BAE's Rape of Africa: The Case of Tanzania
June 21 (LPAC) -- Investigators from Britain's Serious Fraud Office have been pursuing evidence of a $12 million slush fund allegedly used to bribe officials of Tanzania, into approving the $50 million purchase of a military air traffic control system from BAE Systems in 2002. Tanzania, which has a grand total of eight military airplanes and one of the most crushing loads of national debt in the world, had to borrow even more money to finance the sale, Truthout reported January 27. The money came from another of Britain's politically wired institutions, Barclays Bank. Tanzania in turn repaid this loan with money that Blair's government had given it, ostensibly in order to support public education.
Thus money that was supposed to help lift Tanzania's children out of poverty, was instead laundered into the coffers of BAE and Barclays. Even the World Bank and members of Tony Blair's own cabinet objected.
This "white elephant" deal was foisted on a country where life expectancy is only 43 years, where the poorest third of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, and where 45% of all public funding is provided by Western donors.
Former cabinet minister Claire Short, who resigned in protest after the invasion of Iraq, said, "it was always obvious that this useless project was corrupt." "When BAE calls, Tony comes running," she added.