Dar es Salaam — For a moment, let’s put aside the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism and, instead, focus on how top officials at the Tourism ministry misused funds that were meant for the promotion of the sector.
According to the Controller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report for the 2019/20 financial year, the country’s key sector was subjected to the misuse of public funds and violation of the public service code of conduct by ministry officials.
CAG Charles Kichere said he did a special audit to the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism and found a series of unlawful payments, most of which were out of the budget allocated for the 2019/20 financial year.
He said, in the Tourism Development Levy Fund over Sh34.98 billion of tourism levies were misused, putting the director of Tourism and accountant, who were involved with the management of the funds, responsible.
“I noticed that Sh6.875 billion was paid from the sector’s Development Levy funds without the approval of the accounting officer contrary to regulations. I also noticed that a total expenditure of Sh16.363 billion were done but there was no payment document available,” he said.
Mr Kichere said there were also Sh11.157 billion of levies used but did not have sufficient documentation, while nearly Sh89 million was spent by the National Museum for activities that were not tourism related.