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Jail looms for Lugola, 16 others

THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has completed investigations into the dubious Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Fire and Rescue Force with Roam Solutions of Romania, worth over 1trl/- loan.

During the next one week, the bureau will submit the files to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for further legal procedures, as PCCB lacks the prosecution mandate due to the fact that the offences committed fall under the economic sabo tage category.

PCCB Acting Director General Brig Gen John Mbungo told a press conference yesterday that they have earmarked 17 key suspects including the former minister of Home Affairs Kangi Lugola (pictured), the ex-Commissioner General of fire and rescue brigade Thobias Andengenye and 15 other civil servants.

“The investigation was done in three weeks immediately after instructions from President John Magufuli and so far it is done by 99.99 per cent,” he told journalists.

Terms of reference that PCCB was looking for during the investigation included to verify the possibility of some civil servants who failed to act diligently and advise their top authorities accordingly.

It also sought to establish whether there were indications of application or receipt of corruption and the legalities of the individuals involved in signing of the deal.

“We also looked into whether the two parts have the legal mandate of interfering with any deal that has to do with procurement with public institutions in the country and if there was a misuse of power,” he added.

From the above terms of references, the anti-corruption boss said the investigation has established that the law was violated in the whole processes of preparing and signing of the deal.

The investigation that was conducted within three weeks involved interrogation of different people from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Fire and Rescue force and Roam Solutions.

According to him, they have collected all the facts and evidences of the MoU as required, and the remaining part will be upon the office of the DPP as the PCCB lacks prosecution mandate.

“Even the Roam Solutions company has already submitted the letter requesting cancellation of the contract without compensation after realising that the deal was signed unlawfully,” added the top official.

On January 23, President Magufuli sacked Mr Lugola and Mr Andengenye from their posts over involvement in the suspicious deal, and instructed the anti-corruption bureau to probe the matter.

Apart from Lugola and Andengenye, PCCB also questioned former Permanent secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs Maj Gen Jacob Kingu, Deputy Minister Hamad Masauni, and deputy Permanent Secretary Kailima Ramadhani.

The list of fire brigade officials who were summoned for questioning also has the force’s Commissioner, Mbaraka Semwanza, his deputies Fikiri Salla, Lusekelo Chaula and Ully Mburuko as well as its Chief Economist Boniface Kipomela and Felis Mshana, who is the economist.

Due to the deal, the former Permanent Secretary of the ministry Maj Gen Kingu, resigned before he was later appointed Ambassador.

President Magufuli said the contract should have been taken to the Cabinet first for discussion before being approved by the parliament, and the loan was supposed to be applied by the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

“We all know that only the parliament can approve budgets, what has been done is completely wrong and I say no, we can’t run the country like that,” charged Dr Magufuli.

“You can’t just go abroad and sign contracts of this kind by yourself without following the laid down procedures, under my administration, this isn’t acceptable at all,” he categorically stated.

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

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