Friday, November 28, 2008

RTF: "I Pity The Fool (2)..."

It is Friday and I know that most of Bongolanders in the US participated in some form of Thanksgiving festivities. For the rest of you fellow Bongolanders, Google can actually help you find out what Thanksgiving celebration is all about.

So as you digest your turkey, take a moment and think with me.

My reflection today will be on the most recent news that the government brought a case against two prominent former cabinet ministers – Basil Mramba and Daniel Yona. Given the recent developments in the “fight against corruption” song, the news that the two ministers actually got arraigned gives the impression that the government is playing tough against corruption. In an ideal situation, such steps should be applauded.

But before you raise your glasses and take your hats off, let me rain on your parade.

Can we revisit the charges again? According what I read, the two ex-ministers were charged with “abuse of office and occasioning loss of over TShs. 11 billion to the government”. Specifically, Mr. Mramba, for instance, granted tax exemptions to M/S Alex Stewart Assayers.

Is that it? Is that all?

The problem with the above key charges is that they are very light in substance.

Let’s take Mr. Mramba for instance. While it is true that by extending tax exemptions to M/S Alex Stewart Assayers, the government lost some loot, the charge brought him does not specifically spell out that he fraudulently did so. As such, there is not criminal intent cited by the government prosecutors.

If anything, this case brings to questions Mr. Mramba’s competence and judgment. And that’s where the case against Mramba loses its juice – Tanzanian Law actually allowed him – as a Finance Minister – to extend tax exemptions, regardless of what TRA suggested!

So this is the reality check: incompetent folks who apply bad judgment typically don’t go to jail, unless criminal intent is established. They simply get fired from their jobs. Worst still, the Public Procurement prosecutors cited only suggest “disciplinary actions” against folks who violate the provisions of the Act!

If I have to decode this whole saga for you – this is a CCM’s political propaganda at its best. At the end of the day, Mr. Mramba and Mr. Yona will walk freely in Dar streets, laughing at all y’all fool who got duped into voting for CCM again in 2010.

Hey, did you notice that the prosecutors said the investigations into the case have not been completed? The question is this: why bring a half-baked cookie to the party? What's the rush?

How I pity the fools!
Photo credit: Mjengwa

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