Tag Archives: Tanesco

Guest post: Miss Umeme 2014 scandal unfolds!

This is a guest post by Boyce Sarokin.

On 8th November, Ms Sitti Mtemvu handed in her Miss Tanzania 2014 crown when allegations on social media that she had forged her birth certificate to qualify for the pageant were shown to be correct.

The organisers of Miss Umeme Tanzania, Dar-based event promoters Ventilated Improved Pit Latrines Ltd, (VIP), have strongly denied that corruption was involved in this year’s competition. Tanzanian social media are full of claims that Ms Paulina Fatma Pinduzi, popularly known as ‘Pap’, who won last month’s competition, forged her Tanzanian passport in order to qualify. In fact, it appears that she was born in Nairobi, Kenya.

In a press conference held in VIP’s office yesterday, spokesman and long-time Miss Umeme organiser Mr J B Rungumalaya strongly denied any wrongdoing: “There is no truth whatsoever in the rumour that Ms PAP does not deserve the Miss Umeme crown,” he claimed, looking agitated.

When asked by journalists to comment on Ms Pap’s Kenyan passport, a copy of which was posted on BongoForum’s website last week, Rungumalaya claimed: “This document is a forgery concocted by my enemies to rob me of the Ms Umeme franchise, which I have enjoyed for the last 20 years. Ms Pinduzi is Tanzanian born and bred. And by the way, I have incurred debts of USD 75 million to put on this very successful show, which is not vigisenti”, he fumed, claiming that most of the money had already been spent in promoting the event.
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Telling the Escrow / IPTL story through cartoons: Are we going to see accountability?

It could be a very big day for Tanzania today. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, under the determined leadership of its chair, Zitto Kabwe, promises to present its findings on the IPTL / Escrow audit report as prepared by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG), despite apparently considerable pressure through official channels from the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, the judiciary and others, and through unofficial (and unpleasant) channels from unknown sources.

For background on the case and why it is so significant, I recommend two excellent articles in the Citizen newspaper, which has reported steadfastly on this topic for many months:

In all, it is said to be a case involving as much as Tshs 321bn ($185m). And it is said to go both deep into government and high up.  Hopefully we will understand this much better later today.

But for now, let’s celebrate one aspect of the media coverage of this story – the creativity and audacity of the cartoonists. Continue reading