Wednesday, 3 March 2010

BAE’s admission warrants suing, pronto

REPORTS that finally the British defence company BAE systems has admitted to have corrupted our officials to award it a tender of supplying Tanzania a military radar (Plessey Commander Fighter Control System), is a very welcome-cum-challenge to our accountability as a nation.

In the UK, the SFO agreed to accept £30m from BAE and an admission to accounting irregularities in respect of their 2002 deal with Tanzania, which has long been dogged by accusations of bribery. Clare Short, who was the UK’s International Development Secretary at the time, says that the deal “stank” of corruption.

Among corrupt officials openly mentioned by BAE in this scam is former AG Andrew Chenge who is alleged to have stashed away $1m as his cut from the dubious deal. Another implicated supremo is the former BoT Governor, Dr. Idris Rashid, who with Chenge have not denied or admitted wrong doings.

This breakthrough, if anything, hammers the last nail in whatever lies that have been created regarding prosecuting suspects. What else do we need or want to finally bring suspects to book? Many people are anxiously waiting to see what the authorities will come up with as an excuse after a long time of heel dragging and whitewashing.

In law, once admission is entered, it warrants conviction ab initio. BAE systems has already been convicted on the strength of its admission. What about our bigwigs? What are we waiting for? Mark my words, once a man is convicted on the strength of admission, he has no legal rights to appeal. So one can see how serious admission is. And by admitting to have committed the crime, BAE systems implicated its co-conspirators and this makes the prosecution case easy and direct.

Therefore, it is right time to advise the DPP to avoid languishing on ping pongs because this time it won’t add up. It is time for us to truly behave sanely and maturely.

We know the alleged sharks are connected to and have influence in upper echelons of power thanks to the offices they once served, abused and ruined. But again, will our people subscribe to any buffoonery after the admission by BAE systems? What a challenge to all of us and especially our numero uno! Will he take the bull by horns or maintain technical know whom and other braggadocios?

When allegations with regards to BAE systems’
Source: ThisDay March 2, 2010.

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