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East Africa | Tanzania
Politics | Economy - Development

Ex Tanzanian PM says no to corruption

afrol News, 21 August - Former Tanzanian prime minister Joseph Warioba, has lambasted East African governments saying they should root out corruption and empty political promises which he maintains are detrimental to good governance.

Mr Warioba told a regional workshop on 'Strengthening Public Accountability in EA', in Arusha yesterday that despite political rhetoric by leaders, past efforts to rid region of corruption have been in vain due to interference by executive.

He said corruption posed serious governance problem, and that there was need to beef up capacity of anti-corruption agencies, to make them more effective.

He blamed governments for wasting a lot of money forming commissions to investigate corrupt cases.

He noted that commissions of enquiry were normally established as a result of activism in parliament and pressure from media, describing parliamentary activism as simple power play.

"There should be less of commissions and task forces, but more work by anti-corruption agencies," said Mr Warioba, who served as prime minister from 1985 to 1990 and attorney general (1975 to 1985).

Former prime minister cited example of Kenya, where he said strong anti-corruption agency would have done much better than a commission in the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing case.

He also mentioned a case of Uganda, where "a strong Inspector-General would have done much better in the Global Fund case in which $148 million was misappropriated."

He said most MPs were vocal on corruption not because they wanted to eradicate it, but as a means to achieving political power, adding that once elected, they also become corrupt.

He took a swipe at anti-corruption rhetoric by political leaders in region, saying such talk suffered from moral authority, since it was "normally intended to achieve regime change."

He also cited Richmond saga and External Payments Arrears (EPA) scandal at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), in which $133 million was reportedly embezzled.

He was skeptical that those behind EPA scandal would be arrested or that money would be recovered.

Reports show that team formed to investigate EPA case early this year handed over its report to president Jakaya Kikwete last Monday. The president is said to have promised to act on findings.

Mr Warioba was head of famous Warioba Commission established by former president Benjamin Mkapa in 1995 to investigate corruption in Tanzania.

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