Forget Deci money or face court action, DPP warns doors for deci money claims

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Biswalo Mganga. Photo |File

Dar es Salaam. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Biswalo Mganga said member of the banned pyramid scheme---Development Entrepreneurship for Community Development (Deci), who will come out to claim the money they invested in the organization will end up in court for participating in crime.

The DPP warning comes two days after the High Court in Dar es Salaam issued an order allowing the State to confiscate the scheme’s Sh 14 billion deposited in commercial banks and other properties. The decision has quashed hopes by over 700, 000 people who had ‘sowed their seeds in cash’ since 2007 before the government reacted to newspaper reports on dubious Deci operations and shut down the organization in April 2009.

The DPP told the Citizen on Tuesday that he was waiting for any Deci members who has ‘sowed their seed’ but have not ‘harvested’ to come out to claim they money so that he ‘deal’ with him for participating in a pyramid scheme, a criminal offence in Tanzania.

He said both the operators and Deci people who participated by way of depositing cash in the hope of reaping super profits were committing a criminal offence but could not be charged in court because of the challenge of their huge number.

“It couldn’t be possible to arrest over 700 people and charge them in court at a time but now I will arrest anyone who will come out to claim the cash so that he tells us why he participated in a pyramid scheme,” said Mr Mganga.

Deci which was being run run by the Jesus Christ Deliverance Church started in 2006 by delivering fliers informing believers of a promising investment opportunity. The church announced that Deci was a poverty reduction initiative to offer access to finance to the poorest without access to the traditional banking sector

Investment in Deci promised a 200 percent return in 8 to 16 weeks, depending on the size of the initial investment. Sh10,000 would double in as little as 8 weeks while Sh 120,000 would mature to 240,000 in 4 months.

Thousand to people, many of whom women, were lured into investing millions of shilling in the hope it of making good returns.

The government closed Deci offices nationwide and froze its assets after a series of news reports alleged that the enterprise had been operating illegally.

Citing affiliation with the Pentecostal Churches of Tanzania, Deci claimed its strategy was “not of the human mind, but was established using the wisdom of God.”

The DDP warning also comes one month after six people who claimed to be Deci members were arrested a at the High Court premises in Dar es Salaam where they turned up to claim money that they had invested in the scheme. The six were arrested after filing a petition seeking to be joined in a application by the DPP who had sought court order to seize Deci money and properties.

They were asking the court to make orders that they be paid Sh2.4 billion out of the money that the DPP sought to confiscate.

The DPP made the application six years after the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court convicted five Deci leaders for running a pyramid scheme.