Friday, October 14, 2011

Iran donates 100 power tillers

IRAN will donate 100 power tillers in support of government's resolve to embark on the green revolution, popularly referred to as Kilimo Kwanza. The pledge was made in Dar es Salaam on Thursday by the Iranian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Mohsen Movahhedi Ghumi, when he paid a courtesy call on President Jakaya Kikwete at State House. Mr Ghumi said the power tillers worth 600,000 US Dollars were purchased with part of Iranian Development Grant to Tanzania. Last year, Tanzania signed an agreement with Iran in which the latter agreed to provide the country with 1.2 million US dollars in development grant. Part of the money has been used to purchase the farm implements and the remainder will be spent on construction of a modern health facility in Dar es Salaam. Under the agreement, Iran also agreed to provide the Zanzibar government with 1 million US dollars for procuring 50 powers tillers and use the remaining amount on purchasing fishing boats. The donation will be handed over by a senior Iranian leader scheduled to visit Tanzania, according to a statement issued by the State House Communication directorate. President Kikwete thanked the ambassador for the donation which he said was a big contribution towards realizing Kilimo Kwanza goals.


Minister Mwandosya upbeat as health improves

THE Minister for Water, Prof Mark Mwandosya who is admitted at Apollo Hospital here is upbeat about his current health condition and is looking to fly back home soon. The minister, recuperating after a surgery a couple of weeks ago, said here yesterday that he sees the time before he checks out from the hospital shorter than the period he has covered so far since he was flown to the hospital in June. ''I am better now and I can walk without crutches or any other support. Currently, I do some exercises and also go to the park outside,'' he said. He was talking to journalists covering the two-day India-Africa Business Partnership Summit who visited him at the hospital. He thanked Tanzanians for the prayers and best wish messages. 'I have sincerely been energized by the prayers and get-well-soon messages from my fellow countrymen and women,'' he said, as his daughter, Sekela, studying in Birmingham in the UK who flew here last weekend to see his father, was busy taking photos. The minister, wearing a broad smile, also said that he lost no hope battling for his life when a section of the Tanzanian press reported mid last month that he was dead. ''When people say that you are dead and in actual fact you are alive and kicking, then that is a good sign you will get well soon,'' he joked, when responding to a question querying how he felt about the death rumours. Explaining further about his illness, the soft-spoken and a bit-shy minister, further said that his neighbours in Tegeta area on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam were shocked when they heard the news that he was flown out of the country for further treatment.


Bilal to flag off Uhuru Torch race

VICE-President Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal is on Friday expected to flag off the Uhuru Torch race here as the nation commemorates the 12th anniversary of the death of the late Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Mwalimu succumbed to leukemia on October 14, 1999 at St Thomas Hospital in London. Many will remember him for his liberation struggle not only for Tanganyika but the whole of southern Africa. He led Tanganyika to independence from Britain on the eve of December 9, 1961 through the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). A statement issued by Mara regional authorities on Thursday indicated that there would be a special Mass in commemoration of the fallen hero at his Butiama birthplace. Dr Bilal will also lay a wreath on Mwalimu's grave. During the festivities, religious leaders drawn from the Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA), Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) and the Hindu community will cite prayers for the late Father of the Nation. Dr Bilal is expected to light the Uhuru Torch and hand it to Mara Regional Commissioner, Mr John Tupa, marking the start of the race across the country.

State House clarifies on Kombe's killers

THE government has refuted a report by a local tabloid that President Jakaya Kikwete reviewed death penalty to two police officers convicted of murder of a former director of intelligence, Lt Gen Imran Kombe on June 30 1996. The State House said in a statement that President Kikwete has never been involved in the clemency of the two convicts. The decisions on the presidential clemency on two convicts, Constable Mataba Matiku and Juma Muswa were reached before Mr Kikwete came into office on December 31, 2005. The tabloid had reported that President Kikwete reviewed the death penalty of the two convicts to two years imprisonment.

Experts tout modern farming

COUNTRIES, especially Africa, have been advised to invest a lot more in farming implements and infrastructure, and enhance public-private sector partnership in a bid to avert sporadic hunger. The advice was given on Wednesday by a panel of presenters during an agricultural forum held here and attended by various world leaders including Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda. The presenters said without the use of modern farming tools and implements such as tractors and power tillers, environmental friendly fertilizers and improving infrastructure to transport the produce, people will not benefit from agriculture. But they also noted that the involvement of the private sector in agriculture will improve the sector, particularly in Africa. The Chairman of Archer Daniels Midland, Patricia Woertz, said linking farmers with roads will enable them to transport home their farm produce, at the same time take cash crops to the market with ease.

