOL, a firm registered on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) and NARCO. The two firms decided to operate the abattoir as TMCL.