Saturday, October 30, 2010


DAR ES SALAAM City residents gaze at vehicles which were involved in an accident along Kawawa Road at Mkwajuni area on Thursday evening. The injured passengers are reported to have been rushed to hospital for treatment. (Photo by Robert Okanda of Daily News).

Traffic accident in Dar Kills two

TWO people died on the spot in Dar es Salaam on Friday in two different incidents, police said. The incidents took place at Manzese Argentina and Buguruni Malapa in the suburbs of the city.
The Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Mr Elias Kalinga said the accidents that occurred at Manzese involved a Mitsubishi Fuso driven by unknown driver and a car whose registration number was not immediately discovered. It ran over a pedestrian, a resident of Manzese. Mr Kalinga said the deceased was immediately identified as Abdul Mwibambe, a resident of Manzese whose age was estimated to be 20-25 years. According to Mr Kalinga, the body of the deceased has been preserved at Mwananyamala Hospital while police are still searcheing for the driver and the car that caused the accident. In another incident, a man identified as Ngosha whose age was estimated to be between 30 and 35 died after he was crushed by rubble in Buguruni Malapa.
The Ilala Regional Police Commander Mr Faustine Shilogile said Mr Ngosha died after a toilet pit of twelve feet he was digging collapsed. The pit belonged to one of Yudani Luvanda (35) a resident of Buguruni Madenge. “While he was in the process of digging the toilet, he was covered by soil that caused his death instantly,” noted Mr Shilogile. The RPC said the deceased body was preserved at Amana Hospital. In another development, fire gutted nine kiosks whose owners were not immediately known at Ilala Mchikichini, destroying almost everything. Mr Shilogile further stated that poor electrical connection that was done by the shop owners was the cause of the accident.He said the costs of the properties destroyed were not immediately known. Meanwhile, Police have arrested twenty-nine people at Magomeni Kagera for possession of 1150 kilogrammes of Marijuana. The Kinondoni Regional Police Commander (RPC) Elias Kalinga named those arrested as Salum Ally (21), Abdalla Khamis (29), Yahya Hussein (28), Banzi Emilian (27) and Jumanne Hussein (17). Others were Jengo Daniel (18), Ismail Juma (16) Omary Yusuph (24), Rashid Daud (23) and nine teen others whose names were not immediately discovered.

Why Tanzanians will be voting tomorrow

With just hours away to the 2010 General Election, registered voters are leaving nothing to chance.
A random survey this week showed that those registered in stations away from their places of work had made travel plans so that would enable them cast their ballot for their preferred president, MP and civic leaders. Tanzanians’ level of enthusiasm was evident during interviews with The Citizen on why they would do whatever it takes to participate in the historic vote to elect leaders who would form the government to steer the country ahead for the next five years. Among the common reasons why they feel all the 19.6 million Tanzanians, who obtained the voters’ cards, should go out there and vote, is the need to exercise their constitutional right and offer a mandate for those they want to lead the country. Patriotism, a desire to bring change and the need to endorse what they see as workable promises made during the campaigns by various political party leaders are other important reasons that were cited. For Onesmo Olengurumwa, a researcher and legal officer with the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), casting the vote is all about his destiny and that of the country. “My vote is my life for the next five years. It is an opportunity for me to give someone the responsibility of governing this country on my behalf,” he said. The chief executive officer of the Aids Business Coalition Tanzania (ABCT), Mr Richard Kasesela, said he would vote tomorrow to fulfill his constitutional obligation. He talked to The Citizen while on his way to Rugwe District in Mbeya where he is registered as a voter. “We have the habit as a nation of complaining about irresponsible leaders, but we never go to the polls. I am travelling at my own cost to Rungwe to vote on Sunday. There is no shortcut to good governance other than determining the destiny through the ballot,” he said. The secretary general of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA), Mr Nicholas Mgaya, concurred and added that he would vote because it was a constitutional right that no one could take away from people living in a true democracy. Dr Noording Jella of Mzumbe University said the public must take elections seriously because sometimes government decisions bound them for many more years. “I say that because sometime a leader can sign contracts binding the nation for 99 years while his or her mandate lasts for just five years,” he said, noting that having honest and trustworthy people in public office was important. The chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), Mr Felix Mosha, said the only way to make sure that the leaders delivered on their promises was to make them know the power of the people’s voice. “By electing one individual at the expense of the other means that the electorate approves of their campaign manifestos.” A senior researcher with the Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa) and an economist at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Dr Damian Gabagambi, said election day was like judgment day for the outdoing government as well as a chance for the people to put the country in a new direction. Mr Ndibalema Mayanja who chairs the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA) said elections contribute to the democratic growth of the country and is a measure of civilisation as governments move from one administration to the next. According to Dr Azaveli Rwaitama of the University of Dar es Salaam, if the right to vote no longer existed, the country would not survive as a democratic nation but would turn completely into an autocracy. He said by not voting, people give away their right to influence government decisions. “By not voting you give away the "will of the majority and replaces it with the will of the minority," the Philosophy lecturer said. Immediate former MPs Mgana Msindai and Athumani Janguo said it was important for people to participate in their own development by choosing those they wished would represent them in making law for the country. “It is an obligation to get leaders we want, and that is why we must vote in big numbers,” said Mr Msindai who lost the Iramba East seat after 15 uninterrupted years. Mr Janguo who voluntarily stepped down after serving for a similar period in Kisarawe Constituency said it was now his time to also elect a leader of his choice to take from where he had left. A Dar es Salaam resident, Mr Maswe Nestory, noted: “Voting reinforces my status as a citizen; Politics is about shaping society so that the people within it can flourish. If you want to be part of it, and it’s definitely in your interests to do so, then this is the moment to express your feelings.”


