14 Nov 2008


TWO prominent business tycoons linked to Kagoda Agriculture Limited, who are considered as the main architects of the external payment arrears (EPA) scandal, will not face criminal charges despite stealing more than 40bn/- from the key Bank of Tanzania account, it has been revealed. 

Sources close to the EPA investigation say the well-known businessmen ’’will be protected from prosecution at all costs.’’ 

’’A deal has already been sealed. The Kagoda tycoons will never see the inside of a jail. They are untouchable,’’ a well-placed source told THISDAY. 

He added: ’’A lot of influential people have been compromised to make sure that the Kagoda case never goes to trial, despite the fact that it was responsible for the single biggest looting of the EPA account.’’ 

Insiders say an elaborate strategy had been put into action to ensure the two prominent businessmen, who are well known by the government, are not included in the high-profile EPA criminal cases at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court. 

It is understood that the concerned businessmen have vowed to ’silence’ whistle-blowers such as journalists, politicians and law enforcement officials who continue to raise the Kagoda issue. 

’’Those who question why the Kagoda tycoons have been left off the hook will be taken care of’’ said another source familiar with the EPA scandal. 

Informed sources say another prominent businessman, Jeetu Patel, might have been used as a scapegoat to divert attention from the Kagoda issue.

’’The fact that Jeetu Patel was prosecuted despite returning tens of billions of shillings to the government was deliberately meant to serve as a smokescreen as part of the elaborate scheme to ensure Kagoda crooks don't appear in court,’’ said our source. 

’’They thought that by sending Jeetu Patel to jail, people will forget about Kagoda since all the attention of the media and hence members of the public will have shifted to this particular business tycoon (Jeetu Patel).’’ 

Observers say if the Kagoda tycoons are not taken to court like the rest of other suspects, this would render the entire EPA criminal proceedings as ’’one big sham.’’ 

So far, 20 high-profile suspects have already been arraigned in court to face various criminal charges, including conspiracy, fraud and theft, in connection with the embezzlement of more than 90bn/- from the EPA account during 2005/06. 

The EPA probe team led by Attorney General Johnson Mwanyika is investigating nine other companies that were paid more than 42bn/- from the same BoT account without relevant supporting documents. 

Investigations by THISDAY have already revealed that the two business tycoons behind the Kagoda company were shifting the theft of BoT funds to a dead man as part of the plot to avoid criminal charges. 

One of the businessmen is believed to have personally told EPA investigators that his deceased father was the actual beneficiary of over $30.8m (approx. 40bn/-) fraudulently paid to Kagoda from the key BoT account. 

In doing so, the tycoon accepted financial liability and returned all the stolen funds to the government before the October 31, in an attempt to avoid criminal charges.

SOURCE: This Day

IT'S TOO EARLY TO MAKE ANY CONCLUSION BUT THOSE IN THE KNOW ALREADY DOUBT WHETHER THE ON-GOING TRIALS WOULD LEAD TO THE LAW NOT ONLY BEING DONE BUT ALSO SEEN TO HAVE BEEN DONE.DOUBTING THOMASES?WELL,THEY MIGHT HAVE A POINT SINCE IT NOW BECOMES MORE OBVIOUS THAT THE KAGODA TYCOONS (ONES WHO SWINDLED NEARLY A HALF OF THE MONIES) ARE BEING SHIELDED FROM PROSECUTION.FOR SOME OF US,THEY REMAIN GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN,BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT,INNOCENT.

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