Wednesday, April 29, 2009

reggie mengi has a lot up his sleeve?

Reggie Mengi ready to roll & rumble

Mengi reveals state secrets 

The nation’s collective jaw dropped in amazement last Wednesday when IPP boss, Reggie Mengi called a press conference and revealed a state secret. He publicly named five alleged "corruption sharks" in the country, saying they were allegedly responsible for the looting of billions of shillings of public money.

Mengi named names of some prominent individuals, all Tanzanians of Indian descent, [ CUT???– Rostam Aziz, Tanil Somaiya, Yusuf Manji, Jeetu Patel and Subash Patel ]– who, he alleged, were "involved in almost all scandals that have happened in our country." 

"The number of people who are accused of being especially corrupt in our country do not exceed ten…But out of the ten, these five are accused of being the sharks of corruption." He said.

Corruption scandals allegedly linked to the named individuals are Richmond and Dowans power generating deals, the Bank of Tanzania external payment arrears (EPA) account scam, procurement scandals, scandals involving military helicopters and vehicles, the overpriced Gulf Stream presidential jet purchase and the Mchuchuma Coal project.

Other scandals allegedly associated with some of the named suspects include the $41 million military radar deal, national lottery dealings, and dubious deals with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF).

All five are leading local personalities who have been widely associated with a number of allegations concerning grand corruption. The government, which has been looking the other way amid these accusations, does not seem to know what to do.

The accused have claimed they are innocent. {AGAIN take out the names?] One was cool: "As a Tanzanian citizen Mengi has a right to comment on any matter. But I don’t know anything about his accusations. Maybe he knows what he is saying." He said.

But another swung right back. He dismissed Mr. Mengi’s accusation as "baseless" saying that they were coming from a person with "a lot of problems". He retorted: "Mengi has failed to maintain his own family and businesses and he talks nonsense."

Tough words from both sides. No one expects Mr Mengi to be charged with treason. The "secret" he has revealed has been widely known amongst all Tanzanians, an unofficial "state secret". Mengi is just the first high calibre man to say it publicly.

There is more than meets the eye in this. "When you accuse the buddies of top government honchos of such dirt, you are simply touching raw nerves in government. Tanzanians are used to those people being untouchable. They are beyond approach," said an analyst.

But the analyst also said that to utter such accusations, Mr Mengi must have been given him a tacit nod to do so from some big guns in the government. They are the patriots who are fed up with the sell-out by our rulers. "Those have been lately behaving like they are the real rulers of Tanzania. And why not? They seem to have the entire top government and party in their pockets," said an analyst who preferred to remain anonymous.

Although the ruling party, CCM, has been vehemently denying that it has been bought by rich people, nearly everyone knows that the party is currently being bankrolled by the rich, including those five individuals. Tanzanians laugh in their sleeves whenever CCM leaders declare that it is the party for common people.

Maybe it is too late for a government counter-offensive. But the government has been known silently and effectively to reign in businessmen who make embarrassing utterances against it.

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) could suddenly get ‘efficient’ and Mr. Mengi could find himself slapped with impossible income tax bills. But, if Mr. Mengi has his defenders quietly guarding his interests in government he might survive the coming war.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mengi, although exercising freedom of speech, is wrong to put out names his fellow Tanzanian businessmen. Where some of the alleged 'sharks' have trials which can prove them responsible, others have been wrongfully accused. A media baron of his stature should not be using his power to tarnish reputations and rally support for himself (which he has done so in the past ) Interestingly enough Mr. Mengi has named only Tanzanians of indian origin as his 'sharks of corruption,' which could cause distress in the economic and social atmosphere of Tanzania. It is less beneficial and more harmful to a multicultural Tanzania. Before Tanzanians get carried away into the explosive remarks of these articles they should stop and questions the motives, ethics, and character of Mr. Mengi, who, as many Tanzanians know, is no saint. We should all take these politically motivated remarks with a pinch of salt, as the have underling motives which are thoroughly masked.