"Despite threats, intimidation, and suffering, journalists speak out on issues that affect our nations. In doing so, they are playing a key role in enhancing transparency, accountability, democracy, and human rights."
Maxence Melo Mubyazi., Journalist
Back in 2008 the infamous “Richmond scandal” resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. Then in 2014 the “Escrow scandal” led to the departure of two senior ministers and the then-Attorney General.
Elected to office in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform, President John Magufuli has taken several measures in an attempt to cure the scourge. These include the convention of an economic crimes court, the sacking of six senior officials in the Tanzania Revenue Authority, the suspension of the Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority, the dismissal of the long-standing Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, and the establishment of the Independent Office of Taxpayers Ombudsman. Since 2015 Tanzania has risen 18 places in Transparency International’s Corruption Index, ranking 99 in 2018.
However, President Magufuli’s efforts have proved divisive, with some accusing him of using his anti-corruption stance as cover to restrict freedoms and crackdown on opposition. Critics of the Government have also pointed to findings by Afrobarometer that 71 per cent of Tanzanians fear retaliation for reporting corruption to the authorities. In 2018 a report by the country’s Controller and Auditor General Mussa Assad revealed $640 million in missing funds. However, the ruling party appeared to block its release. With 21.9 million citizens living in extreme poverty the whereabouts of these funds and more are a matter of national concern.