Tanzania: 2 in court over 221bn/- BoT loss

TWO former senior officials of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) yesterday appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in Dar es Salaam charged with abuse of office, disobedience and occasioning loss of over 221bn/- to the government.

Amatus Liyumba, the then Director of Personnel and Administration and Deogratias Kweka, the Project Manager, pleaded not guilty before Resident Magistrate Hadija Msongo. They were remanded for failure to meet bail co

The accused were required to deposit with the court 55bn/- in cash or title deeds for property equivalent to the said amount. She ordered each of the accused to secure two reliable sureties employed by the government or any other reputable institution.

Each surety, the magistrate said, was required to sign bond of 50m/- with the court. The accused were asked to surrender passports or any other travel documents to court and restricted them from leaving Dar es Salaam without express permit of the court.

The magistrate also ordered the accused to report to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) office every Friday at 8.00am without failure. The case will be mentioned on February 10. The prosecution told the court that investigations were incomplete.

The prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney John Rwabuhanga, told the court that the accused committed the offences between 2001 and 2006 in Dar es Salaam. Liyumba is facing all the counts, while Kweka is charged with only one count of occasioning loss to a specified authority.

Reading the charges, the prosecutor told the court that between 2001 and 2006 within the city of Dar es Salaam, being a person employed in the public service serving in his official capacity as the Director of Personnel and Administration with BoT, Liyumba abused the authority of his office.

The prosecution alleged that the accused undertook major decisions in the extension of construction project of the Central Bank and implementing it without the approval of the BoT Board of Directors.

Both accused, within the same period, being persons employed in the public service, serving in their official capacities as the Director of Personnel and Administration and Project manager of the BoT, respectively, wilfully allegedly failed to take reasonable care or to discharge their duties in a reasonable manner.

The prosecution alleged that the accused failed to scrutinize the legitimacy and subsequent payments to be made in respect of BoT extension project and misled the board in reaching its decision in authorizing payments. As a result, the prosecution told the court further that the accused caused the government to suffer a loss of 153,077,715 US dollars (about 221.10bn/-)

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