Former city banker wanted in Sh600m Dar scam
Tanzania has asked Kenya to extradite former Stanbic CEO Bashir Awale to face charges in the Sh600 million government bond bribery scandal, it has emerged.
Attorney-General George Masaju has reportedly sought help from his Kenyan counterpart, Prof Githu Muigai, to bring back Mr Awale for questioning over the bribery scandal that rocked the final years of President Jakaya Kikwete’s government.
If extradited, Mr Awale will likely be enjoined in the case that has since seen former Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) boss Harry Kitilya and two other prominent individuals charged and remanded since April, 2016.
Mr Kitilya and former Miss Tanzania Shoshe Sinare and Mr Sioi Sumari, a former official of the bank, are languishing in jail awaiting hearing of their application for bail.
The three were charged with seven counts among them money laundering, forgery, abuse of office, corruption, obtaining advantage and transfer of proceeds and are in remand.
Kenyan media reported that President John Magufuli’s government wants Mr Awale to answer questions over the transaction of the deal in which he played a key role.
An investigation in the UK by the Serious Fraud Office revealed how Mr Awale, Mr Kitilya and Ms Sinare were key players in pushing the deal through leading to a $6 million (Sh600 million) bribery scam.
Mr Awale was deported to Kenya soon after the 2015 General Election in circumstances linked to his politicking then. He was said to have been among the presidential campaign team members of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who lost to Magafuli.
He was said to be one of the behind-the-scenes strategists for Chadema presidential candidate Edward Lowassa. Mr Awale had lived in Tanzania for many years and worked as MD for Barclays as well.
According to the reports in Kenya the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is assisting Tanzanian authorities to have a Kenyan at the centre of a Sh600 million bribery scandal in Tanzania arrested and questioned.
President Magufuli’s administration has sought Kenya’s help to have Mr Awale, a former bank official, record a statement.
Mr Masaju wrote to Prof Muigai under mutual legal assistance (MLA) asking to have Mr Awale provide evidence two years after he was deported.
“We have received the MLA and are working closely with the State Law office in line with the request. A team of investigators from Tanzania and Kenya has been put in place to implement the request,” EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said.
The EACC boss, however, didn’t give details on the timelines of their work and if they had summoned the suspect.
Mr Awale was arrested in December 2015 and deported over claims of illegal stay. He was said to have been among the presidential campaign team members of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who lost to Magafuli.