Monday, December 1, 2014

How Pinda survived escrow scandal storm in Parliament

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda 

By Mussa Juma, The Citizen Correspondent

Arusha. Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda escaped downfall in the Tegeta escrow account scandal after members of the reconciliation committee agreed to save the government from collapsing for the second time, The Citizen has learnt.

One of the reconciliation committee members, Dr Hamis Kigwangalla told The Citizen yesterday that Mr Pinda was also saved because he had “just a few months remaining for him as PM.”

“There was a fierce debate on the matter, without reaching a decision to save the’ was obvious there couldn’t be a consensus since there were two strong contending groups,” he said.

He said one of the groups wanted the PM to take political responsibility and another wanted him to remain in office. “ Like you saw in Parliament, many CCM MPs were arguiing in favour of Pinda, they wanted him to remain in office regardless of the PAC recommendations, thus the best thing was to remove ministers and other officials who were directly implicated in the report,” he said.

However, Dr Kigwangalla said it was not an easy job to convince opposition MPs on the matter and that most of them wanted the Premier, ministers and other officials to resign from their posts.

“Basically the Premier is not directly mentioned in the report, and that is why MPs were convinced to spare him, but others were directly involved in the matter,” said Dr Kigwangalla.

The Nzega MP said taking action against ministers, AG and other officials was necessary otherwise it would have been difficult for MPs to go back to their constituencies.

“There was no way the Parliament could have saved these people. How could you do that and go back to your constituency to ask wananchi to contribute for school labs?” he queried.

He said the Parliament has finished its job and that its recommendations will be passed on to the Head of State for the ultimate action.