NGO helps fight eye disease

The International Centre for Eye Education (ICEE) of South Africa has donated health equipment worth Sh45 million to the Mlandizi health centre in Kibaha district, Coast Region. The donation seeks to improve treatment of eye ailments and related diseases for residents of the area. The NGO’s donation was received recently by the chief medical officer of Kibaha district, Dr Victorina Ludovick. The assistance included special lens, spectacles and a state of the art machine for examining eye ailments. The representative of ICEE in Tanzania, Mr Aden Mashayo said the donation was given mainly to help treat elders, who mostly suffer from eye diseases. Apart from commending the South African NGO, Dr Ludovick also called on other organizations to emulate ICEE in contributing towards healthcare improvement in the country.
The handover of the donation went hand in hand with the opening of an eye clinic at the health centre. After the function, 800 persons were examined to see if they had eye problems and out of them, 130 received spectacles, while 611 were treated for various eye-related ailments and 59 were earmarked for eye operation. Since 1998, when ICEE was founded in Australia, it has been developing and implementing sustainable solutions for improved eye care access. The NGO collaborates with governments, communities and international non-government organisations to develop long term solutions by investing in local eye care education, professional education, appropriate service delivery systems and research to ensure sustainable eye care in underserved communities. At least 670 million people, mostly in the developing world, are blind or vision impaired simply because they don’t have access to a basic eye examination and a pair of glasses. Of those at least 153 million suffer from treatable blindness or vision impairment at distance and a further 517 million due to near sightedness, all through uncorrected refractive error. “This unnecessary disability has a major impact on people’s lives. The link between poverty and avoidable blindness is indisputable. Uncorrected vision impairment causes profound economic disadvantages to individuals, their families and societies. People living with uncorrected vision impairment are more likely to be excluded from basic education, suffer from isolation and have fewer employment opportunities,” ICEE notes on its website.
“Many of the corrective measures available to those living with vision impairment are often inaccessible to those in low socio-economic groups. Access to health care and education are crucial in lifting people and communities out of poverty,” it adds.


