Probe, clean up TPA, President tells PCCB

29Mar 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Probe, clean up TPA, President tells PCCB

​​​​​​​PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to thoroughly investigate  apparent massive embezzlement of public funds at the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and take legal action against the culprits. 

Receiving performance reports from Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Charles Kichere and PCCB director general Brigadier General John Mbungo at the State House, Chamwino in Dodoma yesterday, the president directed that PCCB detectives camp at TPA and nail all those suspected of corruption.

She set the pace for investigation to be conducted smoothly by suspending the TPA Director General, Deusdedit Kakoko..

The president refereed to an executive summary of the CAG’s report handed to her late on the previous day, saying it reveals embezzlement of 3.6bn/...”I hereby order the suspension of the authority’s director general so that investigation can start,” she told the hushed audience.

The massive audit query highlighted by the CAG is for 2019/20 financial year alone. Still the president said that the rot at TPA has been there for quite a while and previous efforts to rein in the vice have yielded scant dividends.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa had formed a probe team to undertake investigation, which resulted in removing a couple of senior corporation officials..

“PCCB this is a special task; camp there and do your work,” the president emphasised.

In December last year, the premier suspended finance director Nuru Mhando and expenditures manager Witness Mahela, stating that the authority had deprived the government of revenues through tax exemption of more than 2bn/- granted to Mbeya Cement despite rejection of the proposed relief by a special committee within the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

The premier said it was unusual that TPA approved the payment of 8.2bn/- to Kigoma Port for various payments while the limit of funds for the port stood at 7.4bn/-.

Last year’s meeting held at the TPA offices was also attended by the PCCB director general, among other senior officials, making this investigation a continuation of earlier efforts, observers noted.

TPA manages and operates ocean ports and lake ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara on the sea shore plus key lake ports of Mwanza and Kigoma as well as lake ports. It also operates a system of ports serving the Tanzania hinterland and the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

Kakoko was confirmed as TPA Director General in October 2018 after working in the position in acting capacity for to years, from July 2016.

He replaced Awadh Massawe who was fired along with the then permanent secretary in the transport ministry, Shaaban Mwinjaka by then President John Magufuli following the disappearance of over 2,700 shipping containers at the port.