FORMER president of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Jamal Malinzi yesterday gave a detailed account on how he spent billions of shillings in the developments of sports in the country, before his arrest in 2017 on fraud and money laundering charges.
“I spent this huge amount of money because of my passion of sports and community dedication,” he told Resident Magistrate Maira Kasonde at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam, when he was presenting his defence evidence against the charges.
Led by seasoned Advocate Richard Rweyongeza, Malinzi explained that he got involved in sports activities since 1996, when he started promoting and sponsoring professional boxing, where he spent over 150,000 US dollars per game.
“I organised many international tournaments in some countries like South Africa, Cameroun, United Kingdom and Hungary.
Rashid Matumla and his youngest Mbwana Matumla are the fruits of my efforts. My boys were camping especially in South Africa,” he said. Malinzi explained that through his company, Cargo Star Limited, he also sponsored Bunge marathon in Dodoma City for seven years consecutively starting 2004 and spent not less than 100m/- every year.
He also invested in golf games and at the time of his arrest he had left many professional players. “This was between 1999 and 2015. This led us to build a golf court in our village in Bukoba to attract tourists,” he told the court adding that between 1999 and 2005; he was elected Secretary General of Y anga African SC.
He revealed that during that time, the club had no sponsor and as the secretary general, he was forced to use his own money to ensure players are paid salaries, conducting trainings and participate in competitions.
According to him, he spent not less that 700m/- each season. “Many sports organisations asked me to become their patron or a sponsor. For example, Kilwa District Football Association and the Africa Y outh Sports Academy Association.
Dar es Salaam leadership appointed me a member of Regional Sports Committee. All this time, I spent billions of money,” he said.
Giving more facts on sports leadership, Malinzi was elected the president of TFF in 2013 and after assuming the office, Malinzi said he found several challenges and the Federation was in financial crisis.
“The TFF was having massive debts and caused its accounts to be seized from time to time by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
There were so many different vendors’ debts.
This forced them to seek court interventions and there were orders to attach TFF properties,” he said. According to him, there were also debts for employees of their entitlements, whose employment status were changed from permanent and pensionable to three-year renewable contracts.
He said even sponsors, including the Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) was delaying to release funds for different Taifa Stars Programmes. “It’s a difficult situation I found.
But as a leader I had to deal with it so that all the programmes could continue. So, I made sure all eight national teams participated in the tournaments because if they did not participate the federation was to face hefty penalty imposed by FIFA,” he said.
As the leader with final authority, Malinzi said, he had to spend from his own pocket money by providing advance and he would be refunded when financial status becomes stable in TFF.
“Since coming to power, until 2017 when I was arrested, I was giving money to save the situation.
At times, we used to borrow money from individuals and to some members of the TFF Executive Committee. Some prosecution witnesses have confirmed that I was providing loans to TFF,” he said.
The TFF former boss named some of the witnesses as Ahmed Mgoyi, Daniel Msangi, Seleki Y onaza, Hellen Adam and the current TFF Secretary General Wilfred Kidau, among others.
In the case, Malinzi is charged alongside his ex-TFF Secretary General Mwesigwa Selestine, Accounts Officer Nsiande Mwanga and Clerk with Federation Flora Rauya.
They are facing 20 counts of forgery, uttering false document, abuse of position, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering.