A PROSECUTION witness yesterday named former Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Secretary General, Mwesigwa Selestine, as one who presented to Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited a board resolution for changes of signatories of accounts for the governing body of football in Tanzania.
It is the same document under which the prosecution accuses Selestine and his former boss, ex-TFF President Jamal Malinzi before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, of forging with a view make changes of signatories to such bank accounts.
Led by prosecutor with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Leonard Swai, the witness, Crerius Aisel, who is a bank officer, testified that on September 1, 2016, while in his office, he received the board resolution of the TFF from Selestine.
He told Principal Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri that Selestine had accompanied with two other people, including Malinzi and Nsiande Mwanga, the third accused, whom the prosecution describes as was Accounts Officer with the Federation. “I went through the board resolution document. I discovered that they wanted to make replacement of one signatory.
I don’t remember the one who was to be replaced, but the one who was coming in was Nsiande,” testifies the witness, who was Relations Manager with the Bank.
According to him, further scrutiny of the document dated June 5, 2016, found that it was signed by Malinzi and Selestine and it was the latter, who came to his working desk and presented the same to him for being received and endorsed.
The witness went on explaining that after verifying the signatures, he took the document to the Bank’s Branch Manager for further banking steps.
He concluded by observing that Malinzi was the only member who has not been changed as signatories since the opening of accounts at the Bank.
Other accused persons in the trial apart from Malinzi, Selestine and Mwanga are TFF Office Manager Miriam Zayumba and Flora Rauya, the Clerk with the Federation. In total, all accused persons are facing 30 counts of conspiracy (Malinzi and Selestine), abuse of office (Malinzi and Selestine), 11 counts of forgery (Malinzi, Selestine, Miriam and Flora), uttering false documents (Selestine) and 12 counts of obtaining money by false pretences (Malinzi).
Others are four charges of money laundering (Malinzi, Selestine and Mwanga). Facts of the case show that TFF holds and operates six accounts at Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited and that Edgar Masoud, who was TFF Director of Finance and Accounting was one of the signatories of such accounts.
With the view to change the signatory to such accounts, the prosecution alleges that on September 1, 2016, Selestine presented to the Bank, Centre Branch, a resolution dated June 5, 2016, purportedly made by TFF Executive Committee under which Masoud was replaced by Mwanga, as signatory.
It is alleged that such resolution was not an outcome of the Committee, but was forged by Malinzi and Selestine. After Selestine had introduced Mwanga to the Bank as new signatory, she was recognised as TFF signatory and was involved in signing cheques, payment vouchers and other payment documents.
On the other hand, according to the prosecution, for the time spanning from June 1 to December 31, 2016, Malinzi was raising false receipts on pretext that TFF had borrowed money from him. Miriam, who was TFF Office Manager and Flora were the ones who were writing the said receipts.
The prosecution alleged further that the two accused persons did so notwithstanding the fact that they had not received money stated in the receipt from Malinzi. In the strength of the said false receipt, Malinzi was reclaiming payments, it is alleged.
It claimed also that Selestine, in his capacity as TFF General Secretary, was also the accounting officer and was allegedly involved in aiding Malinzi to be paid.
Mwanga in her capacity as TFF signatory was also allegedly involved in signing some of the payment documents.
The prosecution alleged in addition that as from June 1 to December 31, 2016, Malinzi claimed and actually was paid the sum of 173,335 US dollars and 43,100,000/-.
In the strength of such claims, the accused persons were arrested, interrogated and arraigned in court facing the current charges.