Cablegate: Media Reaction: Corruption in Tanzania
R 101413Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7854
MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS DAR ES SALAAM 000582
FOR INR/MR, AF/PDPA KTHOMAS, AF/E JLIDDLE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR KCRM KCOR TZ
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: Corruption in Tanzania
REF: A. STATE 81854 B. DAR ES SALAAM 555
1. The September 10, 2008, edition of two English language
Tanzanian dailies "This Day" and "The Citizen" carried editorial
commentaries positive of U.S. policy of denying safe haven to
corrupt public officials and those private sector members who
corrupt them. This follows a September 8 U.S. Mission press release
on Presidential Proclamation 7750 (reftel A). A third editorial
appearing in Swahili "Mwananchi" is ardently critical of the GOT's
efforts--or lack thereof--to tackle corruption.
2. Excerpts follow:
This Day writes "U.S. stand on corruption is praiseworthy. To
honest Tanzanians such a stand is, indeed, welcome and it is long
overdue because there are many corrupt officials in public and
private sectors in our country.
If the U.S. can commit itself to help our government to root out
corruption, it is, therefore, the duty of our government to be seen
by all right-thinking citizens to be fighting corruption
relentlessly because the helping hand in this struggle is hefty."
The Citizen writes "U.S. move laudable. The U.S. move should send a
strong message to looters of the public coffers in Tanzania that
they risk the same fate as the former warlords around the world who
are now facing the consequences of their past. They include
Liberia's Charles Taylor and Serbia's Radovan Karadzic, now facing
war crimes trials in The Hague. And the message is that however long
it takes, crime does not pay.
We salute the Americans for not allowing their country to be used as
a safe haven for 'kleptocrats' or their families, to enjoy billions
of dollars they looted from Tanzania and other African countries.
Swahili daily Mwananchi writes "There is no reason for the United
States to lead the war against corruption in other countries, when
these have their own governments and state organs, which if they
properly work, such cases would not occur. Otherwise, the step
taken by the U.S. is a sure sign that our government has failed to
tackle corruption in the country.
We are asking our government to correct the situation and establish
mechanisms for tackling this vice, instead of waiting for the
American President to sort things out, as if our country has no
government that has full powers and is well respected."
3. Comment: There has been wide coverage of our statement
(appearing on the front pages of six English and Swahili dailies
with a total combined circulation of 154,800) to deny safe haven to
corrupt individuals. Interest continues to grow as the general
public clamors for those implicated in several major scandals to be
held accountable (reftel B). Post will continue to underscore U.S.
support for anti-corruption initiatives throughout Tanzania.