Category Archives: Africa – International

Tanzania anti-corruption – businessmen in court over Sh14bn fraud

Tanzania Daily News

A BUSINESS tycoon from Arusha, Samwel Lema (second right), and his co-accused, Mohamed Yusufali, wait to enter the dock in the case in which they have been charged with evading tax and occasioning loss to the government to the tune of over 14bn/- at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday. (Photo by Robert Okanda)

A BUSINESS tycoon from Arusha, Samwel Lema (second right), and his co-accused, Mohamed Yusufali, wait to enter the dock in the case in which they have been charged with evading tax and occasioning loss to the government to the tune of over 14bn/- at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday. (Photo by Robert Okanda)

They were not allowed to enter any plea to the charges before Principal Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri because they have been charged under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act, which falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court.

The two were committed to remand custody until July 28, when the prosecution will respond to the request by the defence team, led by advocates Alex Mgongolwa, Hudson Ndusyepo and Nehemia Nkonko, who are challenging the validity of the charge of money laundering.

In the case, both accused persons are facing one count of conspiracy to defraud, 181 counts of forging tax invoices for two different companies, one count of money laundering and one charge relating to occasioning of loss to a specified authority.

Lema, an Arusha based tycoon, separately faces 38 counts of forging value added tax (VAT) returns and one count of tax evasion. This case is the second for Yusufali, popularly known as ‘Mzee wa Milioni 7 kwa Dakika’, to face before the same court.

The first case involves tax evasion to the tune of 15bn/-. During the court session, the prosecution team comprised Senior State Attorney Mutalemwa Kishenyi and State Attorneys Jacqueline Nyantori and Diana Rukondo and a prosecutor from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Leonard Swai.

The prosecution told the court that the accused persons and other persons not in court conspired to defraud the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) of 14,052,011,435.69 between January 1, 2012 and December 3, 2014 within the cities of Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

It is alleged that on diverse dates in Dar es Salaam, the two accused persons made false tax invoices bearing different numbers and dates, purporting to show that Northern Engineering and Elerai Construction Co. Limited purchased commodities from various companies worth billions of shillings.

The prosecution alleged further that on different dates in the city, with intent to defraud, Lema made several VAT returns for different months, purportedly showing that Northern Engineering Works Limited during such months purchased commodities worth billions of shillings, while it was false. Lema is also charged with evading tax amounting to 14,052,011,435.69 between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015 — in Dar es Salaam.

Being director responsible for management affairs of his companies, Northern Engineering Works Limited and Elerai Construction Co. Limited, which are registered VAT payers, with a view to fraudulently evade tax, he allegedly submitted to the Commissioner of TRA false returns.

All the accused persons were charged with an offence of money laundering allegedly committed between February 1, 2012 and February 25, 2013 within the cities of Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

They are alleged to have directly engaged themselves in a transaction of 420m/-, which, according to the prosecution, was proceed of predicate offences by depositing the amount in a bank account by the name Igba Jeferali Jafferjee at I and M Bank (T) Limited and subsequently withdrawing the same in cash.

The prosecution told the court that at the time of depositing and withdrawing of the money, the accused persons knew or ought to have known that the said sum was proceeds of predicate offences, which are forgery and tax evasion.

It is alleged further that between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015, in the city, by reason of their wilful acts, Lema and Yusufali submitted to the Commissioner General of TRA false value added tax returns, hence the government to suffer a pecuniary loss of 14,052,011,435.69.

Immediately after the prosecution had read over the charges to the accused persons, Advocate Mgongolwa, on behalf of the defence team, rose up and requested the court to strike out the money laundering charge “because it was incurably defective’’.

“The defect goes straight to the particulars of the offence. Those particulars of the offence are fatal and cannot be cured under the law. Money laundering offence must contain four elements like Illicit source Placement, layering and integration,” Mr Mgongolwa argued.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, money laundering is defined as engagement of person(s), direct or indirectly in conversion, transfer, concealment, disguising, use or acquisition of money or property known to be of illicit origin and in which such engagement intends to avoid legal consequence.

