Ministers cleared of wrongdoing

Former Energy minister Sospeter Muhungo, pictured, his permanent secretary and four other ministers have been cleared of various wrongdoings by an ethics committee.  Photo: Daniel Hayduk

Former Energy and Minerals minister Sospeter Muhungo, pictured, his permanent secretary and four other ministers have been cleared of various wrongdoings by an ethics committee. Photo: Daniel Hayduk

A handful of former ministers and a permanent secretary have been cleared of any wrongdoing in various scandals.

The former Energy and Minerals minister Sospeter Muhungo and his permanent secretary Eliakim Maswi were cleared last week of any wrongdoing in relation to the Escrow scandal by an investigative committee.

“After thorough investigations against the Minister and his permanent secretary, the ethics secretariat cleared them both of any wrongdoing in the withdrawal of Tegeta Escrow account money,” says Civil Servants’ Chief Secretary Ombeni Sefue.

“The ethics secretariat found out that before releasing the money, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals top officials, sought and followed proper legal advice from then Attorney General, Fredrck Werema, who resigned over the scandal last year,” says Sefue.

The scandal emerged after the revelation of withdrawal of 153 million USD (306 billion TSH) from the central bank meant for the power sector but was instead shared among public figures and influential individuals.

The investigative committee, which was appointed by the president, also cleared four ministers of wrongdoing over Operation Tokomeza, an anti-poaching operation in 2013.

The ministers are from Defense and National Service, Home Affairs, Natural Resources and Tourism and Livestock and Fisheries.

“During the operations, 15 deaths were recorded and nine people died due to torture,” says Sefue, adding that the investigators have recommended legal action against the officers involved in torture.

A separate report on Operation Tokomeza released on Friday stated there were gross violation of human rights and the laws, rules, procedures and terms of reference were blatantly disregarded.

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