NIDA boss, other officials in court over corruption charges

18Aug 2016
Karama Kenyunko
The Guardian
NIDA boss, other officials in court over corruption charges

SIX senior officers of the National Identification Authority (NIDA), including former director general Dickson Maimu, plus two other individuals yesterday appeared before the Kisutu resident magistrate’s court charged with abuse of office

Former National Identification Authority Director General Dickson Mwaimu (L) and his office colleagues Avelin Momburi, Benjamin Mwakatumbula, Joseph Makani, Astery Ndege, George Ntalima, Sabina Raymond and Xavery Kayombo appear at Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam alleged office abuse.

and occasioning a loss of more than 1 billion/- to the government.

The charge sheet against them included a total of 27 counts; 16 related to abuse of position, six related to using misleading documents, four involving occasioning loss to a specified authority, and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence.

Arraigned in court alongside Maimu were Aveline Michael Momburi (NIDA’s former director of business support, manager of finance and accounts, and transport officer combined), Benjamin Joel Mwakatumbula (acting chief accountant),

Joseph Simon Makani (budget and estate manager), George Edward Ntalima (office supervisor), and Sabina Nyoni Raymond (director of legal services).

Also Astery Mwita Ndege , director of Aste Insurance Brokers Company Ltd, and Xavery Silverius Kayombo whose title was not mentioned.

They were not allowed to enter any plea to the charge before principal resident magistrate Respicius Mwijage because the offences against them fall under Economic Crime Act and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has not consented for a court lower than the High Court to hear the matter.

As a result, the magistrate ordered the accused persons to be sent back to remand prison as the court lacked jurisdiction to even grant them bail. He directed them to seek bail at the High Court if they so wished.

The case was adjourned to August 31 for its next mention as investigations have not been completed, according to the prosecution led by Senior State Attorney Awamu Mbagwa.

Among the allegations was that between 2010 to 2014, at the NIDA head office in Dar es Salaam, Maimu and Mwakatumbula intentionally abused their positions as NIDA top officials by authorising and affecting payments to Gotham International Ltd (GIL) without using the prevailing official exchange rate at the time, thus causing GIL obtained an undue monetary advantage.

Maimu and Mwakatumbula, along with Ntalima, also abused their positions by authorising and affecting payments to Aste Insurance Company Ltd through different invoices, which also allowed the insurance firm to obtain an undue monetary advantage.

All the offences were ranked under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act.

Maimu, together with co-accused Mwakatumbula, Raymond, Kayombo and Ntalima, is also alleged to have caused NIDA to suffer a pecuniary loss totaling 1,169,352,911/- between 2010 and 2013.