Monday, March 17, 2008

If It Ain't Your Forte...

Sometimes I just laugh at how Bongolanders like to pull a fast one on themselves. I mean, someone would pretend to be an expert in an area where…well, they are essentially Maimunas. The end result, for someone who really knows the field, is just downright hilarious. I am not against trying, but there are areas where experimentation is a no-no. Especially when you call a press conference, with planned points.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Well, y’all know the whole BoT scandal and how there have been a whole lot of dilly-dallying displayed by the Tanzanian AG – Mr. Johnson Mwanyika. By the way, I just think this guy is a really good example of how “empty” the Tanzania government is. I mean, the guy can’t make a convincing point! That, to me, begs the question, how in the heck did become the country’s AG? Is that how Tanzanian legal experts are?

I wouldn’t conclude that though, because I have heard some very good Tanzanian lawyers making some very good and convincing points.

Going back to the EPA funds thievery, the Attorney General initially contended that commission appointed by the President was taking all its time and cautions to finalize the investigation on BoT funds’ looters. In his explanation, he pointed two things – one, exposing the name of looters would be jeopardize the possibility of collecting all the funds, and secondly, going after these thieves is a bit complicated given that the recipients of the EPA funds were companies, which are legally regarded as “persons”.

I have very little knowledge of the Tanzanian business laws, but I would imagine that those laws are not far off from “universal” business laws. Based on my understanding, it is true that a limited liability company, typically denoted by a LTD in Tanzania, shields owners from being pursued when the company owes money. In other words, when a company goes belly up, debtors cannot go after personal assets of the owners.

This is called a corporate veil, which Mwanyika explained above.

Corporate veil could be pierced in some cases, especially if a company was a sham and essentially set up to defraud. Given the facts regarding the EPA funds’ thievery, AG’s contention of complication in prosecuting EPA funds’ looters is…well, stupid. Unless, the Tanzania laws are set up in such a way that corporate veil could not be penetrated for any reason under the sun. I am presuming that is not the case and that Mwanyika was trying to pull a fast one on us.

Let forget about Mwanyika for a minute and fast-forward with me.

Apart from Mwanyika, another member of the EPA investigation commission is the Inspector General of Police – Said Mwema. Apparently Mr. Mwema has taken a somewhat tougher stance on the looters, likening the looters to terrorists. Tanzania Daima covered part of IGP's address to the press. But what really caught my eyes was this sentence:

Sasa tumeshavuka corporate vein (wigo wa makampuni)…

Given the context of the EPA scandal and what the AG has earlier talked about, I am sure Mr. Mwema meant “corporate veil”. Was he misquoted? Possibly, because the Tanzania Daima undisclosed writer opted to interpret corporate vein as a “corporate network”, which does not make sense also in the given context.

This story does not have any juice to it, from a contextual standpoint, but it still highlights one of the biggest problems in Tanzania, where folks are trying to impress in areas which are not their strength. This is my perspective: given that plenty of information and speeches given by politicians and whoever calls a press conference are posted online, it is necessary to avoid exposing yourself (negatively) to the entire world.

If indeed Mr. Mwema talked about “corporate vein”, then I can only assume he picked that from AG, but didn’t quite understand what it meant. Given the Tanzanian culture where asking questions for clarification is equated to stupidity, it is very possible that the poor guy went on and used a word he didn’t understand!

On the other hand, if the Tanzania Daima writer misquoted the IPG (which is more than likely), then just shoot the writer, would you? Someone once contended that Tanzania journalists should have at least a college degree. In cases like this, that person was absolutely justified. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the person who made that suggestion is nobody other than Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe.

My point is this, if an area is not your forte, don’t play a hero. You could end up making a fool of yourself.

By the way, what in the world is corporate vein? I could be the one missing something here. Please let me if you know anything.

Photo Credit: Mjengwa


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Rumors has it, many of Makatibu wakuu and Naibu waziri, walikwenda shule za mitaani somewhere huko ughaibuni. Unfortunately, our government it is not of the people. It is for the few who are running it; unprofessional and arrogant leaders. The government of Johnson Mwanyika.