Tanzania: Government using money laundering cases to collect revenue, say Opposition MPs

Saturday April 13 2019

The Leader of Official Opposition in Parliament

The Leader of Official Opposition in Parliament Freeman Mbowe 

By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga amalanga@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Opposition MPs on Friday faulted the government, saying it was turning money laundering cases into a source of revenue.

The Leader of Official Opposition in Parliament Freeman Mbowe and Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe both cautioned that the trend, in not stopped, will drive away investors.

The MPs were speaking in Parliament on, April 12, while contributing to the 2019/20 budget proposal for the ministry of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) and that of Public Service and Good Governance.

Mr Kabwe (ACT-Wazalendo) cited the recent case of Vodacom Tanzania CEO Hisham Hendi and eight co-accused’s case, saying the way it was handled left many questions unanswered.

Mr Hendi and the eight were on April 3 charged with eight counts, including that of leading a criminal network and occasioning a loss of 5.8 billion to the government, but were released on April 11 after negotiation with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to pay a fine and compensation of Sh6 billion.

The apparent settlement was criticised by Mr Kabwe, who queried where the DPP got the powers to negotiate with accused persons to amicably resolve the case on condition of paying fines.

The MP pointed out that there was no law that grants the DPP such powers.

 “I guess innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit so that they could negotiate with the DPP for a settlement,” said Mr Kabwe.

 His sentiments were echoed by Mr Mbowe (Hai-Chadema), saying the trend would scare away investors.

Mr Mbowe said some of the investors who were being mistreated are involved in the implementation of projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).

 “The government should mend the way it was handling some of these cases. We ought not to use money laundering to raise revenue lest we destroy our investment climate,” Mr Mbowe said.