Friday, September 30, 2016

Tibaijuka declines 210m/- of Khalifa award

Prof Anna TibaijukaONCE bitten, twice shy. The saying could well be applied to Muleba South constituency Member of Parliament, Prof Anna Tibaijuka, as she has refused to receive 100,000 US dollars (over 210m/-) as part of the Khalifa Sustainable Development Award, fearing to go against the country’s public servants ethics code.
The cash, together with a trophy, being an award from His Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, were last week bestowed upon Prof Tibaijuka, a former UN-HABITAT boss, for her efforts to champion the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The award dubbed ‘His Royal Highness H.R.H Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Award for Sustainable Development,’ is given to individuals or institutions who are actively involved in actualising the Sustainable Development Goals and is meant to motivate them to commit extra efforts at national, regional and international levels to achieve the award’s noble humanitarian goals.
At a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Prof Tibaijuka, who has just returned from the UN Headquarters in US where she received the award, said only accepted the trophy because the country’s law forbids public servant to receive a reward.
Prof Tibaijuka becomes the first woman worldwide to receive the honour.
“When they handed over the money to me, I said No, thank you. This is a consequence of that law. It was that law which put me in trouble when I received money from Mr James Rugemalira,” she said. Former Lands minister, Prof Tibaijuka, early last year was grilled by Ethics Tribunal over 1.6bn/- she received from VIP Engineering and Marketing Director Rugemalira, the money which was drawn from the Tegeta escrow account.
“Those guys at the UN didn’t rely on what happened to me in the previous Tegeta escrow scam, they investigated the matter and found that there was no truth, thus they felt that I deserve this award,” she said.
Explaining over the award, she said: “It came as a new source of inspiration and renewed hope for people of Tanzania in general and the Muleba South community in particular.”
She noted that the news about the award triggered congratulations and spontaneous celebrations everywhere, including in her family, village, constituency, region, women and youth.
She was selected in recognition of her role and contribution, through the posts she has held previously in the UN, that have advanced sustainable urban development, in addition to efforts she has championed in consolidating cooperation among various countries across the world, which have seen her recognised by governments, international and academic institutions.

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