PUBLIC FUNDS EMBEZZLEMENT: MPs demand action on culprits

DODOMA MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday expressed bitterness over the growing trend of mismanagement of public funds, suggesting that stiff measures should be imposed to end the problem, including strengthening the country’s accounting systems and execution by hanging those implicated in the malpractice.

Debating findings of the technical audit report by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC), Local Authority Accounts Committee (LAAC), Public Investment Committee (PIC), the Legislators indicated that people have been identified but there is sluggishness in the issue of accountability.

Commenting on the matter, Tarime Rural Legislator Mwita Waitara (CCM) noted that the speed of the president to mobilise funds in fast tracking the development of the country was very impressive but also the rate of stealing the funds was also quite intense.

He noted that the committee has given good recommendations but they anticipated to hear how many people have been detained, dismissed from their jobs, are facing court cases and returned the embezzled funds.

“As we debate on the billions of money being stolen, at the same time there are village or ward executives without a bicycle to support their day-to-day operations, but others are being applauded for squandering taxpayer’s monies.

“This is not acceptable…our children are sitting on bare floors without desks, teachers without houses and have many claims which have not been settled,” said Mr Waitara.

“I am suggesting that all the people who have been implicated in the mismanagement of public funds to be hanged…all carefree people in public service should be suspended from office, the country cannot continue to move in this manner.”

He added “There is no gain without pain…we have to act. As Parliamentarians, our responsibility is to advise on measures needed to be taken. We cannot tolerate seeing the President’s work go to waste, while embezzlers are left to roam around.”

Mbogwe MP, Nicodemus Maganga (CCM), supported the views of Mr Waitara, saying by not passing the law of executing the wrong doers the theft trend will not cease.

Songwe Parliamentarian Philipo Mulugo (CCM), expressed total dismay over the matter, noting that some of their counterparts were not giving it the weight it deserved.

For his part, Makambako MP, Deo Sanga (CCM) was of the view that all wrong doers must be treated as per their actions, supporting the suggestion of executing people who are implicated in the mismanagement of public funds.

“The Bill should come to the National Assembly so that we can deal with these embezzlers accordingly,” he said.

Mr Sanga indicated that while the President and her subordinates are going round preaching to people on issues of development, a few were busy colluding to steal, stressing that strong measures should be taken to end the vice in society.

“The August House should take it very seriously about coming up with the law in dealing with these people mismanaging the monies issued by the President to implement various projects to better the lives of people,” noted Mr Sanga.

Special Seat Legislator, Ester Bulaya (CHADEMA), advised the President to appoint Executive Directors who will help her by effectively executing their roles.

On the other hand, Special Seat Parliamentarian Zainab Katimba (CCM), also backed the view that all people implicated in the malpractice should face the wrath of the law.

“The country is losing a lot of money to transfer thieves to new workstations, the situation has led to the continuation of similar cases in audit reports,” stated Ms Katimba.

Equally, Special Seat MP Nusrat Hanje (CHADEMA) pointed out that they expect to see the wrong doers’ cases are up and running in the courts.

“For the accounting officers to bear the role of ensuring the challenges indicated in the Controller Auditor General (CAG) audit report, their work should be assessed,” she said.

She also suggested that all internal auditing systems be improved to prevent these regular faults in the CAG’s report that claim a lot of public money which can be used to cushion crucial services in the country.

Liwale MP Zuberi Kuchauka (CCM) suggested that internal audit offices should be independent, saying it did not make sense that the same person who is supposed to prevent the problems in the various public offices their work depends on provisions from their superiors.

“An internal auditor cannot demand fuel, a vehicle and yet answer to the same person…there is no independence in their work,” he said, indicating the need to create strong systems which will manage people and issues.

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