A Tanzanian court on Friday acquitted former director-general of state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Tido Mhando, of five charges, including abuse of office.
The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam also found Mhando not guilty of occasioning a loss of 383,633 U.S. dollars to the government. Mhando appeared for the first time before the court on Jan. 26, 2018, facing four counts of abuse of office and a fifth count of occasioning the loss of 383,633 dollars to the government when he was head of the public broadcaster.
A lawyer with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Leonard Swai, alleged before the court that in 2008 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Mhando, being an employee of the TBC, deliberately abused his position by signing a contractual agreement of running and broadcasting TV programs between the state broadcaster and Channel 2 Group Corporation (BVI) of Dubai without announcing a tender, contrary to the procurement laws.
The agreement enabled the BVI to gain profits, claimed the PCCB prosecutor. In the second charge, it was alleged that on June 20, 2008, in the course of the execution of his duties, Mhando abused his official position by signing a contractual agreement on global digital broadcasting between the TBC and the BVI. In the third charge, it was stated that in August 2008 and in September 2008, Mhando was alleged to have abused his power by signing a contractual agreement on the purchase, installation, and distribution equipment and a broadcasting tower between the two sides.
In the fourth charge, it was alleged that on Nov. 16, 2008, while in Dubai, Mhando abused his power by signing a contractual agreement on the running of broadcasting infrastructure between the TBC and the BVI, enabling the BVI to gain profits. In the fifth charge, it is alleged that between June and November in 2008 in Dubai, Mhando occasioned a loss of 383,633 dollars to the TBC. Mhando denied all the charges. In his defense, Mhando told the court that the entire process of entering into a joint venture on shifting the TBC from analogue to digital systems was done by the TBC Board of Directors.