Tanzania’s million dollar ghost projects


Tanzania’s Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has unveiled the country’s Local Government Authorities (LGA) have been involved in the embezzlement of millions of dollars issued to fund nonexistent projects.

Reporting to the country’s President John Magufuli, the CAG’s report indicated that LGA’s across the country have been corruptly siphoning tax payers money for individual gain. The 2018/19 report shows what can only be described as gross mismanagement of public funds.

In the report, Tanzania’s CAG Mr Charles Kichere also reported the gross misuse of funds in excess of USD 342.2 million by the country’s Local Government Authorities (LGA).

Worse still, while the LGAs collected more than USD 46.5 million in the said financial year, only 26.37bn/ was allocated to the rightfully designated development projects while the remaining 17.41bn/- was, according to the CAG report, misused.

Further still, another 10.39bn/- in local revenue that was collected by some 84 Local Government Authorities never made it to government coffers, the report says, the money was simply not banked.

While the country has a comprehensive public procurement law, the CAG report shows that more than 5.46bn/- was spent to procure various goods and services against the regulations and procedures of the law.

“In seven government entities, items worth 587.65m/- were purchased without being delivered…” local media quotes the report that audited some 185 LGAs across Tanzania.

While fraud cases amounting to 1.25bn/- have been alleged in 7 councils another 1.25bn/- was used by 13 LGAs on what is described as ‘unnecessary activities’ contrary to Tanzania’s Local Government Finance Act.

The misappropriation of public funds did not end within the country’s borders, rather the country’s embassies abroad are also in the tangle. At least 1.02bn/- was said to have been used to pay rent for Tanzanian embassies in Algeria, Brazil and Stockholm yet instead of rent, the embassies could have simply renovated their designated houses for less.

The CAG report also shows that there are some 14 buildings that Tanzanian missions have abandoned across the world. They range from embassy buildings in the region including Nairobi, Kigali Harare, Bujumbura, Maputo, Khartoum and Kinshasa and across the oceans halfway across the world in Washington DC, New York and Geneva.

Back at home, the CAG report goes on to uncover more misappropriation of funds even by political parties including the leading party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

According to the report, the country’s leading political party CCM used 60m/- in what is filed in the books as refund to a tenant following the termination of the contract they had with the said party but according to the report, set terms were not adhered to.

The opposition was none the better with the report showing of 369.38m/- that went to the Civic United Front (CUF) as a subsidy, the lion share, 300m/- was transferred to a private account and the remaining 69m/- was also drained out from the party’s account and when asked, the party’s secretary-general no knowledge of it.

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Giza Mdoe is an experienced journalist with 10 plus years. He's been a Creative Director on various brand awareness campaigns and a former Copy Editor for some of Tanzania's leading newspapers. He's a graduate with a BA in Journalism from the University of San Jose.

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