PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete (left) addresses elders from Dar es Salaam Region (right) at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in the city on Monday. (Photo by State House)

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete (left) addresses elders from Dar es Salaam Region (right) at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in the city on Monday. (Photo by State House)

Prof Tibaijuka, a former under-Secretary General of the UN and Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), is accused of clandestinely receiving over 1.6bn/- from VIP Engineering and Marketing Limited.

Mr Kikwete, however, said he had put on suspense Energy and Minerals Minister, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, pending investigations to determine his involvement in the scandal and the appropriate disciplinary measures against him.

The saga revolves around the 202.9bn/- held in the Escrow account that was opened following a disputed capacity charges that Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) was required to pay to Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL).

The account was later closed and the amount paid to Pan African Power Solutions Tanzania Limited (PAP) in 2013, the alleged owner of IPTL.

?I met and held discussions with Prof Tibaijuka regarding the funds she received from VIP Engineering and satisfied myself that there was lack of ethics for a public servant to receive such funds.

The Public Ethics Commission is as well working on the matter. ?What troubles me is why the funds were deposited directly into her personal account and not the school, which was supposed to be the beneficiary,? President Kikwete said amid wild applause from the packed Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam.

According to Mr Kikwete, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) was still probing the affair for possible criminal indictments. President Kikwete said he had also directed respective authorities to probe the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr Eliakim Maswi, and take proper actions if he is found culpable.

?Prof Muhongo?s fate will be known in few days to come after I have received a report on an investigation I ordered on him; I am told one member of the probe team is abroad but I expect to get the report very soon,? the president told his audience.

In a speech that lasted over two hours, Mr Kikwete said he had so far appointed a new Board Chairperson of the state-run power utility Tanesco.

?The National Assembly?s resolutions of November 29, this year, had wanted the Tanesco board to be axed, but since its term has come to an end I have already appointed a new Board Chair and the new board will soon be announced,? the president told the gathering.

He added that the government has worked on some of the recommendations and is still working on some as proposed by the Parliament. We will deal with civil servants who were implicated in the affair,? he pledged.

Commenting on two High Court judges Alosyius Mujuluzi and Prof Eudes Ruhangisa, who were also said to have received funds from VIP Engineering and Marketing, Mr Kikwete said he had asked the Chief Justice (CJ), Mr Mohamed Chande Othman to work on the matter.

?One of the Parliament resolutions requires me to form a judiciary commission to probe the two judges; I am, however, held back by constitutional and legal requirements to take such action.

?It is the Judiciary, which is supposed to initiate the issue and bring it up to me after which I will be required to form a commission of three judge, one of whom, must be from outside Tanzania but from within the Commonwealth to investigate the justices,? he explained.

During Monday?s speech, President Kikwete only spoke about the recent held civic elections and the Tegeta Escrow account with the latter dominating most of his address, which was eagerly followed countrywide given the limelight the saga has attracted.

Judge Fredrick Werema stepped down as Attorney General (AG) last week due to the saga, taking responsibility for his legal advice in the matter, which he said had stirred a lot of controversy.

By ALVAR MWAKYUSA, Tanzania Daily News

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