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Clare Short on BAE's deal with Tanzania

2010 April 27
by admin

Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development at the time the UK government approved the sale of an expensive and out-dated military radar system to Tanzania, writes:

“The Tanzanian Air Traffic Control system was small money by BAE standards.  But the lengths they went to to sell an outdated military system to a country with no military need shows what a deeply corrupt culture they were working in.  After being rejected once, they came back a decade later with half the project.  By this time, Tanzania had debt relief and could only take on loans that were concessional.  They then got together with Barclays and pretended to offer a concessional loan, which is an impossibility.  By this time, Tanzania also had the offer of a European Investment Bank loan for a modern civilian air traffic control system also covering two other neighbouring countries, which was newer technology and massively cheaper.

My knowledge of this contract demonstrated with great clarity what a corrupt and dishonourable culture was prevalent in the company at that time.”

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  1. David Jardine permalink
    May 4, 2010

    I cannot help finding a continuum between this scandal and the matter of trying to pin WMD-to-Saddam responsibilityon an even poorer African country,Niger. BAe was not involved in the latter,true, but certainly Tony Blair was deeply involved in both. The disgrace is in the ‘We help the world’s poorest’ rhetoric on the one hand and the neo-colonialist bullying reality that opposes it.

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