Crucial witnesses named in Kitilya’s Sh12bn bribery case

Wednesday February 13 2019


By Hadija Jumanne @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. Former Finance Minister Mustafa Mkulo and former Attorney General Frederick Werema will be among state witnesses in the Sh12 billion bribery case against former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Commissioner General Harry Kitilya.

The two are among 54 witnesses that the state is advancing in its attempt to secure a sentence against Kitilya and two other co-accused in one of the country’s high profile bribery scandal.

Also to testify on behalf of prosecution will be Kalenga Member of Parliament Godfrey Mgimwa (CCM) and seven other witnesses from the United Kingdom.

The prosecution also revealed that a total of 218 exhibits will be produced as evidence against the accused.

Mr Kitilya is charged alongside the former head of investment banking at Stanbic Bank, Ms Shose Sinare, and the former chief legal counsel of the bank, Mr Sioi Graham Solomon.

They were jointly charged with occasioning the government a $6 million (Over Sh12 billion at the time) loss in a fraud involving bribery and money laundering.

The case against the accused has dragged in court for three years now without any hearing but yesterday’s listing of witnesses and other material evidence signals that the prosecution was ready to progress.

The accused who appeared yesterday at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam to hear the list of witnesses and other material evidence to be used against them will have their case now proceed at a higher court, most likely at the newly established Anti-Corruption Court.

In January 2019, eight charges that had been brought against the trio were dropped by the DPP before they were raised afresh to 58, during which two senior officials with the Ministry of Finance – the Commissioner for Policy Analysis-Debt, Mr Bedason Shallanda and the Assistant Commissioner for Policy Analysis-Debt, Mr Alfred Misana were enjoined in the case.

The five will now fight organised crime, forgery, falsifying documents, obtaining money by false pretence, money laundering and occasioning a loss to a specified authority charges during hearing.

The 218 exhibits – advanced by the state - include documents in form on e-mails among the accused, letters, forms for opening accounts in banks as well as those (forms and letters) that were used in the registration of the company from the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (Brela).

Principal state attorney Frederick Manyanda led a team of five state attorneys in reading out the list of witnesses and exhibits at the Kisutu Residents Magistrate Court yesterday.

Mr Kitilya alone faces 43 money laundering counts while Shose, a former Miss Tanzania, is charged with two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering false documents and five money laundering counts. Kitilya, Shose and Sioi are jointly faced with one forgery count.

Mr Shallanda and Mr Misana are jointly facing one count of use of documents intended to mislead principal, while all five accused are jointly facing one count of leading organised crime, one count of money laundering, obtaining money by false pretence and occasioning loss to the government.

It is alleged that between February 20, 2012 and June 1, 2015 at various places in Dar es Salaam, the accused with others not in court, intentionally organised a criminal racket for obtaining money from the government, thereby causing loss of $6 million.

They allegedly pocketed the amount as facilitation fee payable to Enterprise Growth Market Advisors Limited, in a foreign bond of $600 million advanced to the government through Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited.