Is LAWRENCE MAFURU amongst the MOST CORRUPT in TZ in recent years?

The Tanzania Business Ethics Group looks at high profile individuals who could be amongst the MOST CORRUPT people in Tanzania (TZ)

Is LAWRENCE MAFURU amongst the MOST CORRUPT people in Tanzania in the past few decades?

Let us understand how we failed our country – so we can be sure never to repeat the same mistakes again. 

Lawrence Nyasebwa Mafuru

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Part 1

Brief outline of Lawrence Nyasebwa Mafuru :

He was born 1972

Education:
2013 – 2016 Master Business Administration (MBA) at University of Dar es Salaam ; and
1996 – 1998 Banking Certificate (CIB) at The Chartered Institute of Banking, London.

Employment:
1998 – 2007     Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania
2007 – 2010     National Bank of Commerce (NBC)
2010 – 2012     Tanzania Bankers Association Ltd
2010 – 2012     National Bank of Commerce (NBC)
Feb 2013 – Apr 2013 (3 months)   Government of Tanzania
Jan 2014 – Jan 2015 (1 year)          President’s Office
Dec 2013 – Mar 2015 (1.4 years)   Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC)
Jan 2015 – Dec 2016 (2 years)        Ministry of Finance – Treasury Registrar 
May 2014 – Present (3.7 years)     CRDB Bank PLC

Mafuru’s on-line LinkedIn profile tries to give the impression that he is God’s gift to Tanzania. He writes in his profile, amongst his many other duties:

“- To invest or dispose investments in public or statutory corporations and other state owned enterprises
– Supervise Public and Statutory corporations investments funds
– Make follow up and ensure government receives return from its investments either in form of dividends or contributions
– Monitor and evaluate performance of all state owned enterprises
– Ensure that all public and statutory corporations enters into performance contract with Treasury Registrar.” ​

If only it was all true, it would be very impressive. 
The fact is that Mafuru was quite the opposite of God’s gift to Tanzania.

In July 2012, at age 40, Mafuru was caught and in big trouble!!

A whistle blower report raised issues around irregular governance practices, fraud and corruption against the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) executive management team
The Board of Directors of NBC was forced to suspend Mafuru from the bank and to order an investigation.
We all know that unless investigations are official, like via the PCCB, the results can be anything that the Directors choose. 
In early October, the Board of Directors announced that Mafuru may return to his duties at NBC.
But justice always prevails and about 2 months later, in December 2012, Mafuru was gone from NBC forever! Is it surprising that he left behind at NBC scandals relating to corruption and fraud?

Then the real problems started for Tanzania. Mafuru started to work for our Government. And he started to have positions of power. We all know how POWER can be the basis for CORRUPTION and FRAUD if a person with weak morals and ethics and integrity has the power.

Sadly, the power given to Mafuru in his jobs working in Government proved to the world what kind of person was Mafuru.

To this day, analysts still wonder how Mafuru became ex- President Jakaya Kikwete’s “blue-eyed boy” starting when Mafuru headed the Finance Department in the President’s Office.

[​IMG] ​Mafuru (left) with ex-President Kikwete (right)

Unfortunately for Mafuru, when President Magufuli launched his war against corruption and fraud 2 years ago, we Tanzanian’s saw the light and the possibilities of a better life for us all. 

We realized, after the hard, unpleasant years living under Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, suddenly here is a new broom to sweep our country clean of corruption, fraud, theft, negligence and more. We saw hope for a better tomorrow. 

Yet, Tanzanian’s were calling for investigations of corruption and fraud under Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete. The question is : Do we demand these investigations or do we better look ahead and use our resources and abilities to build the future and not re-create the past at the expense of wasting our future? That’s a separate debate all by itself.

Tanzanians know some (not all) of the failures of our past leaders. We know of the huge failure of Kikwete to appoint Lawrence Mafuru to the post of the Treasury Registrar. 
We know of the extra enormous failure of Kikwete to appoint Mafuru to the post of Statutory Manager of FBME Bank.

Mafuru’s close association with Kikwete protected him from prosecution over theft from Tanzania’s National Bank of Commerce when he was managing director. 

With the “glory” that Mafuru gave himself as head of the FBME Bank in Tanzania, the Lebanese brothers Ayoub-Farid and Fadi Saab, who were the owners of FBME, are said to have called him “our man.” What does that tell us?

Is it a surprise that Mafuru was one of Tanzania’s youngest bankers in a variety of positions at Standard Chartered Bank in Tanzania and they were accused of a string of banking offences during the previous decade – although somehow Mafuru’s name was not highlighted?

Is it a surprise that Mafuru was a close associate of the Kikwete, whose 10-year reign was characterized by massive corruption and the disappearance and murder of several journalists. 

Mafuru’s Protection
Mafuru’s close association with Kikwete apparently protected him from prosecution over the theft from the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) when he was managing director. Although he was suspended and re-instated for about 2 months only, somehow he was still “protected” after he left the NBC.

Kikwete appointed Mafuru the Treasury Registrar at Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance, and in addition, appointed him head of the Tanzanian operations of FBME, then the country’s largest commercial bank. 
Even whilst Mafuru was Treasury Registrar and head of FBME, he was hit by additional allegations of corruption when he refused a High Court order in May 2015, in a case brought by two businessmen, for Mafuru to deposit with the High Court, the amount of TSh 8 billion from FBME Bank. Mafuru’s contempt of court behavior was never explained, he was protected from punishment, and no reasons ever given why FBME Bank did not deposit the TSh 8 billion into the High Court. Needless to say, we know who was looking after the Saab brothers best interests at the FBME Bank.

Mafuru was reported to have launched controversial programs as Treasury Registrar that attracted the attention of authorities including accusing investors in privatized farms and businesses of being unsuccessful and threatening prosecution and confiscation.

However, Mafuru carried (maybe he still does?) Politically Exposed Person status (PEP) which has continued to protect him from prosecution although President Magufuli fired him as Registrar.  That was certainly no surprise from the new “Bulldozer”.

According to multiple reports by corporate investigation firms and others, Mafuru’s reputation and actions raised questions in turn over the honesty and integrity of the Tanzanian Central Bank for appointing him as head administrator of the FBME Bank. 
Mafuru was well-known to have a long history as a go-between (commission man) for organized Russian mafia gangs operating out of Russia and Cyprus, facilitating Russian laundered money in multiple Cyprus banks.

Part 2 of Lawrence Mafuru’s corrupt career to follow tomorrow – including :
Proof that Mafuru opened bank accounts for Somali Pirates
Proof that Mafuru was secretly and illegally drawing out monies from FBME (of course taking his commission also)
And more to follow…..

(Our thanks to Asia Sentinel for providing some information included above)

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