Magufuli proposes olive branch for money laundering, tax evasion suspects
Tanzania President John Magufuli has proposed that that those facing charges of tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes be freed it they apologize and return looted funds.
Speaking over the weekend, the Tanzanian leader said the move will help decongest prisons in the country.
“Those who are ready to apologize and confess their wrongdoings should sit down with the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and work out a payment plan for the taxes they have evaded or the money that they have laundered and then they can be released from detention,” he said as quoted by Reuters.
He was speaking during the swearing-in of new government officials at State House, Tanzania Magufuli.
“There are some suspects being held in detention for three years now. I feel sorry for them,” he added.
The President however remained categorical that his statement is only a proposal and he doesn’t want to be seen as interfering with the Judiciary.
The sentiments come hot on the heels of the arrest of one Erick Kabendera, a freelance reporter over alleged tax evasion and money laundering.
The prominent, investigative journalist has denied the accusations as lobby groups press for his release.
On September 12, a Tanzanian court adjourned his case for the fourth time since his arraignment over a month ago.
Reports indicate that the journalist, who had earlier been seen limping into the courtroom, is seeking orders to get medical attention.
“My leg is numb, I have been experiencing severe pain in the leg, and chest pains,” Kabendera said as quoted by Reuters.
The report added that Tanzanian prisons are overcrowded which results in poor conditions for inmates.