Dar es Salaam launches new campaign against drugs

POLICE in Dar es Salaam have launched a new operation aimed at arresting drug traffickers and users, the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Mr Suleiman Kova said on Thursday. Addressing journalists in the city, Mr Kova said that in line with the operation, 108 people were arrested for allegedly being involved in various crimes including drug traffickers, dealers and users. ''The operation has kicked off and already 108 people suspected to be drug traffickers, dealers and users have been arrested,'' he said and added that the operation started one month ago. According to Mr Kova, the suspects were found with a sack of khat being suppled in the city using a vehicle with the registration numbers T 419 ABZ. Mr Kova said another vehicle with the registration numbers T 693 BMZ carried three sacks of bhang that was being supplied by some suspects who were arrested. He named some of the suspects as David Fares, 28, Joseph Jerome, 20, David Denis, 15, and Hamis Khalifan.

Kikwete leads mourners in bidding farewell to veteran scribe

CCM Chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete on Thursday led hundreds of mourners to bid adieu to the late former party's assistant secretary of publicity, Mr Juma Penza, in Dar es Salaam.
The late Penza, one of the country's veteran journalists, was laid to rest at the Kisutu Cemetery, a day after succumbing from kidney complications. The deceased was admitted to the Hindu Mandal Hospital for treatment since October 5, before passing away on Wednesday night. He was 59. Deputy CCM Chairman Mr John Chiligati and the party's Publicity and Ideology Secretary, Mr Nape Nnauye, were among the top leaders at the funeral. "Let today journalists steal a leaf or two from the late Penza who was one dedicated, professional and righteous newsman during his hey days. "Having worked with him for years I always admired his zeal to disseminating accurate and objective news that never sowed hatred among the readers", said Mr Chiligati. Speaking at the deceased's Gongo la Mboto home on the outskirts of the city, Mustapher Penza, who is the son of the late Penza, said his father was suffering from kidney and liver complications, blood pressure and he had paralyzed on his right side. He said his father who was one of the earliest directors of the party owned Uhuru FM Radio, served as Press secretary to former Prime Ministers, the late Rashid Kawawa and Mr John Malecela.

Prince of Wales coming to Dar es Salaam

THE Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Tanzania early next month at the invitation of President Jakaya Kikwete. A statement issued by the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam on Thursday said the British royal couple will also be visiting South Africa at the invitation of President Jacob Zuma. "The British government has asked the Prince and the Duchess to undertake official visits to South Africa and Tanzania from November 2 to 9, this year," reads part of the statement. In Tanzania the Royal visit will be part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Independence. The Prince of Wales visited South Africa in 1997 when he introduced his son Prince Harry to Southern Africa. This will be The Duchess of Cornwall's first official visit to Southern Africa, though she has once visited privately. The Prince of Wales's last official visit to Tanzania was in March 1984. The Duchess has never visited Tanzania. Their royal highnesses' Commonwealth tour will focus on trade and investment promotion to support Britain's economic recovery and strengthen the economies of its partners. The tour will also focus on employment opportunities, development issues as well as education and practical support for disadvantaged young people and sustainability issues in the run-up to the Durban Climate Summit later in November.


Ocampo wants ICC to reject Kenya quest for evidence

The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has asked the court to dismiss Kenya’s request for evidence to help the government try more suspects of the post-election violence.Mr Moreno-Ocampo said the request lacked merit and that the government had not provided proof that it was conducting any investigations. The prosecutor’s move comes only days after he met Attorney- General Githu Muigai and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko at The Hague where they made an oral request for the evidence. The two especially asked for the confidential documents Mr Moreno-Ocampo is using in his two cases. Kenya argued that accessing the evidence would advance its investigations on other perpetrators of the violence other than the Ocampo Six. “The court is clearly in possession of information and materials that are relevant to these national investigations into the six suspects as well as all other suspects,” the government says in an application filed by lawyers Geoffrey Nice and Rodney Dixon. But Mr Moreno-Ocampo says in his response that the Pre-Trial Chamber is under no obligation to provide cooperation to allow Kenyan authorities to exercise their responsibility. The government says that these materials, though helpful to its investigations, are not available to it especially in instances where the court is relying on anonymous witnesses.

Tanzania faces an acute shortage of sugar

More than 2,200 bags of sugar which were being smuggled into neighbouring Kenya through Rombo, Himo and Moshi rural districts, have been impounded, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Leonidas Gama disclosed yesterday. Addressing civil servants in Hai township, during a day-long visit of the district to introduce himself, Gama said the sugar was now being sold in the region. The new RC who also met with district security and defense committee and councilors and inspected development projects said owners of the impounded vehicles and drivers were yet to come forward. The RC said if owners produced adequate documentary evidence as to the destination of the sugar, they would be given the money after sale of the commodity. “Otherwise the money will be directed into construction of secondary schools,” he charged Gama said it was common to see between 20 to 30 trucks parked at Himo town claiming to be shipping sugar to Rombo district, but after nightfall the traders transported it to neighbouring Kenya where currently a kilo of sugar sells for nearly 5,000/-. “When I asked the police why they were not seizing the vehicles and arresting the drivers, they replied that it was normally difficult to tell whether the destination of the consignment was within or outside the country,” he said. He alleged that owners of the consignment normally boarded smaller vehicles and dished out bribes to the police and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officials to let the goods be shipped to Kenya.