November 29, 2014 / 7:12 PM / 5 years ago

Tanzania's parliament votes to dismiss ministers after graft report

DAR ES SALAAM, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Tanzania’s parliament voted on Saturday to dismiss senior officials, including the attorney general, the energy minister and several other members of cabinet, after a report on corruption in the energy sector.

The report - requested by opposition lawmakers - said senior government officials fraudulently authorised the transfer of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company.

International donors said last month they will only pay outstanding pledges to what is one of Africa’s biggest per capita aid recipients if the findings of the report were published and action taken.

Parliament’s resolution called for the sacking of minister for energy and minerals, Sospeter Muhongo, the lands, housing and human settlement development minister, Anna Tibaijuka, attorney general Frederick Werema, and the permanent secretary in the energy and minerals ministry, Eliachim Maswi.

The resolution is binding, and President Jakaya Kikwete, who returned to Tanzania on Saturday after cancer surgery in the United States, has little choice but to fire the officials.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said on Saturday the government would implement the resolution.

All the government officials have denied wrongdoing.

Deputy technology minister, January Makamba, said Tanzania was going through tough times as a result of the delay to aid.

“If our currency can be destabilised by donors withholding support, we’re not truly independent and must find a way to live without donors,” Makamba said on Twitter. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Edith Honan and Louise Ireland)

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