PCCB questions Mbowe over Chadema MPs pay cuts

Wednesday August 12 2020

Chadema national chairman , Mr Freeman Mbowe

Chadema national chairman , Mr Freeman Mbowe speaks to his advocate John Malya (right) after reporting to PCCB office in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO|FORTUNE FRANCIS 

By Fortune Francis and Bakari Kiango @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe was yesterday grilled for  nearly four hours by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) over the legality and the use of money the party has been monthly deducting from its legislators since 2016.
Mr Mbowe reported at PCCB offices in Upanga Dar es Salaam at 11:18am yesterday for interrogation that ended at 3:03pm.
He was accompanied by Chadema lawyers John Mallya and Fredrick Kihwelo.
He, however, declined to speak to reporters who were waiting outside the offices and directed  them to go to PCCB officials for any clarification for it was them who invited journalists.
“I have  come to greet relatives and friends, ask PCCB who have invited you (journalists),” said the Chadema national leader.
But PCCB director general Brigadier General John Mbungo said shortly after the interrogation: “We summoned Mr Mbowe for questioning about allegations raised in parliament by Chadema lawmakers about salary deductions.
“Being chairman of the party, he must he questioned about the allegations,” he said.
Mr Mbungo said in May that the anti-corruption watchdog will start investigating Chadema by questioning its legislators over the allegation that the party has unilaterally been deducting salaries from its Members of Parliament (MPs).
Former Kilombero MP on Chadema ticket Peter Lijualikali was the first to level the allegation in parliament in May, claiming that since he became an MP of the party in 2015, his party has been deducting Sh500,000 every month while Sh1.5 million was being deducted from special seats lawmakers.
After levelling the allegations, Mr Lijualikali pleaded with Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai to allow him join the ruling party CCM, saying misuse of the party’s fund including contributions of MPs were the reason for ditching the opposition party.
Mr Lijualikali, who delivered an emotional speech at the parliament recently, lost in CCM primaries in his pursuit of a return to the parliament for  Kilombero constituency.
Chadema has maintained that the deductions has all the blessings of the party’s constitution.