November 14, 2017 / 3:12 PM / in 4 days

Tanzania offers reward for arrest of anti-graft official who fled

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania offered a reward of 10 million shillings ($4,500) on Tuesday for the arrest of a former chief accountant of its anti-graft watchdog, part of a new drive to root out corruption.

President John Magufuli, in office since November 2015, has launched a crackdown on high-level corruption that has already seen thousands of public officials losing their jobs.

John Mbungo, deputy director general of the state-run Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), told reporters that the agency’s former chief accountant, Godfrey Gugai, is on the run after his assets were frozen in May as part of a graft investigation.

The frozen assets include six vehicles and 40 apartments, houses and prime plots in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and other urban centers.

Public officials convicted of possession of unexplained wealth face a sentence of up to seven years in jail, a fine or both.

Foreign investors have long complained that corruption is a big obstacle to doing business in the country.

($1 = 2,237 Tanzanian shillings)

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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