JK stresses need to ensure justice for all

President Jakaya Kikwete, who is seeking re-election as a candidate of the ruling CCM, declared yesterday that it would be wrong and unfair denying people their constitutional right to vie for elective posts merely because they had cases pending in courts of law. He said he would not go for modalities likely to make suspects forfeit the chance of trying their luck in elections before they are convicted “which is when they will surely have lost that opportunity”. The candidate made the remarks in response to a question during a landmark live “dialogue” with journalists in Dar es Salaam, seen as part of the wrap-up of his cross-country election campaigns ahead of tomorrow’s General Election. He was reminded that several CCM parliamentary candidates have cases pending in court and asked whether it was not strange that he has been campaigning for them when touring their constituencies during his own campaign rallies. He said he has been campaigning for himself and CCM members cleared to vie for positions as parliamentarians or councillors. “Before deciding to endorse the people in question as contestants, the party’s leaders met and discussed the matter thoroughly and agreed that since they had cases to answer in court but the courts were not done with them, it was their right to contest since it is only the courts with the mandate to rule whether one has committed an offence,” Kikwete pointed out. He said the major issue the party considered was the fundamental importance of doing justice to all people seeking positions of leadership “and it is not that we do not know or believe that they are faced with court cases”. Asked about problems with the marketing and pricing of farm produce in the country, he said that was one of the most daunting challenges his government has been facing “but we have managed to tame it to some extent”. He had been specifically asked what he would do if re-elected to ensure that the more than 80 per cent of Tanzanians engaged in agriculture have ready and easier access to reliable markets and get good prices for their produce.
The candidate said his government has taken various measures to that effect, among them improving irrigation schemes, making available more farm inputs, subsidies and extension officers. “However, when you talk of markets and prices you are talking about one of the most daunting challenges we have been facing. In part, it is a consequence of the poor management of our cooperative unions,” he noted. He explained that not only were the cooperative unions heavily indebted to farmers and financial institutions and had totally to honour their debt obligations. “Both the farmers and the banks demanded payment, but the unions were hard up, subsequently losing their creditworthiness,” he said. Kikwete said he once visited Newala and Masasi districts, which are famous from cashewnut farming, and discovered that farmers were not benefiting from their sweat and toil. “I decided to have the government take over the responsibility of paying the debts of all cooperative unions and when I did that, now the prices are up. Farmers can now sell their cashewnuts at 800/- per kg – up from the previous 300/-,” he said. The candidate dismissed the possibility of vote rigging in the General Election, saying the present system does not give room for that eventuality “because everything is done in a transparent way”. He added that, if re-elected, he would form the cabinet by learning from the experience of the first phase of his presidency “when I found that there were a number of shortcomings in some government departments”.


CCM presidential candidate Jakaya Kikwete speaks at a televised news conference at the Arnautoglou Hall in Dar es Salaam last night. (Photo: Khalfan Said of Gurdian)

Tanzania government urged to reduce tax exemptions, increase revenue

Tanzania could make significant savings in revenues if it granted less tax exemptions. Twaweza Head Rakesh Rajani said this when briefing reporters on research reports in Dar es Salaam yesterday. He said the government on average missed its revenue target by 453bn/- in 2008/09 and 2009/10 financial years. “In the same period tax exemptions granted reached 724bn/- per year,” he said. Rajani was presenting a policy paper entitled: “Tanzania’s Tax exemption: Are they too high and making us too dependent on foreign aid?” The research conducted by Twaweza and presented by researcher analyst Rose Aiko and Rakesh Rajani said Tanzania was leading in terms of tax exemptions among East African countries. “While Tanzania is exempting from 2.5 per cent of the budget and above, Kenya is exempting for only 1 per cent and Uganda 0.4 per cent,” he noted. For her part, Aiko said if Tanzania reduced its tax exemptions to the level granted in the neighbouring countries, a lot of billions of shillings would be saved. “In this way, the shortfall in revenue collection would have been largely offset,” she said. She explained that Tanzania relied heavily on foreign aid because it failed to raise sufficient revenues. “When exemptions are compared with grants received to fill the gap in the budget, it is evident that dependence on aid can be reduced significantly if they are implemented more prudently,” the researcher said. The researchers lamented that every year, the parliament carefully scrutinised the government’s budget but tax exemptions on the other hand, did not receive the same attention in the parliament, making them hidden expenditures. “As long as information on, who (individual, company) receives what in exemptions is not fully publicly available, it is difficult to assess the way such high amounts of exemptions benefit Tanzanians,” one of the researchers remarked. Rajani said proposals to reverse laws granting the exemptions as recent attempts had shown, typically met strong resistance from the would-be losers. They suggested that there must be a review of various existing laws which grants exemptions to minimise loopholes and introducing new exemptions less liberally and making them time bound through improving enforcement. “It is not possible at the moment to establish how such a high level of exemptions benefits the nation. With more transparency, for example, by consistently disclosing individuals and exempted companies and the exemptions granted on the internet, such analyses may be possible,” explained another researcher.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Prominent Dar es Salaam businessman and CCM member Mustapha Jaffar Sabodo (L) hands over a cheque for 100m/- to Chadema national chairman Freeman Mbowe in the city yesterday in support of the party`s activities.Looking on is Chadema Director of Finance Anthony Komu. Registrar of Political Parties John Tendwa clarified later that there was no time restriction to internal contributions to political parties. (Photo: By Seleman Mpochi of Guardian)

