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Chinese Authorities Forced To Intervene As Money Laundering Allegations Mount Against China Commercial Bank In Tanzania

The Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi is invited by his Tanzanian counterpart Palamagamba Kabudi.
The Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi with his Tanzanian counterpart Palamagamba Kabudi. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Tanzania from January 7 to 8, following the closure of the China Commercial Bank in Tanzania.

The Chinese lender was placed under receivership late last year, in what the Central Bank of Tanzania termed as operating with capital levels below the legally minimum amount.

“Be hereby notified that following the failure of China Commercial Bank Limited to meet regulatory requirements regarding capital adequacy and inability to effect restoration of capital to required levels, the Bank of Tanzania has taken over the administration of China Commercial Bank Limited effective from today, the 19th November 2020. Consequently, the bank of Tanzania has also suspended the Board of Directors and Management of China Commercial Bank Limited.
Be informed that the Bank of Tanzania has appointed Ms Neema Koka to be the Statutory Manager with immediate effect to handle all matters pertaining to the statutory administration of China Commercial Bank Limited,” read a statement from the Central Bank of Tanzania governor Prof Florens Luoga.

However, Kahawa Tungu learns that Chinese Commercial Bank had declared a working cash of Tsh20 billion (approximately Ksh942 million) while in reality had over Tsh250 billion (Ksh11.8 billion) in cash, and 20 million Yuan (Ksh336 million).

In a statement on January 2, Prof Luoga termed the allegations, which were first reported by Indian-based Zee News, as false and ungrounded.

Read: Tanzanian Politician Godbless Lema Granted Asylum In Canada

On December 15, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a phone conversation with his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli, birthing the visit slated for January 7 and 8.

“The Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi is invited by his Tanzanian counterpart Palamagamba Kabudi. The purpose of his visit is to implement the outcomes of the telephone conversation between President Xi Jinping and President John Pombe Magufuli on 15 Dec. 2020,” the Chinese Embassy tweeted on December 30, 2020.

The Embassy did not however reveal the details of the conversation between the two Presidents, but the timing suggested that the issue of the Chinese Bank closure was the epicentre of the discussion.

According to the Chinese government, the conversation bordered working relations with Tanzania to closely synergize their development strategies, deliver more solid outcomes in their comprehensive cooperative partnership, and contribute to the building of the China-Africa community with a shared future.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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