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Tanzania - Corruption

Jakaya Kikwete was elected president in 2005 based largely on an anti-corruption campaign message. The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials; however, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials often engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. The World Banks Governance Indicators reflected that corruption was a serious problem.

Transparency International ranked Tanzania 81st out of 85 countries with a score of 1.9 on its corruption perception index in 1998, the first year Tanzania was included in its survey. In 2004 Tanzania was ranked 94th out of 146 countries, with a score of 2.4, on a scale in which less than 3.0 indicates "rampant corruption."

Corruption is pervasive throughout Tanzanian society and is a serious problem across all sectors of the economy. The most affected sectors are government procurement, land administration, taxation and customs. Petty corruption in dealings with traffic, customs and immigration officers deters investment. Corruption is criminalized under the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act (PCCA), which covers attempted corruption, extortion, passive and active bribery, money laundering and bribery of a foreign official. A range of legislations cover other corruption offences, but anti-corruption laws are applied inconsistently and are poorly enforced. Gift-giving and the use of facilitation payments for the purpose of inducing corrupt behavior are illegal under the PCCA.

The constitution provides for the freedom of opinion and expression of ideas. Individuals have the right to seek, receive, or disseminate information regardless of national boundaries. Additionally, the constitution provides for the freedom to communicate with protection from interference. The National Security Act of 1970 prohibits the disclosure of classified information, and any person who communicates any classified matter or causes the leakage of such classified information to any unauthorized person is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years.

Government ministers and MPs, as well as other public servants, are required to disclose their assets upon assuming office, annually at years end, and upon leaving office; however, there was no enforcement mechanism or means to determine the accuracy of such disclosures. The Ethics Secretariat distributes forms each October for collection in December. In January Judge Salome Kaganda, commissioner general of the secretariat, reported that more than 2,197 public leaders did not submit their wealth declaration forms by December 31, 2012, as required by the law.

In 2012 the secretariat distributed 9,194 forms to politicians and civil servants, and by January, 3,738 politicians and 3,259 civil servants met the deadline for disclosure. Secretariat officials stated the 2,197 individuals who failed to meet the deadline were asked to show cause for the delay. Any declaration forms submitted or filed after the deadline must explain the failure to observe the law. Failure to do so is a violation of the law. Asset disclosures are not public. Although penalties exist for noncompliance, there is no enforcement mechanism, and the disclosure requirements do not cover spouses or children. Periodic reporting is not required as assets change.

The government continued to use specialized agencies to fight corruption, but their effectiveness was limited. A three-person unit within the presidents office, headed by the minister of state for good governance, was charged with coordinating anticorruption efforts and collecting information from all the ministries for publication in quarterly reports.

On 11 April 2013, the Office of the Controller and Auditor General reported to parliament that corruption and theft of public funds remained widespread across most public institutions and district councils, despite a range of government initiatives put in place to fight corruption.

On 20 August 2013, the chairman of the parliamentary Local Authority Accounts Committee, Mohamed Mbarouk, reported that approximately 70 district executive directors were implicated in theft of public funds. These individuals were transferred from their positions instead of facing prosecution. According to Mbarouk, nearly 33 percent of annual budget allocations to local councils were embezzled. Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue reported in August 2013 that an investigation into the allegation of Permanent Secretary David Jairos involvement in the attempted bribing of MPs was still underway.

The PCCB is responsible for investigating suspected corruption cases, prosecuting offenders in coordination with the DPP, and educating the public about corruption. The PCCB had 24 regional offices and an office in every district on the mainland. As of 31 October 2013, the PCCB had received 5,340 allegations of corruption. During the year there were cases 2,618 pending in court and 661 prosecuted cases from which there were 76 convictions. The PCCBs number of convictions has been approximately 1 percent of allegations through the last seven years.

The PCCB received a significant budget for staff and office resources, but the public and the media often complained that it failed to address major corruption cases adequately. The head of the PCCB also raised concerns about anticorruption efforts and suggested that the government introduce special courts to hear corruption cases.

According to the PCCB, most corruption investigations concerned government involvement in mining, land matters, energy, and investments. NGOs reported that allegations of corruption involved the Tanzania Revenue Authority, local government officials, police, licensing authorities, hospital workers, and the media.

The PCCBs mandate does not extend to Zanzibar. During the year Zanzibar launched its own Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Authority after passing a law in late 2012 to create an independent, anticorruption agency. There were no investigations, since the authority received no complaints during the year.

The Public Accounts Committee of Tanzanias parliament called November 30, 2014 for a thorough investigation after accusing senior government officials and a banking institution of corruption and money laundering. The government officials were accused of misappropriating $122 million of public funds. Deo Filikunjombe, vice chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and a leading member of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), said the administration had no choice but to implement his committees recommendations because the constitution empowers the lawmaking body to supervise the government.

For the government, we have categorically stated that the president [should] remove the Minister of Energy and Minerals, the Attorney General, the Permanent Secretary at of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Minister of Lands, Professor [Anna] Tibaijuka, who confessed [to] having received $1 million as proceeds of the money, said Filikunjombe.

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Page last modified: 14-02-2018 18:14:31 ZULU