The Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau has reported that it has saved in the region of U.S.$4.5 Million over a three-month period.
The Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has saved 10.3bn/- in a period of three months, between January and March, this year, that would have ended up in corrupt people’s pockets.
Speaking during the launch of ‘Longa Nasi’ campaign which literally means ‘speak with us’, yesterday, the Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the government was keen in bringing corruption under control so the general public can enjoy the nation’s development.
The campaign aims at making it easier for the public to reach PCCB. The VP said corruption was a barrier to development of any nation and diverts resources away from efforts to eradicate poverty and sustainable development in the country.
Although corruption is a global phenomenon found in all countries, evidence shows it harms poor people more than others, stifles economic growth and diverts desperately needed funds from education, healthcare and other public services. Speaking during the event, PCCB Director General Valentino Mlowola said in the same period of January and March the bureau received 2,239 reports of corruption and opened 133 files in court.
Mr Mlowola said PCCB assessed 230 projects and collaborated with the Police Force to unearth unscrupulous business traders hording sugar to create artificial sugar crisis in the country and managed to supervise distribution of the sweetener between April and May, this month.
The launch of ‘Longa Nasi’ the PCCB director said is meant to enrol the participation of the general public in the fight to curb corruption in the country by providing them with a platform to receive educative information on corruption as well as for the public to provide information or tip-offs on corruption to the anti-graft institution.
The campaign is seen as a way to create public awareness and awaken public morals in the fight against corruption through an easier way to receive and give information to PCCB through short mobile text messages.
“Alongside the Longa Nasi campaign, we are also launching a new service that will help the public reach PCCB in a much easier way through an emergency number 113 free of charge,” he explained.
Giving a detailed use of the emergency number by the public, Mlowola said the public can call 113 and speak with a PCCB officer or using *113# to provide reports on corruption through mobile subscribers; TTCL, Airtel, Tigo, Vodacom, Zantel and Halotel.
“PCCB will act on information provided promptly and those who provided the information will get responses,” he explained, adding that his office has established a PCCB call centre that will operate 24 hours to ensure all information is acted upon immediately.
He said the ‘Longa Nasi’ campaign which also means ‘talk to us’ will be carried out in various ways including through the 113 emergency number and short test messages as well as using promotional roadshow vehicles.
“There will also be special programmes on television and radio stations, publications of feature articles in newspapers and social media, dramas and documentaries through PCCB inflatable screen,” he explained.
The campaign will focus on educating the public on effects of corruption in the society and the nation in general, different corruption offences in accordance with Corruption Act of 2007, ways to control corruption, the leaders and public’s responsibility in the fight against corruption.