From such definition, he submitted, one could rightly say that for there to be an offence of money laundering, there must be intention on the part of the accused person to avoid the legal consequences of such action — hence, the intention forms a basic element in particulars of the offence.

According to the advocates, looking at the count, the particulars of the offence were insufficient to meet test required under section 3 which defines the offence of money laundering and constituent acts provided for under section 12 (a) (b) (c) and (d) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Southern Africa – SADC appeals for aid as drought reduces food supplies

Botswana Daily News

SADC chair to declare disaster

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson, Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will next week declare a regional disaster and launch a US$2.7 billion (over P29 billion) regional humanitarian appeal for millions hit by El-Nino induced drought.

The occasion to declare regional disaster will be held at Gaborone International Convention Centre on Tuesday.

The SADC secretariat says the move comes in response to the devastating El-Nino induced drought which has affected an estimated 40 million people across the SADC region.

SADC said in a statement issued last week that 23 million people were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

The appeal is a formal request to the international community to provide assistance to affected member states, and it is meant to complement the response efforts at individual member states level, as a lot has been done by the countries, SADC said.

Five member states of Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe have declared national drought emergencies, while South Africa has declared a drought emergency in eight of the country›s nine provinces. ENDS

Gaborone — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has declared a drought disaster in the SADC region.

Consequently, he launched an appeal to mobilise US$2.4 billion (P25.5 billion) to help SADC respond to the crisis.

Speaking in Gaborone on July 26, President Khama, also SADC chairperson, pointed out that the El Nino induced drought had negatively impacted on livelihoods and quality of lives in the region, leaving 40 million people in hunger.

President Khama said SADC member states were committed to ensuring that the humanitarian impacts of the drought were minimised.

He said Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe were mostly affected by the drought.

The President said the drought, caused by a delayed onset of the 2015/16 rainfall season and erratic rains, had led to the region experiencing its driest period for more than 35 years.

 “The severity of the drought conditions overwhelmed the disaster response capacity in most of the affected member states. A number of key socio-economic sectors have been negatively affected. The current drought has resulted in widespread crop production failures and loss of thousands of livestock,” President Khama said.

He said several countries had recorded over 50 per cent decline in crop harvest and there had been a depletion of regional grain stocks.

“Cereal supply and demand analysis for the 2016/17 marketing year shows a regional overall cereal deficit of about 9.3 million tonnes. The already serious problem of acute and chronic malnutrition in the region is expected to worsen, increasing risks of mortality of young children and the elderly,” he said.

President Khama also said poor rainfalls and high evaporation had resulted in low water levels in major reservoirs in the region, which had affected domestic and agricultural water supplies and hydro-electric power generation.

“In Lesotho, major water levels were at their lowest in January 2016. In Botswana, Gaborone Dam was at its lowest during this period at a level of 1.1 per cent. Low water levels were also reported for Lake Kariba, the Shire River, the Zambezi, Orange, Limpopo and other major rivers,” President Khama said.

He said El Nino impacts resulted in disruptions of health services, explaining that affected member states had re-allocated resources to support vulnerable populations through relief and recovery programmes.

Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, SADC executive secretary, said the secretariat held a consultative meeting in collaboration with UN agencies; Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) in February to deliberate on drought effects and required interventions.

She said recommendations of the meeting were presented to the SADC chairperson for consideration.

“The SADC Council of Ministers also deliberated on the outcomes of the consultative meeting in March 2016 and commended the chairperson of SADC for his prompt intervention and for accepting to declare a regional drought disaster,” Dr Tax said.

Source : BOPA

African oil – Tullow returns to profit

Reuters

Africa-focused Tullow Oil (TLW.L) returned to profit in the first half of the year despite weaker oil prices and lower production, as its stringent cost-cutting regime started to pay off.

The oil and gas producer swung to a pretax profit of $24 million for the first six months of the year, compared with a $10 million loss in the same period last year.

Tullow has effectively stopped spending money on exploration, typically used by oil companies to ensure growth, with capital expenditure on exploration activities in the first half down to $28 million.

