DODOMA: A TOTAL of 14bn/- which is part of the public money which was reported to be embezzled in the 2021/22 financial year by the Controller and Auditor General’s report has been recovered by October this year, the National Assembly was told.
Minister of State in the President’s Office, Public Service Management and Good Governance, Mr George Simbachawene said while clarifying on some of the issues raised in the house while debating the technical audit report by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC), Local Authority Accounts Committee (LAAC) and Public Investment Committee (PIC).
“In responding to the problems, the government has brought to book people implicated in the corrupt and embezzlement acts by filing 1,790 cases, of which the government has sailed through in 965 cases,” said Mr Simbachawene.
He revealed that among the public servants who have been implicated in the cases include various council Executive Directors.
He added: “Around 621 cases were ongoing at various stages in the country’s courts and the government has managed to recover a sum of 14bn/- and 14,571 US dollars following the directives of President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” he said.
On the other hand, the government has confiscated assets which are valued at over 2bn/-.
The Minister also pointed that the government has recovered 5.2bn/- out of 8.9bn/- which was squandered by 16 people accused in the matters.
Equally, he noted that a total of 137,599 public servants have been paid their various claims amounting to 235bn/- as arrears.
Mr Simbachawene was of the view that whenever ministers stood to clarify on various issues, the legislators should not take it as defending culprits of corruption and embezzlement.
For his part, Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr Nape Nnauye, backed the views of Mr Simbachawene, indicating that for years the government has effectively been implementing recommendations brought along with the CAG reports.
He said that much has been done in carrying out various improvements, including recovery of lost funds through information and communications systems.
“Looking at the statistics, it can be noted some of the issues which rose in the past are no longer happening… audit queries have now obtained answers,” he said.
Minister of State, President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local Governments (PO-RALG), Mohamed Mchengerwa noted that specifically the ministry has taken various measures related to the mismanagement of funds, like suspending former Executive Directors of major cities including Mbeya, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Some of them have been remanded.
The same applies in municipalities like Singida, Iringa, Mtwara and Sumbawanga. “Recently, the former District Executive Director of Sumbawanga who was transferred elsewhere appeared in court to answer charges filed against him,” noted Mr Mchengerwa.
The Minister also indicated that the claims that some of the public servants are being transferred in new stations despite the fact that they are being accused of mismanagement and occasioning loss of public funds have no room in the present administration of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Also, the government has taken steps in various councils of Monduli, Muheza, Masasi, Kilosa, Uvinza, Buhigwe, Busega, Buchosa, Sengerema and Mvomero.
“As we speak, my experts are on the ground continuing to probe various issues, taking into account available information,” he said. Mr Mchengerwa went on to disclose that they have continued to take action against 23 heads of procurement units, accountants (16), heads of human resources management (6), internal auditors (2), regional medical officers (10) and 47 district medical officers. Thus, he directed Permanent Secretary at Tamisemi to take action against the ex District Executive Director of Igunga, Athumani Francis Msabila by immediately suspending him from office.
“I am warning all corrupt and reckless public servants…their days are numbered,” he stressed. For her part, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu expressed the government’s commitment to deal with all individuals implicated in the CAG report, indicating that so far the ministry has suspended Medical Stores Department Managing Director along with six directors and six Zonal Managers who have been moved from their positions.
Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson also clarified that ministers have intervened to make things clear and not otherwise, urging the legislators not to send a different picture to the public which demonstrates that the ministers are supporting the sabotage on public funds.
While winding up the debate, Dr Tulia also urged parliamentarians to give time to the Ministers as the new mechanism of reporting the implementation of the resolutions has just started.
“The inquiry committee is not necessary for now… let’s give them time and in the coming meeting of February, the ministers will report to us on the implementation of the committee’s resolutions,” she said.