MPs demand officials implicated in CAG report face law

LEGISLATORS on Saturday pushed for legal measures against public officials who are implicated in the 2020/21 audit report of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) to have misused, embezzled or caused loss of public funds.

The lawmakers raised concern in the Parliament here in Dodoma, when contributing to the report of the Parliamentary committees on Public Investments (PIC) and Public Accounts (PAC) over the CAG report.

Commenting on the report, different lawmakers asked why people involved in the misuse and embezzlement of public funds are yet to face legal actions.

Tarime Rural Member of Parliament (MP) Mwita Waitara said the money lost could have helped in addressing challenges such as poor roads, water shortage, building health centres among others in their constituencies.

“I would like to ask the Speaker that this matter be taken seriously. A lot of funds were stolen and many projects have stalled over lack of funds.

“Why are these people not held accountable? We have a number of problems in our constituencies and the CAG report tells us how the funds were lost. We need to get another report with names of civil servants, who have eaten the money,” he stressed.

He added: “They should have been in jail by now and summon one by one to say where he or she has sent the money.”

Tabasamu Mwagao (Sengerema-CCM) noted that many MPs expressed concern, especially on how they were touched by the loss of government funds as exposed by the CAG report.

“The Parliamentary Investments Committee summoned those implicated and grilled them, but it seems those people are arrogant, let us learn from other countries how they control these evil acts,” Mr Mwagao said.

He suggested that the Attorney General (AG) should come up with new law to give teeth to the CAG so that it can be able to drag the suspects to court, since it is the one that has the proof.

“Our mother, President Samia Suluhu Hassan travels abroad to look for funds and bring here into the country for development projects, but some dishonest individuals steal them, so the President needs help…we should ask for strong law so that people stop playing with these funds, ” Mr Mwagao said.

He said that what saddened him most was after hearing that even in Embassies, still public monies were stolen, noting that the CAG report shows that revenues collected from visa fees amounting to 670m/- have been embezzled.

“Ambassadors are respected people, if they also become part in stealing this is serious, I don’t know how we could help our President,” said the legislator.

On his part, Kinondoni legislator, Abbas Tarimba (CCM) argued that looking at what happened; it seemed that the culprits are not afraid, but only arrogant.

“We should be bold and start taking legal measures against them. There are some scenarios here that can be termed as economic sabotage. When you deny the government the revenues or misuse public funds it is economic sabotage,” he argued.

However, he asked the CAG to also audit the Covid-19 relief funds, casting doubts that lots of it might have been misused or stolen.

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