The organisation's core values are stated to be a deeply held,including integrity and fair competition. It's strategic objective is amongst other things to facilitate the growth of private sector business through enhancing enterprise competitiveness.
Given these well articulated aims and objectives, trumpetings of honesty and integrity, you would think the organisation would chose a man of impeccable reputation and integrity to be their Chairman.
Not so. The TPSF has as its Chairman Reginald Mengi. Reginald Mengi is a corrupt business man who is a liar and a cheat and who has been found to be complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin thatdestroyed lawful private sector investment in Tanzania.
In 2012, in the High Court in London Mr Mengi sued British lawyer Sarah Hermitage for Libel over accusations she made against him on her blog. Mengi lost miserably. To top it off he was ordered to pay costs on the indemnity basis which are believed to be in excess of £3,000.000.
The Judge ruled that Mr Mengi and his witnesses lied to and misled the court and that he personally, had been complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin's attempt to steal the lease to Silverdale and Mbono Farms from British investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage.
He also found that Mr Mengi had, with the use and abuse of his media IPP Media run a favourable media policy in respect of Tanzania's President Kikwete, probably committed criminal libel against the investors vis-a-vis the laws of Tanzania and had engaged in what Ms Hermitage described as journalistic terrorism.
Just the kind of man that an organisation seeking to portray Tanzania's investment environment as conducive to private investment would want to head their organisation? Of course not!
Why then does the TPSF want Reginald Mengi to come within a mile of their organisation and reputation and is it important?
Well Reginald Mengi in himself is not important. He is just one more corrupt, wealthy and powerful African and after all, there are a lot of them. There's a Mengi in every country in the world one might say. So if it's not Mengi that matters why should this be such an important appointment by the TPSF.
Firstly, the TPSF seeks to spearhead investor grabbing in Tanzania. It is a high profile organisation. There are few foreign envoys in Tanzania if any, that are not aware of Mengi's brutal corruption in the Silverdale farm case. They may pay him court, but they will do so tongue in cheek, because they have to, but they won't like it. After all, no one likes a cheat let alone a hypocrite. So Mengi heads the organisation and it immediate loses credibility in the eyes of intended investors in Tanzania. They see Mengi as chairman and wonder what on earth any kind of organisation that seeks to promote investment is doing with a publicly corrupt businessman as its Chairman.
Secondly, the values and mission statement of the TPF are compromised. Mengi's corruption is indefensible vis-a-vis the organisations stated values and the integrity of the organisation disappears. Wherever there is the opportunity that offers personal advantage to someone in some respect there will be an opportunity for corruption and selective disengagement from the vice kicks in. In organisations like the TPSF there would be many such opportunities and that's why it is imperative that it demonstrate a squeaky clean veneer; on the surface at least.
Thridly, it matters because of the message it sends out to those who strive for the protection of human rights in Tanzania and wish to protect those not capable of protecting themselves.
Finally it matters because of the corrosive effects of corruption on creating a business environment that can promote sustainable development and the relief of poverty. As Paul Sturgess states, corruption is a predator which has cheapened public life and fostered an amoral business ethic to the detriment of commercial life.
The appointment of Reginald Mengi by the TPSF is indefensible on any level that is, if anyone is going to take the organisation seriously.