Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
CAG: We’re investigating plea bargaining, report out in March 2023
Controller and Auditor General (CAG) Charles Kichere told The Chanzo on Thursday that a report on the investigation his office has been doing into the money collected through the plea bargaining arrangement will be released to the public in March 2023.
It followed reports that the office of the CAG is carrying out an investigation into the controversial arrangement implemented by the previous administration under the late President John Magufuli, with the victims of the practice reporting to have taken part in the ongoing investigation.
Speaking with The Chanzo during an exclusive interview on Thursday, CAG Kichere confirmed the report of the ongoing investigation though he pointed out that the report is far from being new information.
“It seems to me that you journalists have a short memory. This is not new information. I said when I submitted my report to President [Samia Suluhu Hassan] last year that there is going to be this investigation,” Mr Kichere said during the interview.
“So, yes, we are carrying out this investigation. The reason why we are doing it is that is part of our mandate as the office of the CAG. And we will release the report in March 2023 together with other reports just like how we do it every year,” added CAG Kichere.
In 2019, the parliament made amendments to several of Tanzania’s criminal laws, introducing, among other things, the plea bargaining arrangement, defined as a negotiation in a criminal case between a prosecutor and the accused.
But the arrangement was operational two years earlier even before the amendments were passed.
Even when the arrangement was legally introduced it went into enforcement without having regulations, an important step for operation. Regulations were introduced in February 2021.
Many people who were charged with non-bailable offences like money laundering and economic sabotage were allegedly coerced into filing a plea bargaining request with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) where they were made to pay millions to secure their freedom.
Full story here.
‘Citizen participation indispensable for transparent, accountable govt’
A major conference on transparency and accountability concluded here on Wednesday with participants almost unanimously agreeing that citizen participation is indispensable if governments are to be transparent and accountable.
Bringing together about 400 participants from both within and outside Tanzania, the International Transparency and Accountability Conference (ITAC 2022), a brainchild of WAJIBU – Institute of Public Accountability, took place here from October 11 to October 12, 2022.
Themed ‘A Meaningful Participation Towards Bringing Sustainable Development,’ the ITAC 2022 saw a number of sessions that address pertinent issues facing Tanzania, the region and the world organised where challenges were raised and solutions debated.
Inaugurating the two-day conference, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Mussa Hassan Zungu said that transparency and accountability are essential for any country to achieve its development goals.
“Our government recognizes that and that’s why transparency and accountability are enshrined in our constitution,” said Mr Zungu who doubles as Ilala MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi). “The same goes for citizen participation in public affairs.”
Full story here.
Strict encampment policy limits refugees’ freedom of movement in Tanzania, UNHCR warns
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned that Tanzania’s strict encampment policy limits refugees’ freedom of movement, access to employment and public services-leaving them overwhelmingly dependent on humanitarian assistance.
In its fact sheet released on Thursday, UNHCR states that Tanzania country hosts 248,244 refugees and asylum-seekers (as of August 31, 2022), mainly from Burundi and DR Congo.
“Chronic underfunding continues to hamper the humanitarian response,” the UN agency said in the fact sheet. “More funding is required to address the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers in Tanzania.”
UNHCR is about protecting and assisting refugees, with the ultimate goal of finding durable solutions that allow them to rebuild their lives, the agency said in its fact sheet.
In Tanzania, these solutions include voluntary repatriation, resettlement, and local settlement/ integration.
“UNHCR is grateful for the financial support provided by donors who have contributed to their activities with unearmarked and broadly earmarked funds as well as for those who have contributed directly to the DRC and Burundi situations,” the agency said.
Samia mourns fallen CCM MP
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday sent a message of condolences to the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Tulia Ackson following the death of Amani MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) Mussa Hassan Mussa.
Dr Tulia announced the death of Mussa, 63, on Thursday, saying she was “shocked and saddened” by the news. The cause of Mr Mussa’s death was not been disclosed.
In a Twitter post, President Samia who doubles as CCM national chairperson said she had received “with regret” the news of the death of Mr Mussa Hassan Mussa.
“I send my condolences to the Speaker, family and the people of Amani Constituency. May God rest his soul in paradise. Amen,” the Head of State said.
The death of Mussa brings the number of MPs who have died to seven since the 12th Parliament started in November.
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