Judegment Day At The High Court London

Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Tanzania, 'senior government officials estimated that 20 percent of the government's budget in each fiscal year was lost to corruption'

2009 Human Rights Report: Tanzania

Section 4 Official Corruption and Government Transparency

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively, and some officials engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. The World Bank's Governance Indicators reflected that corruption remained a serious problem. In September the media reported that the World Bank urged the government to do more to fight corruption as lack of progress allows perpetrators to act with impunity. President Kikwete publicly reaffirmed his commitment to fight corruption, noting the increase in ongoing corruption cases from 58 in 2005 to 578 during the year. Although several high-profile corruption investigations were underway, including the case against former cabinet ministers Basil Mramba and Daniel Yona for granting unjustified tax exemptions on a gold production agreement, the government was criticized for slow progress in these cases.

Judicial corruption was a problem. For example, in May a district magistrate was sentenced to 11 years in prison for demanding five million Tanzanian shillings ($3,700) from a businessman in return for a favorable judgment in his case.

In September a primary court magistrate and a district court secretary in Mwanza were arrested and prosecuted on corruption charges. The two were charged with soliciting and receiving a bribe of Tanzanian shillings 60 million ($45,000). At year's end their case continued.

In May a Kisutu Resident Magistrate's court found Jamila Nzota, a magistrate in the Temeke district court, guilty of soliciting a bribe of Tanzanian shillings five million ($3,700) and receiving Tanzanian shillings 700,000 ($526). Her case was on appeal at year's end.

The PCCB is responsible for educating the public about corruption, investigating suspected cases, and prosecuting offenders in coordination with the DPP. The PCCB has 24 regional offices and an office in every district on the mainland. It received 3,780 allegations of corruption between January and August, investigated 584 cases, and completed 834 investigation files. According to the PCCB, 137 new cases were submitted to the courts during the year and 409 old and new cases prosecuted. As of August there had been 25 convictions and 40 acquittals.

A special unit of the police force in Zanzibar is responsible for corruption cases. However, there were no investigations as no complaints were received during the year.

According to the PCCB, most corruption investigations concerned government involvement in mining, land matters, energy, and investment. NGOs also reported that allegations of corruption involved the Tanzania Revenue Authority, local government officials, the police, licensing authorities, hospital workers, and the media.

In September four Bank of Tanzania (BOT) employees were charged with embezzling Tanzanian shillings 104 billion ($78 million) by manipulating contract prices and printing requests for currency procurement. One of the accused in this case was also charged in the ongoing external payment arrears corruption investigation. At year's end the accused were awaiting trial.

The case against more than 20 individuals accused in October 2008 of obtaining funds fraudulently from the BOT's external payment account was ongoing at year's end.

There were no further developments in the November 2008 corruption case against two former ministers of finance and the December 2008 case against the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

The government continued to use specialized agencies to fight corruption, but their effectiveness was limited. A three-person unit within the President's Office, headed by a minister of state for good governance, was charged with coordinating anticorruption efforts and collecting information from all the ministries for publication in quarterly reports; however, this unit was not effective.

There was little accountability in most government entities; senior government officials estimated that 20 percent of the government's budget in each fiscal year was lost to corruption, including theft and fraud, fake purchasing transactions, and "ghost workers." For example, on October 31, the controller and auditor general completed a review of all claims made by secondary school teachers for back pay and found that in some instances teachers had made claims for payments already received, and in other instances they had submitted forged documents to substantiate claims. As a result of these irregularities, roughly half of the claimed amount was rejected.

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