THE recent publication of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG)’s report has got tongues wagging throughout the country. There are those who see it as a direct attack on the person of the late President Dr John Joseph Pombe Magufuli.
Others think the CAG did a good job to expose the rot in Government and that next steps must surely be working on the wrongs pointed out in the Report, and that heads should roll. Partly as a result, Parliament which is currently in session, has witnessed heated debate between MPs who are pro and those who are anti the CAG’s Report, in equal measure.
In reporting the MPs reactions, sometimes it is difficult to disentangle what writers have in mind. I have in my hands, the Good Citizen of Thursday 15 April, and I am reading this news item titled: “Let’s Avoid Divisions after Magufuli’s Death: Makamba”. It appears on page 2.
According to the writer, Mr Makamba’s call: “came days after several leaders and MPs shared their views which were considered to have been ‘wrongly approached’ during Dr Magufuli’s leadership”. Now, what does “wrongly approached” mean, by Jove?
The article reports on a speech made recently by former Opposition Leader, Mr Freeman Mbowe in which he said: “he was ‘the’ victim of Dr Magufuli’s leadership after his accounts were frozen and ‘cleaned’ by TRA who landed ‘him’ with what he termed 2.06 billion inflated tax on ‘his’ company”. This quotation needs rectification.
First of all, Mr Mbowe should be reported to have said he was “a” (not “the”) victim of Dr Magufuli’s leadership. Secondly the word “accounts” needs to be qualified. In these days of the internet, one could have several accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Linked-in accounts for example).
It should therefore be made clear that the writer was talking about a bank account, or bank accounts. Thirdly, Mr Mbowe surely has his personal accounts and his company’s accounts. A company is a corporate body with its own “personality” separate from the Company’s owner(s). In fourth place, what does it mean to have the accounts “cleaned”?
With the above in mind, the quotation could be rewritten to read: “Mr Freeman Mbowe said he was ‘a’ victim of Dr Magufuli’s leadership after his and his Company’s bank accounts were frozen and ‘cleared’ of all funds by TRA, who landed ‘him and his Company’ with what he termed 2.06 billion inflated tax bill”.
Mr Mbowe is reported to have realized that his accounts had been frozen and emptied: “the day he was released from prison where he had spent four months after the ‘invalidation’ of his bail in a political case he faced.” For “invalidation”, I would have gone for “nullification” of his bail.
A Special Seats lawmaker is reported to have spoken in defence of retirees, like yours faithfully: “She said, the government should ‘repay’ debts owed to social security funds”. Why say “repay”? The government should pay the debts owed to the various social security funds.
A Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS is reported to have disclosed that congestion in the country’s ‘cells’ and prisons was fuelling the spread of TB infections (Guardian, 14 April, p. 2), and called for: “an immediate and strong strategy by the government so as to address it and the ‘heaths’ of prisoners and detainees in the country”. I take it that by “heaths”, the writer had “the prisoners’ health” in mind.
The Committee recommended: “the construction of more prisons (!), as well as involving criminal justice agencies to fasttrack ‘listening’ of trials and cases”. Do magistrates and judges “listen” trials and cases? I think they “hear”. Court cases are heard by a magistrate or judge.
My appeal to the President: Please open up those prison gates so that the innocent walk out to freedom especially in this Holy Month of Ramadhan. In any case, our prisons are congested! Do keep up the Swaum!