Saturday, July 24, 2010

Worn out tires, causes accidents

I recently traveled to Mwanza from Dar es Salaam with a famous Champion bus Service based in Dodoma, when one tyre burst and good enough this was a hind tyre. The situation caused fear among the passengers who when the bus stopped at Dodoma, some of us inspected the remaining tires to find out if they were safe, only to see that almost all of the tires were out of order. We hurriedly reported the matter to traffic police who ordered the bus to a police station.

Champion bus on I was travelling has its burstr tire exchangfed at Dumila 12 away from Morogoro town.

The bus at police station in Dodoma when some passengers found some irregularities with other tires when it stopped at Dodoma

The owners looked for the new tires and exchanged them with the worn out ones at the police. The work that consumed us a lot of time to proceed with our journey. It has been a common practice to see that most transporters in Tanzania do not value the life of their passengers an aspect that there has been a occurred a number of accidents in most parts of the country.

Lack of industries impends local farmers in Tanzania

The orange picking season is here again, but it’s too discouraging to note that, vendors of this product do not have a suitable market to sell their products. But this issue has to be looked at critically by the government through the ministry concerned of trade and industry.

Orange traders at Ubungo near TANESCO power supply station.

Orange traders with their products spread on the ground at Tabata relini in Dar es Salaam.

However, the Minister in charge of the Ministry, Dr. Mary Nagu has been pressuring the government to at least establish canned industries in order to empower local farmers as well as have locally manufactured fresh juice from locally produced orange fruits but seemingly the ideas have been dashed off. The government seems to have tuirned a blind eye to small scale farmers in the country. It is also very shameful for a country like Tanzania which is so productive and lacks a reliable market for its products as seen above here traders have to spread down their products for their potential customers to pick. Why shouldn’t the government take an action of creating a conducive environment for small scale farmers and instead take a keen interest to outside investors?

Very fantastic and chaotic as 800 CCM aspirants in Mara region eye civic and parliamentary seats

A total of 800 Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) members in Mara Region are Vying for civic and parliamentary seats. Mara CCM regional secretary Ndekubali Ndeng’aso said a total of 53 CCM members eyed seven constituencies in the region. He noted that in the race, 18 CCM members were for parliamentary seats, 546 for civic seats, while 148 were for parliamentary special seats and 263 for council special seats. However, the CCM secretary explained that the process went on smoothly although in some areas, ward officers increased nomination fees. “In Mwisenge ward in Musoma town, for instance, ward leaders raised civic nomination fee to 565,000/- from the official 10,000/-,” Ndeng’aso said. The secretary explained that Musoma Urban constituency had attracted 9 aspirants with the incumbent MP Vedastus Mathayo facing stiff opposition from retired CCM regional chairman Enock Mwita Chambiri. Musoma Rural constituency has attracted 11 contestants with fierce competition pitying the incumbent Nimrod Mkono and former MP Dr Charles Magoti.

Mr. Nimrod Mkono, the incumbet member of parliament for Musoma rural

In Mwibara constituency, a total of 10 members have picked nomination forms with Charles Muguta Kajege, who is defending his seat on hot heels with East Africa Community employee Kangi Rugora. In Bunda constituency, Minister for Food Security and Cooperatives Steven Wasira is competing for the parliamentary nomination with a businessman, Giche Marwa, while in Serengeti, four members took nomination forms including the incumbent with stiff competition from Kagera regional health officer Dr Steven Kebwe and a private lawyer practicing in Mwanza Steven Magoiga. According to the CCM secretary, eight aspirants are competing in Rorya constituency with Koryo ward councillor Lameck Airo challenging his stepfather, Prof Philemon Sarungi. Tarime constituency has attracted five contestants with a fierce challenge expected from Nyambari Nyangwine and Kwimba district commissioner Christopher Kangoye trying his luck.


PCCB told to involve grass-roots to combat poll graft

As the general elect ion is approaching in Tanzania, the Prevention and Combating Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has been called on to involve the community at the grass-roots level in curbing corruption in the coming elections. The call was made in Dodoma by human rights activists at a training on corruption conducted by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) ahead of the general elections in October. Commenting on the corruption watchdog, a paralegal from Tarime, Bony Matto, said some people at the grass-roots level seemed to be afraid of the bureau, which made them reluctant to report corruption incidents. “Some seem to assume that only small people are prone to being nabbed on corruption matters and big shots are untouchable. Let PCCB work more closely with people at the grass-roots level to combat the menace,” he said. Presenting a paper on corruption, LHRC legal officer Laetitia Ntagazwa Petro said even though the law on corruption was in place, its implementation depended up the voters and not PCCB. “It is upon the voters to shun corruption in order to make the law meaningful. Do not be afraid to vie for any post in case you feel the urge to do so. Activists and all stakeholders with awareness on corruption must join forces to ensure people at the grass-roots level are educated on corruption in order to have fair and free elections,” she said. PCCB has in recent days taken a proactive role in preparing a number of publications in a bid to curb corruption in the coming elections. A number of publications have been made for public consumption with titles such as ‘Shun corruption during elections’.

