EDITORIAL: Speed up investigation

Friday February 15 2019

An investigation into reported embezzlement of funds amounting to Sh30 billion budgeted for agricultural inputs in the 2015/16 financial year must be sped up, and findings released to the public that bears the heavy cost of abuses by public officials.

Briefing an agricultural stakeholders meeting in Dodoma on Wednesday, deputy Agriculture minister Omary Mgumba revealed a plot by public officials and some agents to embezzle billions of shillings through the distribution of agricultural inputs.

After “thorough verification,” Mr Mgumba said, the ministry discovered that inputs agents were ‘claiming’ “Sh70 billion against the allocated budget of Sh35 billion for agricultural inputs.”

Such action amounts to a combination of misfeasance and malfeasance by the public officials and agents involved. It is heartening that the government is going great guns at seeking to bring the culprits to justice apace. Failure to do that will amount to nonfeasance by the government.

It must, therefore, succeed in this particular case – and then build on that success by widening the probe into other financial years, other economic sectors.