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PCCB tightens grip on embezzlers

THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) recovered a sum of 82.8bn/- during the 2018/19 financial year that could have been lost due to embezzlement, as compared to the 70.3bn/- the year before.

The feat is a result of a notable performance improvement by the bureau, which rose from 81.4 per cent in the 2017/18 financial year to 88.1 per cent in the 2018/19 period.

This is according to the new PCCB Director General, Brigadier General John Mbungo, who presented the bureau’s Performance Report for the financial year 2018/19 yesterday at the Chamwino State House in Dodoma.

Due to his outstanding performance for the time he has been acting in the office, President John Magufuli yesterday decided to confirm Brig Gen Mbungo as full Director General of the anti-graft body.

Brig Gen Mbungo was acting as Director General of PCCB, after Diwani Athumani, the former DG, was appointed the Director General of Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services (TISS) September, last year.

“You have done a great job, serving 8bn/- of poor farmers that had been embezzled by few individuals isn’t a joke, from now, I have confirmed for the position,” said President Magufuli.

He was confident that the new PCCB boss would maintain the same momentum and ensure all staff of the bureau execute their duties diligently as per the rules and regulations governing their employment.

According to Brig General Mbungo, the number of development projects assessed went up from 691 projects valued at 1.2trl/- to 1,106 projects worth 1.7trl/-.

During the period in question, the bureau probed 911 case files pertaining to different crimes, 266 files relating to bribes, and 645 other offences, he revealed.

Out of 388 case files presented to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office for approval, 277 files were certified to proceed to the court, including seven major corruption cases.

Brig Gen Mbungo further noted that during the same period, about 497 cases were filed to the court, making up a total of 1013 cases, four of which involved major crimes filed at the Economic, Corruption and Organised Crime High Court’s Division.

In 206 cases, the accused persons were convicted of the offences while in 135 cases the accused were acquitted.

“The rate at which the bureau won cases increased to 62.4 per cent compared to 60.1 per cent which was recorded in the previous, 2017/18, financial year,” he noted.

Brig Gen Mbungo went on to reveal that 82.8bn/- was recovered in various operations conducted by PCCB.

“Up to 5.5bn/- cash which was recovered has been stored in various accounts including that of the PCCB Director General (661m/-) at Central Bank, Tanzania Revenue Authority (3.3bn/-) and 1.6bn/- local government authorities,” he stated further.

Properties amounting to 59.1bn/- , including a one storey building and a petrol station situated in Mwanza worth 10.1 bn/-, whose owner was involved in corruption have been confiscated, the DG further revealed.

Other assets worth 49bn/- were recovered by a task force formed by the Treasurer Registrar in collaboration with the PCCB.

The team also made a follow up on assets belonging to various privatized industries and companies after the owners violated procedures including Mang’ula Mechanical and Machine Tools, National Steel in Temeke Dar es Salaam and Nachingwea Cashew nut Processing Factory, among others.

Also, an injunction has been filed on assets which belong to various accused persons before finalizing their confiscation process.

Apart from cash money worth 25.3bn/- and US dollars 5.7 million, other assets include 14 vehicles and 16 houses.

He said several surveys conducted by PCCB unearthed massive irregularities in the collection revenues on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transportation and TAMISEMI.

The Bureau recommended proper use of electronic fiscal devices among other point of sales systems. Brig General Mbungo lauded President Magufuli for spearheading the anti-corruption war relentlessly.

“The efforts and action the President has been putting in the fight against corruption is a clear manifestation of the zero tolerance against graft,” he said.

The President’s zeal against corruption has resulted in increased discipline, integrity and accountability in the public sector, while promoting socio-economic growth, noted Brig Gen Mbungo.

He added that Tanzania has continued to be ranked high in the various released corruption performance indexes from within and outside the country.

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Author: MAUREEN ODUNGA

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