Net debt rose to $4.7 billion, up 31 percent from last year.

Last month, Tullow reduced its west African production target after technical issues at its key Jubilee field in Ghana.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Holmes)

Kenya school burnings – five more schools torched

Daily Nation

A fire fighter from Eldoret Fire Brigade salvages students' boxes following a fire that gutted a dormitory on July 26, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A fire fighter from Eldoret Fire Brigade salvages students’ boxes following a fire that gutted a dormitory on July 26, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By NATION TEAM

Dormitories in at least five schools were burnt on Tuesday night, adding to the almost a hundred institutions that have reported fires in the last couple of months.

Tuesday night fires happened at Giakaibii High School in Nyeri, Merti Muslim Girls Secondary in Isiolo, Adega Mixed Secondary in Homa Bay, St Stephen Secondary in Narok and St Patrick’s School Iten in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

ITEN FIRE

At St Patrick’s Iten School, a timber-walled dormitory housing 88 students went up in flames

Confirming the incident, the school principal Wilson Yego said the fire broke out at about 7:30 pm.

Mr Yego said that no one was injured during the fire.

“It is so unfortunate that this has happened in our school. We least expected that it could happen,” said the principal.

Addressing the press at the school administration block, Mr Yego said the dormitory was a donation by a well-wisher in the early 1980’s and students loved it because it had many cubicles.

All the students’ belongings were destroyed.

Elgeyo-Marakwet County Commissioner Fredrick Ndambuki said his security team would take charge of the school pending investigations.

“I want to promise the entire school administration and the community that we are going to do thorough investigations and make our findings public,” said Ndambuki.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly Speaker Albert Kochei has also petitioned Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to order the closure of all schools.

“I am asking the Education CS to close all schools so that these temperatures can go down because recently [we have heard of several fires in schools] and the situation seems to be getting out of hand,” said Mr Kochei.

An old boy of the school, Governor Alex Tolgos said that it was unfortunate that the fire had happened.

“It is so unfortunate that the dormitory that housed me while I was a student here has been reduced to ashes. We will do thorough investigations to ascertain the cause,” said Tolgos who was among the leaders that arrived at the school shortly after the fire.

Fire fighters from the Uasin Gishu County in Eldoret arrived at the scene moments later and put out the fire.

(Read: Tobiko rejects out-of-court talks in student arson case)

ISIOLO FIRE

On Tuesday, Merti Muslim Girls Secondary School became the first institution to experience arson in Isiolo County.

About 50 students have been forced to sleep in their classrooms and share dormitories after one hall was destroyed.

According to Merti Sub-County deputy commissioner Julius Maiyo, the fire incident is suspected to have been started by Form Four students who were due to sit mock examinations on Wednesday.

Mr Maiyo said the girls burnt a dormitory that hosted 52 students.

He said the arsonists arranged mattresses in one of the corners before setting them on fire.

Neighbours and police intervened to put out the fire.

The students were attending evening prep when the fire broke out.

“At the moment the students will spend their night in their classrooms under police watch,” said Mr Maiyo..

Mr Maiyo also confirmed that no arrests have been made, saying police have launched investigations.

The school has more than 150 students.

HOMA BAY FIRE

In Homa Bay, a section of students at Adega Mixed Secondary School in Rachuonyo South lost their properties after a dormitory was burnt.

Among the items that were razed during the 8pm fire at the boys dormitory included mattresses ,blankets and other personal effects belonging to the students.

Villagers who had responded to students’ distress calls swung into action and helped to put out the fire before it could spread to other buildings.

Rachuonyo South Sub-County education officer Sospeter Were confirmed the fire.

NYERI FIRE

In Nyeri, County Police Commander Eunice Kihiko told the Nation that there were no injuries reported at the Giakaibii High School fire, but that a dormitory was destroyed.

School authorities denied Nation journalists access to the institution.

