A team of financial experts and auditors from the Prime Minister’s Office is scheduled to arrive in Tarime District on Friday to investigate the misappropriation of over 9bn/- paid to the district council as service levies from North Mara Mine operated by Acacia Mining Company.
The team will join another probe committee formed by Mara Regional Commissioner (RC) Adam Malima a fortnight ago to investigate the amount of money disbursed to council coffers by the company in the past three years.
The regional authorities allege the amount did not reflect the value for money on development projects implemented in the area.
Speaking at a meeting involving councillors and council workers and heads of departments yesterday, Mr Malima expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted to his office by council auditors showing how the money was paid and spent.
He informed the meeting that due to the urgency of the matter Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa had agreed to include another probe team that would join regional investigators to sift any tangible evidence and documents as far as the misappropriation was concerned and identifying all those involved in the malpractice.
The RC, however, halted activities of the council’s financial standing committee with immediate effect pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation. He added that all responsible officials by virtue of their appointments, who abused their powers and caused a loss of public funds, would be held accountable regardless of their status.
According to the RC, the committee is alleged to have colluded with other government officials to approve unwarranted use of funds without the approval of the full council, citing a recent debt writing-off clearance to notorious defaulters especially from other mining companies operating here that pay service levies to the council.
Mr Malima also halted any withdrawals from the council’s bank accounts without special permission that would be issued by the regional administrative secretary (RAS)’s office in absence of the council’s financial committee.
‘’The district executive director is strictly prohibited against convening meetings at this time, when the probe team is working on the matter unless it is an emergency issue approved by the RAS’s office,” he said.
Newly appointed Tarime DC Charles Kabeho echoed RC’s reservations and directed the district’s defence and security committee to support the probe team by providing any relevant information that might shade more light on the misappropriation of funds, adding that during the fifth phase government’s era no one would be spared on the fight against corruption.
He explained that following his experience being the last year’s Uhuru Torch Leader most health, education as well as infrastructural development projects were being implemented in most local authorities and municipal councils, including cities below standard and did not reflect the actual target or value for money.
‘’We have to support President John Magufuli’s efforts towards the fight against corruption and restore public trust to civil service as well as the revival of the country’s economy, including the implementation of the industrial agenda in the workplace.’’