PCCB suspends officer for soliciting 300m/- bribe

10Aug 2019
Felister Peter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
PCCB suspends officer for soliciting 300m/- bribe

THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has arrested a senior investigator for allegedly soliciting bribes of over 300m/- from two Dar es Salaam businessmen.

PCCB Director General Diwani Athumani.

Cosmas Batanyita, hitherto stationed at PCCB headquarters, has already been suspended from the job, to be arraigned at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court.

PCCB Director General Diwani Athumani told journalists yesterday that investigations into the case are complete, and that the file was on Friday handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for further action.

Explaining, Diwani noted that in February, Batanyika was assigned to investigate two businessmen suspected of tax evasion. He requested a 2m/- bribe from the first business man and $ 50,000 from the second one.

The PCCB top executive said the expelled official received a bribe of $ 40,000 from both traders, approximately 100m/-, with each trader giving him $ 20,000 over promises of being assisted in their tax evasion matter.

He withheld names of the businessmen for security and investigation purposes, he said.

Diwani said that Batanyika negotiated with the traders to provide $ 20,000 each after they seemed not ready to give out the amount he demanded.

The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Chief Investigator Cosmas Batanyika is escorted by police officers when he appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday  facing three charges of economic sabotage, corruption and money laundering. Photo: Correspondent Miraji Msala

“We are working in accordance with the law. We will not spare anyone including public servants who will be proved to engage in corruption,” said Diwani, insisting that the measures taken are in accordance with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, 2017.

He said assured Tanzanians that PCCB has a good number of honest and faithful employees and that citizens should continue providing the anti-corruption body with relevant information that will help nab dishonest officials as well as fake officers.

In another development, the PCCB chieftain said that Tanzania is performing better in the ant-graft war as per a recent report by the Global Corruption Barometer Africa, 2019. The number of Tanzanians who have confidence with the government has risen to 71 percent compared to 37 percent in 2015, he declared.

The number of people who think corruption is still a major problem in the country has declined to 10 percent compared to 66 percent in 2015, he stated.

“Tanzania has been ranked 1st among 35 African countries in implementing anti-graft measures followed by Lesotho and Sierra Leone,” he said, elaborating that the report prepared by Transparency International indicates that 72 percent of Tanzanians consider that corruption has declined, compared to only 13 percent in 2015.

He attributed Tanzania’s successes in fighting corruption to political will by President John Magufuli who has been in the forefront to end bribe and restore public confidence to the government, ensuring discipline among public servants and curbing the misuse of public funds.

Tanzanians must support government efforts towards ending corruption since the president cannot work single handedly, the anti-corruption czar remarked.