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The East African : May 12th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS MAY 10-16,2014 ACCOUNTABILITY International Finance Corporation East African Community 17 Chama cha Mapinduzi members at a delegates meeting. Parties cannot account for monies. Pic: File Political parties on the spot over $47.8m funds The submitted financial statements have di≠e≥ing accounting basis and financial ≥epo≥ting f≥amewo≥ks By PETER NYANJE The EastAfrican a cloud after an audit revealed that more than Tsh67 billion ($47.8 million) allocated to the country’s parties over four years could not be accounted for. The audit, conducted by the P National Audit Office (NAO) following a request last year by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), revealed that none of the nine political parties that received taxpayers’ money in the form of subsidies kept proper financial records. The audit, which is still un- der way, has also established that some of the political parties do not have bank accounts, raising the possibility that state funds could have been channeled through personal accounts. “Eleven out of 21 politi- cal parties with permanent registration did not submit their annual financial statements as required by Section 14(1)(i) of the Political Parties Act No.5 of 1992,” noted Controller and Auditor General Ludovick Utouh. In addition, the submitted financial statements have differing accounting basis and financial reporting frameworks. “The format and account- ing period of the political parties are different and do not disclose pertinent information about the basis of preparation of the financial olitical party funding in Tanzania has come under statements; accounting policies and notes to the financial statements were missing, hence limiting the audit’s scope,” he added. PAC chairman Zitto Kabwe described the audit as a milestone in enhancing accountability in Tanzania. None of the political par- ties was willing to discuss the audit findings. Speaking to The EastAfrican after the CAG published WHO GOT WHAT the partial audit report, Mr Zitto said political financing was the largest single driver of large-scale corruption. “In Tanzania, we have had a situation where money stolen from the central bank through the EPA account possibly funded a party during elections,” he said. He noted that the genesis of the PAC request to have the political parties audited is the infamous External Payment Arrears (EPA) account scandal, with records showing that billions of shillings were siphoned out of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) shortly before the 2005 general election and used to finance political activities. “It has taken four years for Ludovick Utuoh The parties that received the subsidy were Chama cha Mapinduzi, Tsh50.97b ($31.8 million); Chadema, Tsh9.2 billion ($5.75 million); Civic United Front, Tsh6.29b ($3.93 million); NCCR-Mageuzi, Tsh677m ($423,125); United Democratic Party, Tsh33m ($20,625); Tanzania Labour Party, Tsh217 million ($135,625); APPT-Maendeleo, Tsh11m ($6,875); Democratic Party, Tsh3.3 million ($2,062) the audit to be implemented, with a lot of political drama. But it has been done and we have shown the region that fighting corruption must start with political institutions. A foundation has been built for cleaner politics,” he said. He urged the NAO to con- tinue with the audits to ensure politicians did not use their position and power to access and spend public money given to their parties. Records show that in four financial years (from 2009/10 to 2012/13) the government provided a total of Tsh67.7 billion ($47.8 million) as subsidies to political parties, grants that were not audited. Unaccounted for billions None of the parties that re- ceived the money presented their accounts for audit to the CAG, nor did they later present the audited accountsto the Registrar of Political Parties as required by law.
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