Dodoma. A parliamentary team today begins to dissect the voluminous report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) on the Tegeta escrow account scandal following the official release of the document by the Office of the Speaker.
Members of the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) scrutiny of the anxiously-awaited report will facilitate the unravelling of how Sh306 billion in taxpayers’ money was withdrawn from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and ended up in the coffers of a private company.
Apparently, the money should have been claimed by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), but was questionably withdrawn to facilitate a suspect purchase of the Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) by Pan Africa Power (PAP).
The funds were deposited with the BoT as part of a guarantee requirement in the multi-billion shillings electricity supply contract between IPTL and Tanesco.
Deputy Speaker Job Ndugai, who handed over the report and other evidence contained in various documents to PAC at a brief function in Dodoma, pledged openness on the handling of the remaining process.
Also present at the handing-over function were other committee members and minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs), Mr William Lukuvi.
PAC chairman Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-Chadema) and his deputy Deo Filikunjombe (Ludewa–CCM) poured praise on The Citizen newspaper for blowing the whistle on the matter and consistently following up on further developments.
“Even the PAC never knew anything about this IPTL scandal until The Citizen broke the story that is now appearing to be of help to Parliament as discharges its duty of supervising the government,” Mr Filikunjombe said.
Mr Ndugai directed the PAC to use the Parliamentary Immunities, Powers and Privileges Act to steer the process as it studies the report before its scheduled tabling in Parliament next week.
He said the committee should also work on the advice from both the CAG and that of the Prevention and Combating of the Corruption Bureau (PCCB), whose report on the same escrow scandal will also be availed to Parliament.
The deputy speaker tasked the office of the Clerk of National Assembly to work with PAC in ensuring that the task is completed on time and handed over to him for approval before it is tabled for open debate.
The Citizen confirmed that the Clerk, Dr Thomas Kashilila, immediately allocated PAC a team of four senior officials from his office who will work closely with the committee as the task to comb through the report starts.