The National Assembly yesterday passed a motion to form a probe team to investigate the funds requested by permanent secretary David Jairo from organisations under the Energy and Minerals ministry to “facilitate passage of its budget estimates.”
The motion moved by Simanjiro lawmaker Christopher ole Sendeka (CCM) was overwhelmingly supported by the MPs cutting across party lines.
Ole Sendeka’s motion came when discussing a motion moved earlier by Kigoma North legislator Zitto Kabwe demanding that the House suspend discussion of all government matters, including passage of ministry budget estimates, in order to discuss a matter of urgency – the clearing of wrongdoing of David Jairo by chief secretary Philemon Luhanjo.
The PS’s exoneration from wrongdoing and subsequent reinstatement was announced by Luhanjo at a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
Zitto rising immediately on a point of order after Deputy
Speaker Job Ndugai had said the prayers, said there was urgent need to discuss the Jairo matter because it had touched on the rights and privileges of the National Assembly.
“This matter was first raised in this House, hence it was only logical that the report by the Controller and Auditor General, though commissioned by the chief secretary, be submitted here in the first place for deliberation and subsequent recommendations as the overseer of the government,” he said, adding:
“In view of yesterday’s (Tuesday) developments the role of the National Assembly has been usurped. And this is a very grave matter,” Zitto said.
The MP noted further that when the matter was raised in the
House and after the government had discussed it, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda had told the MPs that, were it in his power, he would have dismissed the permanent secretary on the spot, but prayed that he was hand-tied because the culprit was a presidential appointee.
“The latest developments, apart from degrading Parliament, have gone further to humiliate the prime minister. If I were the prime minister I would have resigned forthwith,” he said, and went ahead to move the motion.
In a rare show of solidarity, the ruling CCM and opposition
MPs overwhelmingly supported it, after which the deputy speaker and the House committee retired to discuss its merits.
When Ndugai came back at 9.55am he said that the motion had been found valid as moved.
Moving his motion, Sendeka said: “Since this House always gives each ministry funds to facilitate passage of its budget, it is important to form a House probe team to look into what these additional funds demanded by the permanent secretary were for.”
Deputy Speaker Ndugai later announced that the names of the probe team would be announced tomorrow (Friday).
On Tuesday Chief Secretary Philemon Luhanjo cleared Jairo who was suspended to pave way for a probe into allegations that he was involved in corrupt practices.
Jairo was directed to immediately resume his duties on Tuesday.
Luhanjo told journalists that his office will not continue to investigate him since preliminary investigations by the Controller and Auditor General had shown that the PS did not commit any disciplinary offense.
According to Luhanjo the Public Servants Management Act states very clearly that if any servant who was appointed by the President committed a disciplinary offense and it has been proven so, the person will be provided with a notice accompanied by a charge sheet.
“For this matter, the PS will not be provided with a notice or charge sheet….he is going back to the office today (yesterday),” he noted.
Luhanjo said the Public Service Management Act of 2002, gives him powers to order the PS back to his office.
Earlier, CAG Ludovick Utouh said the preliminary investigations revealed that the institutions requested to contribute 50m/- were only four and not twenty as members of parliament claimed.
Utouh named the four institutions as the Rural Energy Agency (REA) that contributed 50m/-, Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) 40m/-, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) 50m/- and the Energy and Water Utility Regulator Authority (EWURA) 40m/- which all operate under the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
He said apart from the four institutions some departments were also requested to contribute.
Utouh said the finance department contributed 150,720,000/- and the planning department 278,081,500/-.
Utouh said the total of amount collected was 578,599,100/- and not 1bn/- as said by the MPs.
CAG clarified that there was no evidence to prove that the collected amount was used to bribe MPs to pass the budget estimates for the ministry.
“We have proved that the collected amount was used for payment of per diems, sitting allowances and hiring of conference hall for officers who were in Dodoma during tabling of the ministry’s budget estimates,” he noted.