Thursday, February 16, 2017

4 education officers held over Sh100m loss


By Jasper Sabuni @jsabuni

Dar es Salaam. Four senior officials with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training were yesterday charged with defrauding and causing a Sh100 million loss to the government.

Director of Education, Bakari Issa, accountant Emmanuel Mayuma, deputy director of Education Hellen Lihawa and assistant accountant Mbarouk Dachi are facing seven counts of economic sabotage, including that of using false documents to mislead their employer. Before Kisutu Resident Magistrate Wilbroad Mashauri, the accused pleaded not guilty. They were granted bail subject to signing a Sh90-million bond.

The prosecution alleged that the officials, acting with an intention to deceive and defraud the ministry, used a document to steal Sh18 million and fraudulently converted the illegally acquired money for their own use. Section 22 of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, 2007 criminalises the use of any receipt, account or other documents such as a voucher, a proforma invoice containing erroneous information with an intent to mislead the principal.

The accused also stand accused of dishonestly or fraudulently misappropriating and converting to their own use any property entrusted to them as public officials contrary to section 28(1) of the PCCB Act, 2007.

The officials face up to seven years in jail if convicted. According to the prosecution, Mr Mayuma is solely charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of the stolen money and occasioning a significant loss to the government. The prosecution alleged that Mr Mayuma fraudulently misappropriated Sh31.7 million entrusted to him as a public official and fraudulently converted Sh9.5 million to his own use, which was meant for sports card funded by the British Council. The accountant allegedly between August 10, 2014 and September 30, 2014 caused the ministry a Sh41 million loss.