Former IGP Simon Sirro


  • As the overseer the IGP was responsible with making sure that the established procedures in the fund are followed to the letter

Dar es Salaam. 

Former Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro, was the overseer of the Police Force bereavement fund for five years between 2017 and July 2022 when he was appointed High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, the CAG’s report has revealed.

It was during this period that the massive loot of the Sh4.8 billion took place with the report further stating that the fund never held any meetings for five years consecutively 

As the overseer the IGP Sirro was responsible with making sure that the established procedures in the fund are followed to the letter.

The CAG's special audit report, presented in parliament last Wednesday, says that they found that the Tanzania Police Force was receiving deductions from the salaries of police officers and non-policemen (civilians) to contribute to the fund.

The funds were deposited in one of the commercial bank accounts and were managed by the headquarters of the Tanzania Police Force.

The CAG noted that the Police Force transferred the money to 62 different bank accounts set aside for paying the bereaved and denying them and they were in all police commands in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.

According to the CAG, the Police Force prepared specific guidelines for managing the use of funds, it was therefore necessary to establish a secretariat and the selection of bank signatories.

While the IGP was responsible for ensuring that the set guidelines were followed and observed, the fund manager was responsible for organizing the secretariat meetings, while the chairman was given the responsibility of convening the annual general meetings of the members.

However, after investigation, it was found that the fund did not have a secretariat, therefore failing to hold secretariat meetings between 2018 and 2022 and did not instruct the chairman of the fund to organize annual general meetings.

"Management and control of the use of the funds was lacking because there was no secretariat, so the secretariat meetings and annual general meetings of the members could not be held," says CAG.

CAG says, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), as the overseer of the fund, did not instruct the chairman of the fund to organize the annual general meetings.

Ambassador Sirro was not available for comment despite several efforts to reach him by both WhatsApp messages and calls.

On March 29, President Samia Suluhu Hassan while receiving the report at the State House in Dar es Salaam, among other things she ordered all the involved should be brought to book.

On March 31, the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Ramadhan Kingai said that the measures have already started to be taken and cases have already been opened in court to hold accountable all the officers involved in the scandal.

"Therefore, we started taking action before the CAG report was made public because it is a crime like any other crime and they have been dealt with like other criminals," he said.

The money trail

As for Mainland Tanzania, until June 2018, the bank account for the bereavement fund which was managed by the Police Headquarters in a commercial bank, had a balance of Sh2.98 billion.

Between July 2018 and November 2021, the fund collected Sh19.27 billion making the total funds of the fund to be Sh22.25 billion which were withdrawn from the fund account and transferred to 62 bank accounts.

Investigations found that there were several instances of misuse and embezzlement of funds amounting to Sh2.44 billion.

In one of the incidents four signatories, including three who are on the run to avoid being held accountable for their actions, and one retired, released Sh754.65 million without any information on the beneficiaries.

The manager on the other hand transferred Sh 5 million to a personal account on grounds that he was one of the beneficiaries, he too is among those on the run.

The manager also at different times ordered the transfer of funds amounting to Sh23.5 million in Morogoro into a relative’s account without any supporting details.

After further investigation, it was found that at the Kinondoni regional office, six police officers received a payment of Sh28.20 million under the pretense that it was a loan they lent to the fund  yet there was no evidence.

The investigation carried out, established that the bereavement Fund of Mainland Tanzania was mismanaged by the fund manager, chairman and overseer, who failed to maintain discipline and control of its proper use.

"This poor management caused the embezzlement of Sh2.44 billion from the fund. I recommend that disciplinary and legal measures be taken against all the people involved in the embezzlement, including those who have escaped," says CAG Kichere.

On the other hand as a result of the poor management, some Sh2.40 billion was lost caused by the collusion between the Zanzibar Police Force and the Tanzania Police Force Headquarters.

However as the CAG analyzed the weakness of the operation of the fund that caused the embezzlement, information says procedurally, the guardian of the fund was the Commissioner for Administration and Human Resources,  Commissioner of Police (CP), Benedict Wakulyamba and the guardians in the regions are staff officers.

The spokesman of the Police Force, David Misime, said: "It is true that there was a theft of Sh4.8 billion in the fund, which is money contributed by officers to help each other during a disaster. The fund is the officers’ money and is different from the legal procedures that are followed when an officer or an able-spouse dies."

He said the theft was discovered in 2021 and 12 officers were arrested and brought to court and their cases are at various stages while explaining that four escaped including one police inspector (inspector) who is said to have fled to South Africa.