- This is because the Tanzanian public felt betrayed and demoralised for many years, since Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s abdication. This said, it isn’t hard to gauge how corruption had secured friendliness with the country’s political establishment so as to become a clandestine policy before President Magufuli’s arrival.
There are jubilations everywhere as Tanzanians sing praises of President John Magufuli for going where most of his predecessors feared to tread.
This is because the Tanzanian public felt betrayed and demoralised for many years, since Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s abdication. This said, it isn’t hard to gauge how corruption had secured friendliness with the country’s political establishment so as to become a clandestine policy before President Magufuli’s arrival.
After striking two individuals, Havinder Sethi Singh and James Rugemalira – whose cases we can’t discuss here because they’re before the court – Tanzanians seem to be enchanted. But essentially, the two suspects, along with some mercenary public officials, are accused of being the architects, or call them the alleged black boxes, if not a cockpit of the ever-lossmaking investment, the International Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) through which the nation lost about $200 million pointlessly. Taking on such stinking graft is no mean feat.
Demonstrably, the IPTL isn’t a grave but a graveyard. Thus, this is the beginning in that Escrow shouldn’t undercut the doggedness to attach IPTL. Instead, it must undergird the interests of the citizenry, but not a select few. In dealing with this mischief, there are so many unknown things that need to be known. For example, how do you deal with Escrow scam without dealing with its mother, the IPTL, which enabled hoaxers to rob our nation?
My source confided in me that a significant shares (50 per cent at least) are owned by a mysterious creature – a trust. Who exactly is this mysterious creature that’s never been revealed since the scam came to the fore? We need to know them.
I heard that the government attached the chattels the accused and suspects that are still at large own. Does this include Taketa IPTL plant that’s, apart from polluting our country, has been used in milking the Tanzania National Electric Company (Tanesco) day in and day out; not to mention causing power hike for unsuspecting and always sheepish consumers?
Again, arresting the culprits is an easy part of the mêlée against graft committed with impunity. Are we legally prepared to prosecute all players in this leech without knowing them all? What are suspects that are still in public offices or position such as members of parliament waiting for?
According to an out-front anti-graft crusader and researcher who did a lot about exposing the scam, the ‘IPTL begat Escrow’ and the two are one like yin and yang. Further, he maintains that the IPTL profligacy didn’t only cause the losses of millions of dollars but billions; if we consider its negative effects on the economy and individuals who picked up the tab. He bases his assertion on the fact that when our corruptible big shots ‘blessed’ the IPTL for their personal ends, Tanzania lost many international financial grants among which is $473 million Millennium Challenge Account grant from the US that would have financed new power projects in the country.
A little bird also confided in me that the IPTL has dented private power plants (IPPs) (which are cost-effective) due to its ravenousness and duplicity. Sadly though, not all Tanzanians know that the cheapest IPP in Tanzania, Songas, for 13 years, has been selling power to Tanesco for less than six US cents per kilowatt-hour, while Tanesco hikes it to its customers to about 12 cents.
According to a 2013 report by the President’s Delivery Bureau, IPTL’s power cost Tanesco 24 US cents while Symbion’s and Aggreko’s emergency power projects cost up to 42 US cents despite the fact that the government, through Tanesco, TPDC and TDFL, owns over 40 per cent of Songas’ shares apart from receiving dividends from Songas in addition to the relatively low-cost power. Aren’t these lossmaking investments toxic?
To cut a long story short, if indeed, Tanzania is serious and it aims at doing away with such shoddy and toxic investments, it must see to it that the IPPs are supported even by using the monies it has been burning on criminal investments such as the IPTL, Symbion a.k.a Dowans a.k.a Richmond
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian writer based in Canada