Two Tanzanian Energy Tycoons Charged In 2014 Corruption Scandal

Published: 20 June 2017

512px-Dar es Salaam at a birds view copyDar es Salaam, Tanzania (Photo: Chen Hualin, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Vanja Lakic

Tanzanian authorities on Monday charged two energy tycoons embroiled in a multimillion dollar corruption scandal that ousted top government officials three years ago, the country’s leading newspaper, The Citizen, reported.

In 2014, investigators revealed how state-owned energy provider Tanesco formed a joint escrow (holding) account in 2006, known as the Tegeta account, with Independent Power Tanzania Limited. The company then siphoned more than $180 million into offshore bank accounts held by private businessmen and government officials.

Several top officials, including the Attorney General and the Energy Minister, were fired as a result, and a dozen international donors suspended funding to the east African country. Those accused have not yet been brought to justice.

Tanzania’s anti-corruption bureau announced that former co-owners of Independent Power, James Rugemalira and Harbinder Singh, have been charged with economic crimes.

The State Attorney told the court that between 2011 and 2014, the duo conspired to commit offences in South Africa, Kenya, India and elsewhere.

“The two will be charged at the Kisutu court today before being transferred to a special court on economic sabotage,” the head of the country's anti-corruption, Valentino Mlowoka, said.