Deusdedit Kakoko, the suspended Director-General of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), has been arrested, days after he was ejected over fraud links.
Tanzanian media reports indicate that Kakoko was taken into custody for grilling on Monday night following a raid at his home by detectives from the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
During the operation, the officials seized $1.5 million (Ksh164 million) at his home. The money was in a small bag.
To all who were busy singing the praises of Magufuli that he fought corruption! His buddy Kakoko who headed Tanzania Ports Authority took millions of $ and found 1.5mil$ cash in bag at home! All is unravelling!
Tip of the iceberg! Hero of Africa y’all said!🙄 # ChangeTanzania ✊🏽 https://t.co/9JQNqsy3Vr pic.twitter.com/wD9wSv3fC3
— Maria Sarungi Tsehai (@MariaSTsehai) March 30, 2021
The raid comes amid reports that billions of shillings were recently withdrawn from the Central Bank of Tanzania on orders from the fired TPA boss after the death of President John Pombe Magufuli.
The money, sources say, was transferred to a personal account at National Microfinance Bank (NMB).
The money which included $11,799,357.91 and TSh6.3 billion, was transferred to NMB four days after the death of Magufuli which according to authorities occurred on March 17.
It’s reported that a total of Ksh2 billion was transferred from the Central Bank of Tanzania after Magufuli died on orders of Kakoko.
The money was later taken back to the Central Bank of Tanzania after details of the transfer leaked with the country’s new President Samia Suluhu said to have issued the orders.
“When the money was being transferred President Suluhu was busy with Magufuli burial plans. She later got wind of the fraud and ordered the money be taken back immediately,” a source told a local media.
It’s the alleged plot to steal the money from public coffers that is said to have pushed President Suluhu to fire the TPA boss on Sunday after the agency was adversely mentioned in a report compiled by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
While dismissing Kakoko, the Head of State noted that she had seen massive embezzlement at TPA and ordered the anti-graft body to urgently look into the matter.
The President said an earlier probe initiated by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa had only led to the dismissal of junior staffers at TPA.
“But from the report that you submitted to me yesterday, at least Sh3.6 billion had been embezzled at TPA…..When the Prime Minister conducted a probe, we only managed to fire junior staff. I now order the suspension of TPA Director General to pave way for investigations into the embezzlement,” she said.
The TPA boss, however, continues to deny a plot to steal the billions saying the funds had been approved for recurrent expenditure for the month of March.
But evidence proves otherwise as the authority’s monthly expenditure has never exceeded TSh5 billion.
TPA officials claim that part of the money was meant to pay a contractor who is handling one of the authority’s projects but the rushed payment is the one that has raised questions, putting the TPA boss on the spot.
Magufuli was laid to rest at his Chato hometown last Friday.