Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tanzanian PM tries to halt debate on energy sector

21 November 2014, 11:16

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's government asked parliament on Thursday to cancel a planned debate on corruption allegations in the energy sector, angering some lawmakers who complained of a cover-up and potentially jeopardising some foreign aid.

The east African nation has made big discoveries of natural gas, but its energy sector has long been dogged by allegations of corruption. Investors say graft is one of the main reasons for the high costs of doing business in Tanzania.

A group of 12 international donors have said they will only pay out outstanding pledges of budget support worth nearly $500m if the findings of an investigation into the graft claims are published and appropriate action is taken.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said parliament should not debate the findings of the energy sector investigation by the chief auditor as this would interfere with ongoing court cases.

Also Read: Tanzania president undergoes surgery in US

"Based on the principles of rule of law, when there is an ongoing court proceeding, we are constitutionally obliged, not to publicly debate that issue because it could jeopardise the court case", Pinda told parliament on Thursday.

"At the moment, there are more than 10 pending court cases from protracted legal wrangling over this matter."

The investigation, ordered by the government in May, followed claims by opposition lawmakers that senior government officials had fraudulently authorised payment of at least $122m of public funds to a private company.

The opposition said the money came from an escrow account held jointly by state power company Tanesco and independent power producer IPTL and went to IPTL's owner, Pan Africa Power (Pap) in 2013. Pap said the transfer was legal.

The government has denied any wrongdoing by its officials. The government's anti-corruption watchdog has also investigated the fraud allegations.

Some lawmakers said the government sought to muzzle them.

"The only way to put an end to these [graft allegations is to debate this issue in parliament and bring it to a close", said Zitto Kabwe, chairperson of the parliamentary watchdog public accounts committee.

The panel is scheduled next week to present the auditor's report on the IPTL allegations to parliament.

The parliamentary speaker's office is expected to rule on the issue after considering arguments from both sides, but said parliament would not allow its independence to be undermined.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...