National campaigns, two biggest parties in trouble

The two youths in a unique style of their campaigns, each one campaigns for one party. The two biggest parties are in trouble with supporters ahead of national elections to be held ten days from now. These two youths have been seen at the corner of Buguruni suburb at the railways crossings ever since the campaigns started two months ago.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scheme to plant drugs on Mengi`s son falls through

IPP Executive Chairman Reginald Mengi has lashed out at police officers and other people he said were behind a recent attempt to implicate his son in drug trafficking. He told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the plan was to plant drugs on the son, Abdiel Mengi, who was to have travelled to India on the Sunday of September 26 on a business trip. He said the conspiracy fell through after Abdiel smelled a rat and was forced to reschedule the trip. Elaborating, Mengi said a whopping 3billion/- was set aside to fund the scheme and some of those who had hatched or were expected to execute it had already pocketed advance payments. He named among those behind the plot as Police Anti-Drug Unit commander Godfrey Nzowa, Zonal Crime Officer Charles Mkumbo and Interpol inspector Eric, two Julius Nyerere International Airport officers and a mobile phone service company employee, calling on all of them to step down “because they have lost the trust of the public”. He also challenged those involved in or associated with the scheme and who felt aggrieved to go to court “to seek redress or be absolved because I am prepared and I know they are also prepared”. He said it was important for the officers to resign from the public service and thereafter turn to God “because of their inhumane, insensitive and dangerous acts”, adding that receiving money as an inducement to do something evil to innocent people was worse than corruption…,” he said. “The Police Force in general has been doing a dedicated and selfless job in ensuring that peace and the rule of law prevail in the country, but a few unscrupulous elements within it are tarnishing its reputation,” the IPP Executive Chairman pointed out. He named Inspector General of Police Said Mwema, Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Assistant Commissioner of Police Suleiman Kova, Elias Kalinga, David Msile, Faustine Shilogile and Venance Tossi among the police officers “who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to serving the force diligently and with integrity”. “My trust and confidence in the police is well-known. But this incident (the scheme) has irritated me. As far as I know my son cannot indulge in dirty business,” said Mengi, adding: “The fact that the scheme was hatched at a time when the General Election is just around the corner is what perplexes me most.” He explained that he had impeccable evidence that the person who mooted the plot was one of the people he once publicly denounced as “corruption sharks”. Giving the breakdown of the billions set aside for the conspiracy, he said Mkumbo was spotted along Dar es Salaam’s Nyerere Road on the morning of September 26 driving a silver Rav4 “as he was on his way to collect his advance payment of US$ 20,000 (half the full cut) with which to facilitate the scheme”. He added that Nzowa also pocketed a similar amount in advance payment just as did Inspector Eric and that the other three people involved in the conspiracy were promised 15m/- each. Reached for comment by phone yesterday, ASP Nzowa said a plot of the kind Mengi was talking about “would only be possible where there is ill will”. “The nature of my work requires me to be fully equipped with reasonable grounds, impeccable evidence and independent witnesses before making any arrest. I therefore do not understand what would drive me to target someone I do not even know in the first place,” he said. “My interests as a police officer do not match with the calibre of the people referred to (by Mengi) as those funding the said scheme. There is just no way we (police) can work with people ready to offer such huge amounts of money for such a scheme,” he noted, adding: “It is only in the courts that one can get justice.” Mkumbo similarly denied being involved in the conspiracy against Abdiel Mengi, arguing that he was too much of a high-ranking police officer to do anyone evil - least of all someone he is not familiar with.” He said he does not know Mengi’s son and “I only have been seeing the father through the media”, adding that he was not yet decided on what measures he would take following Mengi’s revelations. “But I hope my bosses will carry out thorough investigations to establish the truth and Mengi will also table his side of the story. In a word, I say these are mere fabrications that are 100 per cent false,” he noted. Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Peter Kivuyo said when contacted by this paper yesterday evening that he could not comment on the matter as yet “because my office has not received any official complaints relating to the matter”.