If you are corrupt, Magufuli will come for your scalp

Saturday August 18 2018

Tanzania's President John Magufuli

Tanzania's President John Magufuli. He has been unrelenting in rooting out corruption. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By CHRISTOPHER KIDANKA
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President John Magufuli is nicknamed the Bulldozer for a reason. He has been uprooting the corrupt from the public sector.

His right-hand man, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, toured Dar es Salaam port and ‘discovered’ non-functioning flow meters and cargo scanners which were meant to check cargo for taxation.

Tax non-compliance at the port had cost the nation some $40 million in lost revenue before the president intervened.

President Magufuli suspended Commissioner General of Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Rished Bade just hours after Mr Majaliwa had suspended five TRA officials over the scandal.

Apart from having their passports withheld, the officials were put under investigation to establish whether their lifestyles correlated with their known income.

James Rugemalira and Harbinder Singh Sethi are languishing in remand prison for alleged money laundering that involved some senior government officials who withdrew money from a Bank of Tanzania account.

Mr Sethi of Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) allegedly siphoned $133.9 million from an Escrow account which was opened jointly between Tanzania power utility Tanesco and IPTL pending resolution of legal wrangle on capacity charges.

The president’s restriction of government expenditure and travel abroad has gone hand in hand with a crackdown on ghost workers and unsupported debts which individuals and companies owed the state.

He has suspended and sacked public officials who possessed fake academic credentials and saved a whopping $700,000 as one-month salaries for 16,127 workers that did not exist.

Former TRA boss, Harry Kitilya and two others are behind bars for allegedly transferring, withdrawing and depositing some $6 million in five different bank accounts maintained by a private consultancy company.

Tanzania Football Federation’s former president and businessman Jamal Malinzi is languishing in remand prison with his colleagues, former TFF secretary general Mwesiga Selestine and accountant Nsiande Mwanga charged with abuse of office and suspicious money transaction.

With two years in power, President John Magufuli’s administration has reduced corruption by 12 per cent, recording a tremendous decline in the scourge in the police force, water services, land issues, tax administration, healthcare and civic movement.

The president has made good his promise to institute a special unit within the High Court that would deal with high level corruption.