Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to as soon as possible complete investigations on claims of embezzlement during the 2019 Uhuru Torch Race.
The directive was also tied to complete investigations on thefts in Agriculture Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) especially in respect of cashew nuts and sesame crops, including for Ruangwa District.
The premier gave the directive when inaugurating the PCCB building in Ruangwa District costing 142m shillings, instructing the bureau to reinvigorate efforts to rein in corrupt officials.
He said in addition to PCCB conducting day to day activities, it should also implement various directives given to them by President John Magufuli at different times.
He said he has seen good work by PCCB in following up on investigations involving payment to cashew nuts and sesame farmers for the crops they sold, urging them to complete the work as soon as possible.
“Corruption affects the implementation of various projects and therefore, the government has given a special push in dealing with all acts of corruption and theft, particularly during this period when big development projects are in full swing. Hence the government cannot afford to lose money needed to meet its various commitments.”
Between July and September 2019 about 85.72bn shillings was given out by the government including 50bn shillings for pension claims, 22bn for various claims from public servants including gratuities for 3,017 retirees and salary arrears for 1,435 government employees, and 10.24bn shillings paid out to service providers he explained.
The premier noted that research by stakeholders in the fight against corruption including Transparency International (TI), the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Afrobarometer show that for three consecutive years Tanzania has been doing well in the war against corruption, seeking to attain good governance.
He also directed the establishment of anti-corruption clubs in schools so that students understand and report on corrupt incidences they may come across. As for the PCCB building, the premier said it was vital for a sensitive institution as PCCB to have its own building in the district governing structure.
Reacting to the reported condition of PCCB buildings at the regional and district levels, he directed the Deputy Minister of State Dr Mary Mwanjelwa to handle the matter.
On his part, the Ag PCCB Director general Brig Gen John Mbungo said the work on the building took seven months to complete from 11 June 2018 to 25 January 2019, using up a total of 142,857,142/86 for its construction.
On various investigations on AMCOS undertaken by PCCB, the acting PCCB CEO said they discovered that more than 30 AMCOS short-changed sesame farmers by up to 1.23bn shillings.
“We arrested and interrogated more than 300 AMCOS officials and succeeded to save 1.042bn shillings, money that belonged to sesame farmers but was short paid by AMCOS officials.” he added.
This article was originally published by IPP Media.