Oil slick at Dar port

An oil slick whose source has not been found was recently noted at the Dar es Salaam port near the oil jetty. The Guardiam reported recently in Dar es Salaam. According to the reports, some people who had noted the slick had rushed to the area to try to collect it. The acting zone police commander Charles Kenyela said police had set up patrol and confirmed that the slick was floating about 500meters to 1km from the Kurasini oil jetty. “Up to this moment, we don’t know the exact source of the fuel leakage, but there is a slick in the sea, so there must be a serious leakage some where” said Kenyela.

An earial view of the Dar es Salaam port.

Government to pin down tax evaders

TANZANIA’s government officials at the just-ended Dar Es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) early this month said that national identity cards would help to identify activities of each national, or person operating in a dense commercial area like the Dar Es Salaam central business district. The officials were aiming to impose more vigilance on tax evaders by identifying new methods to find out tax evaders, the regulatory authority has indicated. National identity cards will help to bring together Government departments such as the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Police and the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA). "The Government through policy makers is in the process of laying strategies to identify tax evaders and other new sources of revenue collection," a Treasury official said at the fair. Of late, accounting experts have criticized the TRA for guesswork in suggesting that revenue losses will be curbed, noting that the minister’s Budget Speech presentation gave no figures for losses and what can be recovered within a year. Some experts gave their views at a seminar titled “Post Budget Critique and pre-Budget proposals for 2011/2012 Budget and VAT Regulations (Electronic Fiscal Devices) 2010” which was organized jointly by NBAA and TRA recently in Dar Es Salaam. One of them, Alfred Misana, an economist at the Treasury said that extending revenue collections to new sources was a challenge to the Government, as amendments to the laws and fresh regulations are being mapped out. According to Misana, revenue collection is likely to rise with the increase of production units in various sectors, he said, noting that the expansion of business is the key to increasing revenue collection. He also said that the agriculture sector was another area of potentially higher revenue collection if the Kilimo Kwanza initiative is a success.
Speaking at the same occasion, Viann Komba, a Tax Expert with Ernst & Young, said the Tanzanian economy still faces structural and supply limiting factors such as dependence on monsoons for rain-fed agriculture and oil prices that still pose challenges."Tanzania is over-dependent upon external financial flows. Domestic public resource mobilization by more optimal taxation is a precondition to Tanzania achieving greater economic independence. Strategies towards more effective, efficient, and fair taxation in Tanzania typically lie with broadening the existing tax base, formalization of taxable informal sector and implementation of the Kilimo Kwanza," the official noted. Domestic fiscal policy options include cracking down on fraud and evasion, reviewing tax preferences for mining companies, curbing transfer pricing techniques by multinationals and taxing extractive industries more fairly and more transparently.

Government, Diaspora partnership vital for PPPs

The partnership between the government and the diasporic community is vital to make Public Private Partnership policy (PPP) and Legislation work properly to aid the country’s development. The government is now encouraging people of Tanzanian origin living abroad to invest themselves and help bring investors in critical sectors like infrastructure, power generation, logistics, irrigation and others. According to the Executive Director of Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), Emmanuel Ole Naiko there is a need for each other to make the PPP deliver the desired results. He said this recently when talking at the DICOTA 2010 convention, Minneapolis during his visit in USA. He said experience in Tanzania and other LDC countries in Sub Saharan Africa show that there are things that can best be done by the Government, and there are things that can better be done by private sector. “Working together, in smart partnership, each doing what it is best at doing, the country will move forward,” he stressed.
The concept of PPP entails an arrangement between the Government and the Private Sector entities whereby the private entity will renovate, construct, operate, maintain and manage a facility in whole or in part, in accordance with specified output specifications. The private entity will assume the associated risks for a significant period of time and in return will receive benefits and financial remuneration according to agreed terms. The PPP Policy and Legislation to support it would see a unit set within the TIC to promote and co-ordinate all matters pertaining to PPP in Tanzanian mainland and put the private sector at the centre to bring about socio-economic development through investments. Naiko said that as soon as the PPP legislation becomes operational the private sector would be motivated to undertake several partnerships with the government.

