The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) is investigating some people, including public servants, who have started conducting early campaigns ahead of the general elections slated for October 2020, warning that legal actions would be taken against the wrongdoers.
PCCB Director General John Mbungo told editors at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday: "We cannot disclose names or give more details of the people involved but we know who is under our investigations."
"The PCCB rebukes all movements that are taking place early before the campaign begins. This behaviour should be stopped forthwith as we want the election to be conducted without having to smell the presence of corrupt practices," the director general further warned.
Brigadier General Mbungo also explained that when an election is enveloped by corrupt elements, such election lacks political legitimacy and thus result in a breach of the peace and the public's lack of trust in the government.
As a result, he said, in April, 2019, PCCB found it necessary to organise a workshop that brought together stakeholders from different sectors, where together they discussed how to control corruption in elections and then put in place effective strategies to control the problem in our elections.
Through such workshops, the PCCB boss went on, they prepared themselves for elections at the local government level and also charted strategies for the October 2020 general election.
"We would like to remind the public of several important issues that affect the whole electoral issue. We do this because some misconceptions have started to emerge in the constituencies and resulting in problems identified by PCCB," he said.
Brigadier General Mbungo pointed out further that there were some people, who are neither government executives nor MPs in their respective areas, but had already begun to gather some people and speaking to them with persuasive sentiments.
"PCCB will deal with them in accordance with the law," he said.
According to him, the responsibilities of a Member of Parliament, including a minister and deputy minister in constituencies are set out under Article 63 (3) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Likewise, he said, the MP is also the representative of the people who elected him or her in ensuring that the electoral programmes for the constituency are presented to the decision-making organs, including the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania.
"Civil servants on their part should not be involved in political activities with the intention of being elected while they are still civil servants. In light of the constitutional requirements, it is not appropriate for a public servant to enter into the nomination process when the process has not started," he said.
Brigadier General Mbungo referred to Article 7 2 of the Constitution on the cessation of employment of civil servants on contesting for election.
The provision reads: "Where any person holding office in the service of the government which office is of the type mentioned in Article 67 (2)(g) decides to contest for election to the office of President or any other office under this Constitution; ".....or contest for leadership at any level in a political party contrary to the terms of employment, the employment of such person shall be considered to have ceased from the date of his becoming a candidate or of contesting for leadership in the political party."
This article was originally published on Daily News.