Mramba-Yona-Mgonja

The DPP has faulted the trial court for not ordering the two ex-ministers to pay the government 11.7bn/- for the loss caused.

In the appeal, the DPP further argues that the Kisutu Magistrate?s Court erred in law and facts by acquitting the then Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance, Gray Mgonja, who was jointly charged with the two ex-ministers.

On July 6, this year, the Kisutu Resident Magistrate?s Court convicted Mramba and Yona of abuse of office and occasioning 11.7bn/- loss to the government, but set free Mgonja, for lack of evidence.

The DPP asserts that the trio were charged with occasioning loss under section 198 of the Penal Code, which provided, among others, that the convicted person were required to return the amount involved to the affected authority.

On their part, the two convicted ex-ministers have also appealed to oppose both conviction and sentence imposed on them by the trial court.

Judge Projest Rugazia is set to hear the two appeals on Wednesday. In the judgment sought to be challenged, the two members of the trial court, Judge Sam Rumanyika and Mr Saul Kinemela, a senior official in the Labour Commission, convicted Mramba and Yona of the offence charged after being satisfied by prosecution evidence.

However, the two acquitted Mgonja of all offences charged because the prosecution, through its 13 witnesses, miserably failed to prove the charges against him.

It was alleged that the three officials committed the offences between August 2002 and June 14, 2004, in Dar es Salaam, by giving preferential treatment to M/S Alex Stewart (Assayers) Government Business Corporation to audit gold production in Tanzania.

The firm was in 2003 controversially assigned through a contract, which saw it receive a whopping 50 million US dollars in gold audit fees. It completed the assignment and left the country in August 2007.

It is alleged that Gold Assayers Government Business Corporation was paid an average of one million US dollars every month from June 2003 to August 2007.

By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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