The Executive Director of Tanzania Invwastment Centre, Mr. Emmanuel Ole Naiko

Along with this policy investors in the Road Infrastructure would now build their own private roads and charge toll fare under the system of Build Operate & Transfer (BOT). Such policy and legislation would go a long way to attract investments in roads and railway construction. Tanzania already has some major PPP players even before the new legislation has come into force. They are mostly transnational corporations from South Africa, Middle East and China. The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs) said recently that the proposed PPP Bill is a continuation of the government’s commitment to undertaking social-economic reforms since the mid 1980s. He said PPP implemented in Tanzania is based on broad policy reforms, mainly through the privatization of public enterprises under which the government has remained a minority shareholder. South Africa , Brazil , China and Ireland have recorded success in the provision of goods and services to their citizens through PPPs.

Tanzanian Businesses need aggressive entrepreneurs

Tanzanians should work hard and come up with new skills, ideas and concepts in order to maintain the insurance industry in the common market, a top Tanzanian insurance director has said. Speaking exclusively with the media recently in Dar es salaam the Director of Finance and Administration of Milembe Insurance Company Ltd, Geofrey Mukulu said Kenyans and Ugandans will subdue Tanzanians in the insurance sector because of their “competence”. However, he said to him it is wealth and good news but for other Tanzanians it will be difficult to cope because Kenyans are knowledgeable and have skills and ideas” said Mukulu who was born in Tanzania in Bukoba district but grew up and studied in Kenya. He said that the culture of “despair” and laziness” of Tanzanians will affect them during stiff competition in marketing scrambles to make the common market a reality in East Africa. Our people have no competition in blood and are often lazy, while Kenyans and others work twelve hours during weekend” he said.
Mukulu pointed out that the neighbors are “aggressive” in doing works especially in insurance sector as it would be difficult for Tanzanians to invest in Kenyan soil saying that: “the time is not now may be in the long run”. “People here have to change mentality and start trying ….and they should work hard even on Saturdays in order to cope with Kenyans.” The new trade bloc aims to work towards economic policies that are pro-market, pro-private sector and pro-liberalisation. By pooling their resources and promoting free trade within the region, the East African Community aims to emerge as a leading trade entity in East Africa.

Sasatel launches new Internet service packages

Sasatel has launched new Unlimited Internet service package referred to as bundles which will allow customers to subscribe for unlimited internet at their convenience.
While launching this new product recently, the Sasatel Data Product Officer, Muffadal Essaji said, “We know that many Tanzanians need a time based internet connection that is unlimited as well as easy to understand while enabling the customers to control the cost”. The Sasatel time based unlimited internet bundles that were launched include the Month surf, the Weekend surf, the Night surf, the Evening surf and the Hour Surf. These bundles can be accessed through the Fixed Wireless Desk phones, the Music phones or the Smartphone that are all internet enabled and are available at all Sasatel shops.
“Our customers are now able to browse the internet at their own convenience at a speed of 153.6Kbps through our state of the art CDMA network. This is in line with our continuous support for the development of the ICT sector in Tanzania as well as ensuring that internet can now be accessed by the population of Tanzania”, added Muffadal. Sasatel is financed by its majority shareholder PME Infrastructure Fund that is listed on the AIM Stock Exchange in London, with significant Tanzanian ownership.

Zain to be known as Bharti Airtel from August

BHARTI, one of the largest mobile companies in the world which has recently acquired the African operations of Zain including Tanzania is set to take over. Zain will change its name to Bharti from August onwards. According to Chief Executive Officer for Bharti International, Manoj Kohli, the new operator would work with Tanzania government to contribute growth of telecom and they are committed to offer affordable services, in small towns and villages of the country as well. According to him, the company will bring its global partners to Tanzania which will result in additional employment opportunities in the country. “As Corporate Social Responsibility, Zain has had a program to set up schools that offer free quality education to underprivileged children in rural areas. “Bharti will also achieve affordability for masses through passing on the benefits of infrastructure sharing and lower interconnect rates to its customers.”
With the successful completion of Zain’s acquisition Bharti Airtel has acquired the operations in: Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia and becomes the fifth largest mobile company in the world with over 180 million customers. The company also operates in 18 countries across Asia and Africa and apart from mobile it also offers fixed line, high speed broadband, IPTV, DTH, turnkey telecom solutions for enterprises and national & international long distance services to carriers.