“In my view, it is difficult to win this war without dealing with the elements behind grand corruption. Once you deal with even just one of them, the others will be scared stiff.”
PCCB: We will not spare anyone in anti-graft war
By Felister Peter
16th June 2011
PCCB Director General Edward Hoseah
Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Director General Edward Hoseah has said there is nothing to stop them from working on corruption allegations for years levelled against Kagoda Agricultural Company “once we have enough credible evidence in hand”.
The allegations are in connection with the Bank of Tanzania External Payment Arrears Account (EPA) payout scandal.
“We are not afraid of probing Kagoda. Nobody is above the law. The only problem is lack of evidence,” Dr Hoseah said in Dar es Salaam yesterday shortly after the opening of a meeting on corruption.
He explained that, contrary to popular belief, the bureau deals with all forms of corruption “but the long process involved might make people think we are not doing anything, particularly on cases of grand corruption”.
“We need to have enough credible evidence before taking legal measures against any suspect and, at any rate, it is the courts that have the last word,” he added.
The PCCB chief would not be drawn into citing any specific grand corruption cases the bureau is working on, saying that doing so was unethical. He however noted that Tanzanians are having a better grasp of the impact of corruption in their daily routines and hence playing a bigger role in the war against it.
Delegates to the meeting meanwhile challenged PCCB to intensify the war against grand culprits.
Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT) Chairman Reginald Mengi said the government has made a commendable job in the war on the vice but ought to be tougher with the kingpins of grand corruption.
“In my view, it is difficult to win this war without dealing with the elements behind grand corruption. Once you deal with even just one of them, the others will be scared stiff,” he noted, adding that merely reining in bribe takers while bribe givers are off the hook does not help much.
Mengi explained that grand corruption suspects are filthy rich and sometimes use money to protect themselves “so containing them calls for stern measures and a high degree of accountability on the part of the relevant authorities if corruption rings are to be dismantled”.
He warned that if corruption gets more rampant and vicious, it will turn into some form of national culture and therefore a lot more difficult to tame.
Civic United Front Deputy Secretary General Julius Mtatiro said PCCB did a recommendable job during the CCM opinion polls last year, including nabbing many people suspected to be bribe givers, “but shockingly it failed to deal with corrupt candidates during the General Election campaigns”.
Tanzania National Business Council Executive Secretary Dunstan Mrutu noted that corruption has made doing business in Tanzania overly costly “since one has to grease several palms before one can start a business”.
Mathias Chikawe, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Good Governance), directed all leaders responsible for good governance to make sure that leadership ethics are implemented.
He issued the order when opening the meeting, also calling on political and religious leaders to combat corruption by talking their followers into at changing their mindset vis-à-vis the vice.
Meanwhile, Norwegian Ambassador Ingunn Klepsvik said corruption was a major obstacle to meaningful development. She said her country would continue supporting Tanzania in the war on the vice.
United Nations Development Programme Resident Coordinator Philip Poinsot said winning the war on corruption was a guarantee for society to benefit through improved social services.
He said the UN has been supporting capacity building training for PCCB staff and police officers and supports the implementation of various other corruption programmes meant at fighting corruption.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN