Senior Tanzanian Officials Charged Over Stealing Earthquake Relief Funds


Two senior officials in Tanzania have been sacked by President Magufuli following accusations of embezzlement of earthquake relief funds.

The officials were accused of setting up fake bank accounts to steal quake relief funds given in response to the recent 5.7 magnitude earthquake.

Read Also: Tanzania Earthquake: 11 Dead, About 200 Injured

The earthquake struck Bukoba, a town near the western shore of Lake Victoria but was felt in parts of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda that share the waters of Lake Victoria with Tanzania. At least 17 people were killed with thousands more left homeless.

Kagera’s regional administrative secretary Amantius Msole and Bukoba city municipal council director Steven Makonda were identified as the culprits.

President Magufuli warned public officials engaging in corruption in regards to the relief funds saying:

“Our people are suffering as a result of this earthquake and require emergency relief assistance, yet these dishonest officials are trying to benefit financially from this tragedy.”

Earthquake Relief

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Tanzania has appealed for assistance from international donors to help in the rebuilding of the thousands of homes in which the quake destroyed.

“We are receiving these donations from the United Kingdom and others because our development partners are now confident that their financial assistance will be well spent.”

He went on to confirm that Tanzania received 2.3 million pounds from Britain on Wednesday.

Since Magufuli’s election in October, he has launched an anti corruption campaign which has seen him dismiss several senior officials, including the anti-graft body’s head, the tax chief and the head of the country’s port authority.

Read Also: Storm Kills Four Tanzanian Fishermen in Kwale

Transparency International’s 2015 index of corrupt countries ranked Tanzania 117 out of 168 countries which the president wants to correct.

Businesses and investors have made it known that corruption in the country is a major obstacle to investment in Tanzania.