Auditor implicates Mkulo in sale of land

Mr Mkulo
The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) has revealed in his latest report that the ministry of Finance was heavily involved in the sale of plot  No. 10 along Nyerere Road to Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL), a fact that was denied last year by the minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Mustafa Mkulo.

The CAG 2010/2011 Audit Report of public authorities and other bodies reveals the sale of the plot was supposed to be overseen by the Board of Directors of the Consolidated Holdings Corporation (CHC) but the CHC management decision making was largely influenced or made by parties who were not part of the CHC Board of Directors.

These revelations have come hardly a year after the shadow minister for Finance, Mr Zitto Kabwe,  demanded the resignation of Mr Mkulo to pave the way for thorough investigations into the minister’s alleged role in the squandering of public funds at the Treasury and the CHC.

But in October, last year, Mr Mkulo was adamant and refused to step down saying the allegations levelled by Mr Kabwe were baseless and lacked truth.

 “I think Mr Kabwe has personal issues which he is pursuing,” he had said, adding:
“It is strange that the CAG report is not out yet and if you can recall this issue started in the Parliament. If an MP has reached a point of discussing such issues before the press, I think he has acted against regulations.”

According to the CAG’s report, decision making in the CHC has highly been influenced by external forces rather than the board of directors as required by the corporate protocol.

The report by CAG Ludovick Utouh shows that major decisions were not satisfactorily appraised and documented by virtue of supporting technical appraisals, feasibility studies, legal opinions and expert reports.

According to the report the ministry of Finance, Treasury Registrar and the then ministry of Planning, Economy and Empowerment influenced or made decisions for CHC.

For example, Mr Utouh said in his report that correspondence between CHC, MeTL, Ministry of Finance and the Treasury Registrar discussing, directing and documenting various decisions on the sale of Plot No. 10 revealed that the ministry and TR had direct involvement in the decision to sell the plot.

Not only the CHC board of directors was not involved in the sale of the prime property located along Nyerere Road, but also there were various irregularities in the deal to sell the property to METL.

According to the report, MeTL paid 2.046bn/- to acquire the land without adhering to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act of 2004 and its regulations of 2005.

The report also shows the government interference on CHC operation in a controversial claim for road toll and security costs for facilitating access to Plot No.192 (or Plot No.11) off Nyerere Road.

Mr Utouh said in the report that a demand note 954.72m/- (Value Added Tax Inclusive) was issued by one DRTC trading company being a claim for road toll and security costs it incurred in the course of facilitating access to the plot.

“Subsequently, the Private Secretary to the Minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment issued a letter to PSRC Executive Chairperson directing him to implement the DRTC claim,” said Utouh in the report.

The report also reveals that the DRTC general manager issued another letter to CHC acting director general demanding an immediate settlement of 2.349bn/-.
Source: The Citizen,http://www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Frank Kimboy

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