By Shout-Africa Correspondent – Analysts and other commentators have been condemning Tanzania’s government inaction on illicit offshore accounts associating this with what is termed in a political sense as a ‘supercharge effect’ of the powers that politicians are given in Africa.
In legal terms this could imply to an overwhelming power reserve given to the power mightier to charge tasks greatly or excessively, as with vigor or tension due a weak constitution and institutions which checks power balance.
This now supply power to the oligarchy so that they can mount a pressure higher than that of the surrounding atmosphere.
In this way, the effect and the general trend has always been that the government sticks to its policies and its administrative practices. While the target of such tricks are to defend some business operators who are influential to the extent of helping the ruling parties to remain in power.
The strategy is to keep a watchful eye on any proposed legislation or regulatory shift that could have a substantial political impact on how the state operates and if this could have a big effect on its bottom line.
In order to facilitate this political game, ample supply of finance is a must. That is why there are offshore accounts firmly protected by the status quo. Another strategy to facilitate this goal is money laundering and floating funds.
These are funds that are on deposit at two institutions at the same time because of inefficiencies in the collection system. This situation permits a person or firm to earn extra income because the two institutions are paying interest on the same funds.
As an example, a person writes a check on a money market fund in order to make a deposit in a local financial institution. Until that check gets back to the bank on which it was written (a transit often entailing two or three days), the investor receives interest on his or her funds from both institutions.
The secret behind is, whenever people in authority are greedy they would use the same institutions that are trusted by their subjects. But also they will use fake investors, as well as trained and credible people, who are well versed in order to facilitate the same goal.
It is not strange that twice now grand corruption involving dishing out of finance from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), namely External Payment Arrears (EPA) account $131 million, and the Tegeta Escrow Account $270million— have involved protection from the power oligarchy that such money did not belong to the Government of Tanzania.
Experts has it that only the high profile politicians like presidents, governors of central banks, and ministers of finance, and attorney generals, can give one access to such funds. The secret behind is: always foreign exchange, the influence of lawyers, economists and expiry of such accounts and purchases involving a third party are a common practice
Another associated trend is paltry investment like venture capital investment. The likes are real estate, new constructions, and the general financing of new businesses. The top secret is that only top money managers holdings have information at their fingertips as to what is really happening.
Always big investors are invited in order to establish “greatest investments of all the time” while also various companies are established in order to withhold these great money in their buying and selling.
The holdings of these great investors are always absolutely free, at the Government’s expense. That is why even when there is a debacle from the community against such investors, and it is very difficult to get a Government’s response.
A recent example is reactions from the Government when there was a call from the people through their representatives, members of parliament to take action against the culprits of the Tegeta Escrow Account in Tanzania.
It is very unfortunate that Tanzania has gone a bit further in including even the clergy in such shoddy funding. But commonly this has always involved lawyers including the Attorney General, economists, journalists and whoever is involved any how in making success projects of the power magnets against possible bickering, for instance the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director General of the Prevention of Corruption and Combating Bureau (PCCB) and even the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
The common trend with such projects in power abuse to the floating funds is to create loopholes first, either through sponsored editorial content, spreading rumours like possible terrorist attacks, co-opting media practitioners, hoax coalescing welfare efforts like expanding of social security schemes.
While the beneficiaries of such funds are few, regardless of their race, gender or ages, but the ultimate cost is always high to the poor majority through shaking inflations, adjusting business regulations to the power magnets at the expense of the poor and even unfair retributions.
While these beneficiaries of floating finance abuse are few, but they are used when Governments seek for foreign assistance and grants. Either through claims of reducing unemployment, improving disability scheme, or even increasing efforts to revamp the economy and clear long outstanding debts.
Unfortunately as it has been a common trend, elimination and sidelining of individuals who “do not meet” expectations is embedded within such games. So far the death of the former Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), the ‘late’ Daud Ballali has been a subject of much talk in Tanzania, as to whether he is really dead or he is still alive, or he remains in hidings abroad because of his complicity to the EPA scandal.
The same doubt could have ensued if it were not for the Speaker of the National Assembly Ms. Anna Makinda to suppress the motion that was tabled in the recent Parliament of Tanzania calling that thorough investigations must be instituted on circumstances that led to the death of the former Tanzania’s Finance Minister the late Dr. William Mgimwa.
The discussion was stopped immediately on grounds that family members had called for stoppage of such debates in the public realm and therefore denying the chance the Ubungo legislator through the main opposition party Hon. John Mnyika, who said he had some documents to indicate that the death of Dr Mgimwa was closely linked to the Tegeta Escrow Account complicity.
At least this time around the incumbent Governor of the BoT Prof. Benno Ndulu was courageous enough to resist the payment of money that had accumulated through this account. Eventually he ordered to get permission from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) board, the Attorney General, and the State House commitment on the matter.
But even more is the chain of movements from some bigwigs in Tanzania from high profile organizations to the national power generating company which has been implicated in many financial scandals and bogus contracts. For instance, one former BoT Governor was later to become the TANESCO’s director general. While the former Commander in Chief of Tanzanian People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) was to be appointed as the TANESCO board chairman and hence he has a hand in allowing withdrawal of billions of Tanzanian shillings from the BOT during the Tegeta Escrow scandal.
The same former army boss has been implicated in the illegal gold business (Meremeta scandal), which involved the TPDF while he was at the helm of power of the army during President Benjamin Mkapa’s era. He, as well as one retired IGP has been mentioned among Tanzanians with offshore accounts.