Sudden price hikes in cement and other construction materials in Tanzania have prompted the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Biswalo Mganga, to order a criminal investigation into market manipulation.
Mganga ordered the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director General of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to launch the probe into the entire production and distribution value chain, giving the agencies 30 days to report.
"Over the last one month I have noted a jump in the price of cement and other construction materials across different regions in the country," he said, reports newspaper The Citizen.
"Circumstances around this matter point to an act of criminality in the entire production, transportation and marketing value chain, leading to higher prices, shortages or lack of these products in certain areas."
He said jail terms of between 20 and 30 years would face perpetrators of economic sabotage, under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.
Illegal practices include hoarding to distort market prices.
The probe follows last month’s landslide reelection of President John Magufuli, who has prioritised infrastructure construction.
Image Â©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier