The Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Mr Zitto Kabwe, has said that he is a clean politician who has never been involved in corrupt pursuits. Mr Zitto, who is also the legislator for Kigoma North (Chadema) said this at a news conference.
He accused political rivals in the Opposition camp, particularly from Chadema, seeking to oust him as Chairman of the Public Organizations Accounts Committee (POAC). He said that he has asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, to instruct the Parliamentary Privileges, Ethics and Powers Committee to investigate the allegations levelled against him and make its findings public.
The legislator asserted that he has never involved himself in the financial affairs of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) on individual basis. He charged that it was unfair to involve other members of POAC in a financial scam that does not exist. Mr Kabwe said he was ready to be “crucified” on behalf of POAC members, all of whom are clean politicians who do not deserve to be scandalized as he has been. He said that the financial rot at Tanesco was easy to see.
The company collects more than 80bn/- a month and spends only 11bn/- on operational requirements. “Where does the rest of the money go?” he queried. He said that his political enemies, some of who are in Chadema, are intent on ruining his political career. This is the second time this week that the Opposition is charging legislators over corruption.
The spokesperson for the Opposition camp in the House, Mr Tundu Lissu (Singida East – Chadema) said that the Local Authorities Accounts Committee and the Public Organisations Accounts Committee should be disbanded as well because some of their members are corrupt. Mr Lissu said that Parliament should remain a respectable institution that has constitutional powers to oversee the operations of government. Its legislators, therefore, should maintain a conduct that is beyond reproach.
Mr Lissu said that Opposition Members of Parliament who are in the disbanded committee and others who are in committees that have come under attack are not to blame for any wrongdoing. He mentioned the MPs he was trying to exonerate as Mr John John Mnyika (Ubungo – Chadema); Mr David Ernest Silinde (Mbozi West – Chadema) and Ms Mwanamrisho Taratibu Abama (Special Seats – Chadema).
Mr Lissu said that these three Chadema lawmakers are clean people who are not involved in the financial scams involving dirty deals in Tanzania National Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) and fraud in oil supply contracts. He challenged anyone with proof that could nail the three legislators to the floor to come forward and present it. He also said that speculation centring on alleged foul play on the part of Kigoma North legislator Kabwe (Chadema) is equally unfounded.
When approached, Mr Kabwe said that he was a clean Member of Parliament. He said that he invited anyone with watertight, incriminating evidence to come forward. He dismissed all allegations of bribe taking on his part as malicious lies. Mr Lissu asserted that if proven guilty, any of the four legislators could face disciplinary action from the Opposition as well as the political parties concerned. He mentioned the real culprits as including Sarah Msafiri (Special Seats – CCM).
He mentioned others as Ms Munde Tambwe Abdallah (Special Seats – CCM); Mr Charles Mwijage (Muleba North-CCM); Mr Nassir Abdallah (Korogwe Urban – CCM); Ms Mariam Kisangi (Special Seats – CCM) and Mr Christopher Ole-Sendeka (Simanjiro – CCM).
The charges, according to Mr Lissu, are that Ms Sarah Msafiri and Ms Munde Tambwe Abdallah sold motor vehicle tyres to Tanesco. The bone of contention here is that they never declared their interests in Parliament.
It has also been claimed that the tyres Tanesco bought from the two legislators were substandard or fake. Mr Mwijage is a consultant who works with Puma Energy, the company that has been offered a tender to supply oil to IPTL. He too has, allegedly, never declared interest. Mr Nassir Abdallah is believed to own petrol stations. This being the case, there is a conflict of interest in his being a member of the Committee on Energy and Minerals. But, Mr Abdallah denies owning any fuel station.
Ms Mariam Kisangi, like Mr Nassir Abdallah, is believed to be owner of at least one petrol station. However, she has denied this allegation.