Iddi Simba off bribery hook

The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court set free former Cabinet Minister Iddi Simba and two others in respect of economic and bribery charges linked to the transaction of Usafiri Dar es Salaam (UDA) shares.

Iddi Simba

Senior Resident Magistrate Ilvin Mgeta discharged Simba, the then UDA Board Chairman and a member of the company’s board of directors and General Manager, Salum Mwaking’ida and Victor Milanzi, respectively, after the prosecution decided to drop the charges against them.

Senior State Attorney Awamu Mbangwa produced in court a Nolle Prosequi certificate given by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) under Section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act, certifying that the Republic shall not further prosecute them in respect of the charges.

Following the decision by the DPP, the court decided to vacate its arrest warrant earlier issued against the Executive Chairman of Simon Group Limited, Robert Simon Kisena, who was to be joined in the trial as forth accused person, for allegedly taking part in the bribery transactions.

According to the charges that have been dropped, the Simon Group Limited boss was facing two counts of conspiracy to commit an offence and corrupt transaction in procurement relating to the sale of UDA shares to his company.

The prosecution had alleged that as Executive Chairman of Simon Group Limited, Kisena offered an advantage of 320m/- to Simba and Milanzi between September 2009 and January 2010 as an inducement to procure shares in UDA.

On other charges, Simba, Mwaking’ida and Milanzi were facing five counts of conspiracy to commit an offence, corrupt transaction in procurement, abuse of position and occasioning loss of over 8bn/- to a specified authority.

The prosecution had alleged that between September 2009 and January 2010 in the city, being Chairman of Board of Directors of UDA and General Manager of the company, Simba and Milanzi, conspired to commit an offence of corrupt transaction in procurement.

It was alleged that within the same period in the city, the duo accepted an advantage of 320m/- from Kisena as an inducement to sell shares in UDA to Simon Group Limited. Between 2009 and February 2011 at UDA headquarters, Bandari Street, Kurasini in Dar es Salaam, being top officials of the company, in performance of their functions, Simba, Mwaking’ida and Milanzi allegedly intentionally abused their positions.

According to the prosecution, the trio sold 7,880,330 unissued shares of UDA, a specified public corporation owned jointly by the Central Government and the Dar es Salaam City Council for consideration of 1,142,643,935/- only to Simon Group Limited.

The prosecution claims that the accused could not conduct competitive tendering, an act which was in violation of the Public Procurement Regulation and intended for the purpose of obtaining undue advantage for Simon Group Company in the sale of the shares.

It was further alleged that the three accused, within the same period and place, allotted the shares to Simon Group Company without involving the Central Government and the Dar es Salaam City Council, which was against the Public Corporations Act.

Moreover, the prosecution claims, on February 11, 2011 at UDA offices, by their willful acts, the three accused sold the shares to the private firm, causing UDA to suffer a pecuniary loss of 8,422,076,940/- as the best net return it would have achieved for disposition of the same shares.

By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News

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