South Africa – SABC to fight court ruling to reinstate four sacked journalists

Mail and Guardian

Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been no stranger to headlines and controversy in recent times. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)
Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been no stranger to headlines and controversy in recent times. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

The SABC is appealing the Labour Court’s order that the state broadcaster reinstate four recently-dismissed journalists. It has also insisted that they may not report to duty in the interim.

The four journalists, Foeta Krige, Suna Venter, Krivani Pillay and Jacques Steenkamp, are part of the “#SABC8” who were formally disciplined for criticising Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s controversial ban on broadcasting the destruction of state property in violent protests.

Last week, the four took their case to the Labour Court which ruled on Tuesday that they be reinstated. In addition, the judgment declared that the journalists should not be liable for any legal costs they incurred while appealing their dismissal. Judge Andre van Niekerk, delivering the judgment on behalf of Judge Robert LeGrange, also lambasted the SABC’s “reckless regard for the pending applications”.

With my colleagues at reception. They are ready to work….but but but…:(

“The reason for this unusual prayer is that even if it cannot be shown that the SABC proceeded with the dismissals in a wilful attempt to avert possible consequence of the Constitutional Court application and this one, whoever took the decision to dismiss the applicants did so with reckless regard for the pending applications and arguably if a more considered, reflective and financially accountable approach was taken, the SABC would not have proceeded with the dismissals or persisted in opposing the application after agreeing to the order with the Helen Suzman Foundation,” Van Niekerk said.

However, Solidarity, which represented the dismissed journalists, revealed on Wednesday morning that the SABC intends to appeal the ruling. The union’s Dirk Hermann tweeted a copy of a lawyer’s letter declaring the intention of the broadcaster. The letter also makes clear that the four “may not report for duty pending the outcome of the appeal”.

SABC intends to appeal judgement. They advise SABC 4 not to report for duty pending outcome of appeal.

Nigeria – Bala Na’Allah says he turned down N50m bribe to support Obasanjo

Punch

The Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’Allah, on Tuesday, took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for describing  members of the National Assembly as corrupt.

“I am not corrupt and I have integrity,” he stated.

The senator said it was Obasanjo who allegedly bribed lawmakers in the legislature to back his third term ambition when he was the President.

Na’Allah stated, “My attention has been drawn to a purported statement attributed to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in which it was alleged that he made a sweeping statement to the effect that there are no men of integrity in the National Assembly.

“I am respectfully taking exception to the statement, which I express the hope that it is not true. To start with, it is not in my character to take issues with elder statesmen, who have had the privilege of superintending the affairs of our great country, Nigeria.

“If former President Obasanjo can come out with one proven record of corruption against me as a person, I promise to vacate my seat as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  For the records, I was the only member from Kebbi State, who did not find it worthy at that time to collect the sum of N50m as an inducement to subvert the constitution and provide a constitutional framework for the third term ambition of (then) President Obasanjo.

“I find this statement, if it is true, to be reckless and terrifying. The implication of the statement is to say that the entire over 170 million Nigerians have not elected a single person with integrity among the 469 members of the National Assembly. This is definitely rhapsodic and does not conform to common sense and reason.”

Obasanjo had, on Monday, said the ongoing revelation by a former Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, on budget padding in the National Assembly had proved him right that the lawmakers were corrupt.

The former President spoke to State House correspondents shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Obasanjo, who had earlier described the lawmakers as “armed robbers and rogues,” said the best way out of the current mess was to ensure that only men of integrity were elected into the National Assembly.

Copyright PUNCH.       


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Nigeria – Buhari commissions Abuja-Kaduna rail service

Daily Trust

Buhari commissions Abuja-Kaduna train service

By . | Publish Date: Jul 26 2016

Buhari commissions Abuja-Kaduna train service

President Muhammad Buhari has commissioned Abuja-Kaduna railway with a promise to strictly implement the 25-year strategic vision for Nigerian railways.

According the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the president made the pledge after a ceremonial train ride from Idu to Kubwa service station in Abuja.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/buhari-commissions-abuja-kaduna-train-service/156871.html#l1GwRrPHBLo1gX67.99