DAR ES SALAAM // A UAE businessman has denied allegations that he offered gifts to Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian president, and donated US$1 million (Dh3.7m) to the ruling party in exchange for investment deals there.
The managing director of Albwardy Investment, which is owned by the Dubai-based investor Ali Albwardy, called the accusations published by WikiLeaks from a February 2006 US cable "monstrous and totally untrue".
"At no time has a bribe been either requested or given to President Kikwete by Mr Ali Albwardy," Philip d'Abo said in a statement issued through the president's office in Tanzania yesterday.
The US cable said Mr Albwardy, who owns a hotel chain in Tanzania, flew the east African leader to London on a shopping trip and bought designer suits for him.
A spokesman for the president denied Mr Kikwete had accepted gifts from Mr Albwardy.
"This is a total fabrication, as is the part concerning the $1m donation to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.
"At no time has Ali Albwardy given President Kikwete anything that can be construed as a bribe, " the spokesman said.
The US cable comes at a sensitive time for the CCM as it faces possible fallout from graft allegations against other senior members, including a former prime minister.
The files show the claims were made to the former US ambassador to Tanzania, Michael Retzer, by an Australian national who was a director of the Kilimanjaro Hotel, bought from the state by Mr Albwardy.