KISUTU Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam has frozen 40 houses and other properties worth over 3.6bn/-, which were allegedly acquired corruptly.
Senior Resident Magistrate Victoria Nongwa issued the order last week after granting an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) against the Chief Accountant with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Geofrey Gugai.
The freezing order, formerly referred to as a Mareva injunction, is an interim injunction that restrains a party from disposing of or dealing with his assets. It usually preserves the defendant’s assets, pending the judgment enforcement.
The 40 frozen units include four, three-double storey buildings and normal houses, scattered all over the country, mostly in major cities -- Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha and Tanga as well as other regions like Dodoma, Morogoro, Coast and Musoma.
Under the freezing order are also five motor vehicles and one motorcycle. The magistrate considered the submissions by Senior State Attorney Pius Hilla, for the DPP in support of the application, which was filed in court under certificate of urgency on grounds that the properties were in serious threat of being disposed of by the owner.
She pointed out that the DPP has shown reasonable grounds in application for the orders and has met the requirements of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption (PCCB) Act that Gugai, the respondent in the matter, was about to be charged with possession of unexplained properties.
“This court remains with no option but to grant the prayers sought and since the application aims at maintaining the status quo of the suspected properties and since they assured this court that no injustice will be caused on the properties and lawfully acquired properties are guaranteed to protection,” the magistrate ruled.
During the application hearing, the DPP had sought for orders prohibiting the accountant, his agents and all other persons acting on his behalf from disposing of or transferring the ownership and or pledging the alleged properties.
He had further applied for direction to the Registrar of titles to register as encumbrance a restraining order against the properties and that the registrar of motor vehicles should not approve any intended transfer of the vehicles until the court directs otherwise.
In the submissions, Mr Hilla told the court that the application was prompted by investigations being conducted by the PCCB against their employee, which discovered that Gugai owned all the properties against his lawful income sources.
The trial attorney submitted further that in the course of his employment in public service, the respondent earned a total income of 852,183,160/46 only, but the valuation of the properties came up with 3,634,961,105/02.
He submitted that even by including the accountant’s income plus all loans he collected from financial institutions, in addition with the income of his wife, Linda Ijumba, who is also an employee with the bureau, which is about 147m/-, it could not reach the amount the suspect used to acquire the properties.
“Investigations have established that the 3,643,961,105/02 is not commensurate with the respondent’s lawful income and during interrogations he was not able to explain how he acquired the properties,” the state attorney further told the court