A senior officer in the Tanzania Police Force is said to be on the run after a Sh4.8 billion bereavement fund in the Force went missing under his watch, in a racket that involves top brass in the force, it has been revealed.
This comes after several complaints by members of the force about the misappropriation of the funds which was a part of their contributions, where every officer pays a monthly contribution of Sh5,000.
On Wednesday, March 29, while presenting the 2021/22 report to President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the CAG Charles Kichere said that they had discovered that Sh4.8 billion that was released from the fund did not reach the intended beneficiaries.
“There is a loss of funds amounting to Sh4.8 billion of which Sh2.4 was spent in the regions of Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and the headquarters and Sh2.4 billion was also spent in Zanzibar without reaching the beneficiaries,” said CAG Kichere in the statement.
He added: We carried out an inspection as ordered by the President and found that the money has been used but has not reached the beneficiaries. And some of the perpetrators were not there and others have already escaped.
According to sources, one of the officers who is said to be involved in the looting of the funds was reportedly an Inspector of Police who was undergoing training at the Police College Moshi but has escaped to South Africa.
“He was at the Police College undergoing a course for the Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP for six months but when the rumors about the scandal began, he stopped studying. There are those who say he has escaped and others say he was ordered to escape to save the rest,” claimed our source.
The Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Ramadhan Kingai has confirmed that the officer allegedly involved the scandal has fled the country and efforts to track him down are ongoing.
According to Kingai, they have already initiated the process to bring the officer and others involved in the illicit money withdrawals and transfers to face the law.
“That’s why we started taking action even before the CAG report was made public, so Tanzanians understand that what happened is a crime like any other crime and the perpetrators are treated like other criminals,” said DCI Kingai.
He said that according to the law, no one, including Government officiasl, can commit a crime and then be walk scot-free, so legal and disciplinary measures have to be taken, including being taken to court.
“There is one who has fled abroad and we are continuing to search for him through the international police to ensure that the law takes its course for all those involved,” said DCI Kingai.
The racket according to sources involved several top brass in the police force who drafted claims and sent them to the accounts officer in a particular region even when there was no funeral.
“They prepare a Sh40 million or Sh50 million claim which is sent to the signatory or the accountant and then he is instructed to withdraw the money and then send Sh30 million or Sh45 million to another personal account,” claims the source.
He added: There are times when he is told to withdraw the money and then there is an official who travels by plane to pick the cash and goes back to Dar or Dodoma. Therefore, in the region where the money is withdrawn, the official a small portion as a tip.
Some officers who were interviewed in some regions about the saga, have revealed that there has been bureaucracy in paying the money and sometimes it takes up to two or three months for the beneficiary to be paid.
“I was bereaved sometime back , it took me two months to get paid, until you wonder why they deduct the salary immediately, but it now makes sense after the CAG report,” said one police officer who0pp preferred anonymity.