Friday, September 9, 2011

WIKILEAKS: Corruption allegations against President Kikwete

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2016 
Classified By: Ambassador Michael Retzer, Reason 1.5 (d) 
 1. (C) President Kikwete has accepted gifts (bribes) from 
the owner of the Kempinski Hotel chain,s Tanzanian 
properties, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. 
2. (C) In a conversation with the manager and the publicity 
director of Dar Es Salaam,s Kilimanjaro-Kempinski Hotel 
hours after accompanying A/S Frazer to her October 18, 2005 
meeting with then-Foreign Minister Kikwete, I commented on 
Kikwete's flashy attire, asking "Who dresses him?" "We do," 
they responded.  Initially thinking this meant Kikwete 
frequented a men,s shop in the hotel, I learned later in 
the evening from hotel publicity director Lisa Pile (protect) 
that the hotel owner*UAE citizen Ali Albwardy*had recently 
flown Kikwete to London for a subsidized shopping 
 Among other things, on that trip Ali Albwardy bought 
Kikwete five Saville Row suits.  He had also recently made a $1 
million cash contribution to the CCM (which is a legal 
contribution under current Tanzanian law). 
3. (C) Pile told me the Kempinski Hotel chain is greatly 
expanding its presence in Tanzania.  She said that in 
December it would open "the best hotel in Zanzibar."  Her 
prediction was a little off; the new Kempinski hotel, 
located on the beach on Zanzibar,s east coast, opened January 5.  I 
attended the opening ceremony along with Zanzibari 
President Karume, who was asked publicly by Ali Albwardy for a site 
in Stone Town to build a new hotel.  Later that day, Pile 
revealed that the Zanzibar government had already earmarked 
for Ali Albwardy a hotel site in Stone Town. 
4. (C) Pile also said in the October 18 conversation that 
Ali Abwardy was about to receive the rights to construct two 
new hotels on the mainland: one on the edge of Ngorongoro 
Crater and another on the Serengeti plain overlooking the main 
animal migration routes.  Stringent conservation rules 
currently ban the construction of permanent structures 
inside national parks*including in the crater and on the Serengeti 
plain*but Pile said that in November legislation would be 
introduced to parliament to authorize the new hotels. 
(Comment: We have received no reports on new legislation, 
but the Dar Es Salaam Daily News on January 15 reported that 
the Tanzania National Parks Authority had approved construction 
of a five star hotel on the Serengeti plain.) 
4. (C) Later on October 18, over dinner, an Indian/South 
Asian man described as a business associate of Ali Albwardy 
briefly took Pile from the table for a conversation in 
Kiswahili.  I am not sure what was said, but Kikwete's name 
came up several times and he passed her an envelope.  Pile 
told me the envelope was stuffed with 1 million shillings 
( $1,000) and was to pay for a Kikwete meeting at the 
Kilmanjaro-Kempinski later that month.  Apparently Kikwete 
is a regular customer, but no name ever appears on the hotel 
registry when a government bigshot has an "event" in one of 
the guest rooms. 
5. (C) Bio Note:  Lisa Pile, an Australian citizen, has 
lived in Dar working for Kempinski Hotels since early 2004. 
Before that she had served in a similar capacity with the 
Kempinski chain in China.  Her family in Australia is prominent in 
Australia's Liberal Party (the center-right party of Prime 
Minister John Howard). 
6. (C) Comment:  What does it all mean?  I don,t know, but 
my guess is that the investor Ali Albwardy has access to 
oil money out of the UAE.  I suspect giving free clothes and 
the campaign donation is just the way these people do business. 
7. (C) For his part, Kikwete probably thinks having all 
these five star hotels around is a good idea for the country,and 
I agree with him.  His new minister of Natural Resources and 
Tourism, Anthony Diallo, says he wants to double tourism's 
contribution to the national economy in ten year,s time. 
Kikwete probably believes there is no harm in taking these 
&little gifts8 to do what he would have been inclined to do 
anyway.  That said, they are what they are: bribes. 


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