Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on Saturday 138 suspects charged with financial crimes in the east African nation have been freed after they obtained presidential amnesty.
“The 138 suspects have already secured the presidential amnesty after refunding to the government millions of shillings that they were accused of having stolen or laundered,” Magufuli was quoted in a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at the State House.
The statement said Magufuli revealed the number of people that have already obtained the presidential forgiveness at the end of his nine-day tour of southern highlands regions of Songwe, Rukwa and Katavi.
Addressing a crowd that had witnessed the inauguration of Air Tanzania Company Limited weekly flights between the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and Mpanda airport in Katavi region, Magufuli said 500 more suspects have applied for the presidential amnesty, said the statement.
On Sept. 22, Magufuli gave seven days to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Biswalo Mganga, to consider offering forgiveness to remandees charged with economic sabotage or money laundering who will repent and refund the money that they had laundered.
The president directed the DPP to visit suspects awaiting trial in remand prisons across the country and listen to them whether they were ready to accept the offer for clemency.
On Sept. 30, Mganga said 467 people charged with financial crimes in the country had submitted applications seeking presidential amnesty.
“Between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28 a total of 467 people charged with financial crimes, including economic sabotage and money laundering have written to my office offering to refund the money and seeking the presidential amnesty,” Mganga told President Magufuli at State House in Dar es Salaam.
“These people have agreed to refund the money that they laundered, and we are still receiving more letters from others facing similar charges from upcountry,” he said.
The DPP said the 467 facing various financial crimes have pledged to refund a total amount of about 47 million U.S. dollars.
Mganga said some of them have agreed to pay directly while others have requested to pay in installments.
President Magufuli said the money to be recovered will be spent on financing development projects and improving social services.