The president should’ve also been at the forefront in ensuring that they were brought to account soonest and as appropriate.
Name Tanzanians in radar deal scandal
Saturday, 23 July 2011 15:10
The scandalous British Aerospace (BAE) business deal involving an overrated ‘Watchman’ radar system sold to Tanzania a decade ago must be brought to a clear-cut conclusion sooner than later.
This is to save Tanzania — and the Government of incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete — from greater damage to their credibility and sense of purpose.
So much has been disseminated through mass media organs that there’d seem to be no need to continue with the subject-matter.
But, this is necessary, ‘courtesy’ of a rather surprising attitude on the part of the government in Dar es Salaam to the general effect that, one: ostensibly the deal did no harm to Tanzania… And, two: there’s no tangible evidence that any government official was (criminally) involved in that particular transaction!
In the event, several government organs have been at the forefront of pushing that agenda as if their very existence in office depended upon it! Some of them have virtually prevaricated and been economic with the truth, uncomfortably shifting (forked-tongue) positions when cornered!
If I may say so, their efforts haven’t succeeded in laying to rest the discredited ghost of incredulity. If anything, their professed official stand has fuelled the controversy even more intensely than would’ve otherwise been the case!
Most unfortunately, these include leading state organs to which Tanzania’s professed democratic system of government has entrusted the roles of Good Governance in general… And, in particular, law enforcement; rooting out corruption; dispensation of Justice, et cetera…
For instance, the Prevention & Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB); the Attorney-General’s Office (AG); the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Good Governance Unit in the President’s Office have all vigorously stated that they haven’t found anything of evidentiary value to haul Tanzania Govt. officials to the Courts regarding the dubious BAE radar deal per se!
By way of hedging, they’ve intimated that there may be cause to prosecute someone on charges other than radar deal bribery — such as under Bank of Tanzania regulations on holding unauthorised bank accounts abroad, but can’t relate such offshore accounts to the BAE radar deal! Really?
In fact, the officials went to the ridiculous lengths of asking any institution or person with substantive evidence to hand it over to the relevant authorities for evaluation… Or is it for massaging? Sheesh!
In My Book of Things, if it’s come to that, then one must wonder why we continue to have such institutions in our midst… Or, could it be that the institutions themselves are above-board — but the people who head them are of questionable probity? I ask you!
Surely, it is officials of dubious calibre who give Tanzania a bad name — and pulverize the credibility with which President Kikwete hit the ground running post-the-2005 elections he resoundingly ‘won’ with an 80.2 per cent majority of the valid (?) votes cast!
Surely, the alleged culprits in the BAE radar scandal — reportedly two BAE officials and a Tanzanian citizen, one Salish Vithlani — couldn’t have accomplished a multi-million pounds sterling deal with Dar without the effective aid and abetment of top-level Tanzania Government officials? I ask you!
Surely again, the Kikwete Government shouldn’t only have named and shamed the officials already — thereby dissociating himself, his government, his political party and ordinary Tanzanians from them… The president should’ve also been at the forefront in ensuring that they were brought to account soonest and as appropriate.
Why the man hasn’t done so — and appears unlikely to do so anytime soon — is the 64-thousand dollar mystery. Why? I ask you!
As former US President Bush would say, those who’re not with us ordinary Tanzanians must be against us… Cheers!