Dar es Salaam. The Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, yesterday refuted claims by chairman of the Civic United Front Supreme Governing Council, Mr Julius Mtatiro, that the party’s subvention funds were siphoned out of the Treasury.
According to Judge Mutungi, the Sh369 million was legally released from the treasury to a valid CUF account operated by party’s national leaders, not otherwise.
The registrar also said his office was open and if there’s any query it should be tendered in writing. “My office is an institution, we expected to receive formal complaint on the issue. But why those who are claiming foul play did not hold their press conference in their party offices?” he said.
Judge Mutungi said they recognise only one CUF which is led by Prof Ibrahim Lipumba as chairman and Mr Seif Sharif Hamad as secretary general.
Back in August, the registrar blocked CUF’s monthly subventions (the party is entitled to Sh117 million per month) and wrote to Prof Lipumba and Mr Hamad telling them that, the funds cannot be released until the wrangles were resolved.
“Before releasing the funds, we communicated with the party leaders and when we established that there were no chaos, we channelled the funds to their account,” he said, adding: “Now, what they are doing signals that still there are wrangles, but I don’t know about that, let wait and see.”
On Tuesday, Mr Mtatiro, yesterday accused the office of the Registrar and Prof Lipumba of siphoning the funds from the treasury last Thursday (January 5, 2017).
From the treasury, the cash, according to Mr Mtatiro, was deposited the party’s NMB account at Temeke Branch instead of the party’s national account which is operated by the chief accounting officer, who according to the CUF Constitution is the party’s secretary general, Mr Hamad.
The Temeke account’s signatories are Prof Lipumba’s top aides Ms Magdalena Sakaya (deputy secretary general - Mainland) and Thomas Malima (finance director).
Mr Mtatiro have accused them of transferring the funds to a private account and laundered it. He also accused the bank of letting the foul play to happen.
NMB senior manager of corporate affairs and public relations, Ms Jocelyne Kamuhanda, told The Citizen yesterday that the bank had seen the accusations in the press but they can’t discuss the matter with the media. “We cannot disclose clients’ details to any third party,” she said.
Reached for comment, the director of communication supporting the side of Prof Lipumba, Mr Abdul Kambaya, confirmed that they received the cash but they couldn’t involve Mr Hamad since he could have blocked the transactions.