Monday, June 22, 2009

EPA Two coming

I’ve heard about the stimulus package offered by the government and immediately winced painfully – welcome back grand corruption. If you are in Dar you can see the rot oozing and smell the stench from as far away as Chalinze.

Eti, in its so-called stimulus package the government plans to bail out co-operative unions and individuals for losses incurred in selling local crops on the world market.

Bail out? So the government is in the business of bailing out loss making firms and individuals? I think I qualify, immediately. I lost a million dollars trying to sell words and TV rights to the world media. I am in the news business, you see. Will our benevolent government compensate me?

You can look at naked corruption right in the eye. Who will determine which private companies incurred losses in selling local crops in the world market? Those guys don’t bother me. They could easily be bribed.

Take this scenario. A government official decides that Adam Lusekelo Company Unlimited has lost out in the world market. I could claim a million dollars. Of that million I will ‘voluntarily’ contribute $200,000 to some party fund (you-know-which-party). Predictably the money will be used to buy silly little hats and scarves for next year’s general elections, or simply be pocketed by some smart ass.

I can see it in my mind’s eye. Fisadi Jones and his likes are now busy forming fake companies, which will apply for compensations for their losses incurred in selling local crops in the world market. Monies which will be awarded to them and never be re-paid.

It will simply be EPA all over again. To put the icing on the cake, there will be another charade about taking people to the courts and it will die down, just like how the present EPA is being allowed to die down. No punishment, of course. It’s not in tour culture.

You see, it is so tempting. The government is actually forcing a handful of smart Alecs in the country to commit criminal activities. Now they are simply busy changing their names and forming shell companies and putting fronts for guys who will siphon off the ‘stimulate package’.

Hamad Rashid Mohamed, who is also the leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament, has been giving a free lesson on economics to government honchos: “In a free market economy, companies will be making profits and losses. Serious traders will always set their crop buying and selling prices depending on the futures market.

“The government will plunge the nation into another scandal similar to EPA.” He said, referring to the looting of $133 million from the Bank of Tanzania’s external payment arrears account.

And there is very great temptation to the con-men, with their fake companies to go for the fraud. In the United Republic of Tanzania the guilty ones are never afraid. The system is very just to the crooks – nothing happens them. Jails are very much still for thieves who steal the odd cell-phone or a couple of chickens.

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