TBL's 2bn scam hits Malinzi

THE implementation of Taifa Stars sponsorship agreement between the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) had many defects, including payments of 902,981 US dollars (about 2bn/-), which lacked supporting documents, a prosecution witness said yesterday.

Richard Magongo, who was TBL Head of Audit Department, told Resident Magistrate Maira Kasonde at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam that among the payments were made to the former TFF President Jamal Malinzi.

Led by prosecuting attorney from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Leonard Swai, the 15th witness explained that a total of 149,140 US dollars were paid without supporting documents to Malinzi as loan refund during the period ending May 8, 2014.

Giving his evidence in the 800m/- fraud and money laundering trial of Malinzi, former TFF Secretary General Mwesigwa Selestine and three others, the witness explained that at the period ending October 2014, Malinzi was also refunded a total sum of 40,000 US dollars.

“There were other expenditures made by TFF during the period ending May 8, 2016 involving 7,000 US dollars, which also lacked supporting documents.

Another 3,000 US dollars was paid to Mwesigwa (Selestine) and Karia for promotions,” the witness testifies. According to the witness, during the period ending August 2016, Malinzi and one Ahmed Mgoyi were paid a sum of 40,000 US dollars as refund for beach soccer and Taifa Stars expenses.

When cross-examined by seasoned Advocate Richard Rweyongeza on the matter, the witness admitted that in the last transaction, two people were paid.

However, the witness went on, only Malinzi was in the dock and he could not know the whereabouts of Mgoyi.

The witness further told the court that he is not aware whether in the period between October and December 2016 several documents from TFF were taken to the PCCB office. He could not, therefore, know for certain the lacking documents he was referring to were also taken to the Bureau’s office.

In further cross-examination, the witness further admitted that TBL had been delaying the release of funds to TFF for Taifa Stars as per the agreement, but he was not aware whether TFF programmes were brought to a standstill for such delays.

Furthermore, the witness admitted that they(TBL) discovered some defects on implementation of the TFF-TBL agreement in February 2014, but he could not know why his company could not terminate the contract because he was not part of decision makers. Hearing of the case continues on June 26, 2019.

In the trial, apart from Malinzi and Selestine, other accused are then Accounts Officer Nsiande Mwanga, TFF Office Manager Miriam Zayumba and Flora Rauya, the Clerk with the Federation.

The accused persons are facing a total of 30 counts of conspiracy (Malinzi and Selestine), abuse of office (Malinzi and Selestine), 11 counts of forgery (Malinzi, Selestine, Miriam and Flora), uttering false documents (Selestine) and 12 counts of obtaining money by false pretences (Malinzi).

Others are four charges of money laundering (Malinzi, Selestine and Mwanga). Both Malinzi and Selestine are accused of forging such resolution of June 5, 2016 a view make changes of signatories whereby Edgar Masoud, who was TFF Director of Finance and Accounting was replaced by Mwanga.

Facts of the case show that TFF holds and operates six accounts at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and that Edgar Masoud, who was TFF Director of Finance and Accounting was one of the signatories of such accounts. With the view to change the signatory to such accounts, the prosecution alleges that on September 1, 2016, Selestine presented to the Bank, Centre Branch, a resolution dated June 5, 2016, purportedly made by TFF Executive Committee under which Masoud was replaced by Mwanga, as signatory.

It is alleged that such resolution was not an outcome of the Committee, but was forged by Malinzi and Selestine. After Selestine had introduced Mwanga to the Bank as new signatory, she was recognised as TFF signatory and was involved in signing cheques, payment vouchers and other payment documents.

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