Over 400 seek presidential amnesty in Tanzania for financial crimes: official

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TANZANIA’S public prosecution authorities said on Monday 467 people charged with financial crimes in the east African country have submitted applications seeking presidential amnesty.

On September 22, Tanzanian President John Magufuli gave seven days to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Biswalo Mganga, to consider offering forgiveness to remanded suspects charged with economic sabotage or money laundering who will atone and refund the money that they had laundered.

The president directed the DPP to visit suspects awaiting trial in remand prisons across the country and listen to them whether they were ready to accept the offer for clemency.

‘Between September 22 and September 28 a total of 467 people charged with financial crimes, including economic sabotage and money laundering have written to my office offering to refund the money and seeking the presidential amnesty,’ Mganga told President Magufuli at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam in an event broadcast live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

Mganga added: ‘These people have agreed to refund the money that they laundered, and we are still receiving more letters from others facing similar charges from upcountry.’

The DPP said the 467 facing various financial crimes have pledged to refund a total amount of about $47 million.

Mganga said some of them have agreed to pay directly while others have requested to pay in instalments.

Reacting to the DPP’s report, President Magufuli said he has been impressed by the response from people facing charges on financial crimes and extended another seven days for those wishing to seek for the amnesty.

The president made the extension of one more week after the DPP had requested for three days more to complete the exercise.

However, Magufuli said after the additional seven days no amnesty will be given to those who will be charged with financial crimes.

‘Those who will be charged with financial crimes after the additional seven days should not be considered for amnesty. The seven-day extension is for those whose letters have not yet reached the DPP office in Dar es Salaam,’ he said.

Magufuli said there were some lawyers who were misleading their clients by claiming that this amnesty was not genuine.

‘This amnesty is genuine and I mean it,’ said the head of state.

He said the money to be refunded will be spent on financing development projects and improving social services.

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