Thursday, December 22, 2011

Somalia, the state of blood.

It is very hard to believe if these people were dead or not. But the truth about the matter is that, they were dead and paraded in public view for people to identify them. This is how Somaliland is, frequent deaths are the order of the day.

The animal species with the nature of human beings

You don’t need to be told of the species of these animals who were found resting probably pondering over on their next move.

Unusual to carry a goat on ones back. This is oddity

Very funny indeed. An unidentified man carrying a goat on his back while riding a bicycle along the road from the market where he had bought it.

When will tribal clashes end in Africa?

Africa is leading for having refugees in neighboring countries. This is due to the civil strifes which never ends an aspect that would put this sub continent into endless troubles. An example is with this photo as depicted in 1996 when there was tribal clashes among the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda. Refugees marching in single file as they cross the border to Tanzania. Women and children are always the most sufferers.

Troublesome machingas on pedistrian walkways in the evening

During evening time, petty traders known as Machingas at Ilala Mchikichini market in Dar es Salaam are fond of spreading their merchandise along Kawawa Road, thus causing traffic jam to the motorists passing along as captured here. Scores of them selling old shoes plus clothes known in Kiswahili as Mitumba.

Why machinga are trading anywhere they like?

The bridge which connects Ubungo and Mwenge suburb in Dar es Salaam city is among the newly constructed bridge. It is surprising to note that it has been invaded by petty traders who use its iron frames to display their wares for sale. The city authority must be careful as this is prone to vandalism of some iron parts used to build the bridge by few untrustworthy petty traders around.

Dar es Salaam floods, pictorial scene

Following heavy rains which continues to pour in downtown Dar es Salaam city, people who are residing in valleys have experienced a hard phenomenon which they will never forget in their life. According to one person at the scene of incident, valley dwellers have defied the government order which requires them to vacate from these areas. Large numbers of valley dwellers in these areas seems to have turned a blind eye and refused blantantly to respond to the government call a result of which many of them have found themselves homeless after their houses are submerged in water which runs with high force to enter the confluence of Indian Ocean to the east direction of the city of Dar es Salaam.

This is how the situation was yesterday at Jangwani in Dar es Salaam, the area almost turned into a pond of water

Military taskforce arrives at Jangwani area to rescue people from their houses

A task force consisting of members of Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF) arrived at Jangwani with their special boat to rescue people from their houses which had been surrounded by water.

Electric poles in danger

Electric poles standing precariously in a dangerous position after having been waterlogged at Jangwani area after it had rained heavily in the area for the last two days.

Flooding at Jangwani area in Dar es Slaam city

A cross section of some of the houses seen submerged in water from far a distance at Jangwani area in the city of Dar es Salaam. The area has become so notorious during rainy seasons of the year.

Floods in the city of Dar es Salaam

Scores of people walking on foot to Kariakoo area after the Morogoro road that links with Magomeni suburb was temporarily closed after the Jangwani Bridge in between which links the two suburbs was overshadowed by rain water an aspect that even vehicles could not manage to pass through. This was how it was yesterday 21/12/2011

Floods in Dar es Salaam city, a pictorial scene

Policemen patrolling after being deployed along Morogoro Road near Jangwani bridge which has become the most notorious area for flooding following a two day torrential heavy rains that poured in downtown Dar es Salaam city exclusively. The rains have caused damages to the most important infrastructure such as telephone wires, electricity poles and city roads.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Open University of Tanzania to establish electronic media stations

STUDENTS pursuing Journalism and Mass Communication degree programs at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT), will now have time to do their electronic field practice with ease following plans which are underway by the OUT to establish a radio and television stations of their own. It was disclosed last week at Bungo- Kibaha. The move is in line with the university’s strategic future plans discussed for 2011/2012 academic year which together with other university’s projects, the establishment of these two electronic media stations have been considered. OUT’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Tolly Mbwette said last week when addressing the prospective graduants during annual convocation meeting of the Open University of Tanzania which was held at a permanent OUT headquarter at Bungo-Kibaha located 40 miles away west from the city of Dar es Salaam. According to him, his university will establish a radio station in a place to be identified later within three to four months’ time, and later would be followed by a television which will be established in two years to come. However, he said in an exclusive interview after his meeting that, television is more expensive and would require long term planning. Apart from their normal roles of disseminating news as well as other programs to a mass audience in the country, the stations will also serve as a training centre by inviting students from other institutions pursuing journalism and mass communication studies in the country.

Seated in a jovial mood front row are four grandaunts of Journalism and Mass Communication degrees. This was during the 23rd graduation ceremony of the Open University of Tanzania. I was one of them waiting to be conferred with our degrees. From left to right are Mwanzo Milinga (MC), Evelen Eugene (MC) Emmanuel Onyango (Journalism) and Ikunda Erick (Journalism). Two of our fellows graduated in absentia.

The annual convocation meeting which is normally held ahead of the graduation day by the university aims at discussing some of the problems and challenges faced by the university. The meeting also highlights future development plans laid down by the university for the coming academic year. A day after the convocation meeting, the Open University of Tanzania held its 23rd graduation which was graced by the Vice-President Mohammed Bilal as the guest of honour. According to Professor Mbwette, it was the first time for the graduation of the Open University of Tanzania to have been graced by the top government official in the country since its establishment 19 years ago. A total of 2,531 graduants were conferred with certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The degrees were given to graduates who pursued undergraduate, masters and PhD degree program levels. A total of 11,381 people have been conferred by the OUT University since its establishment way back in 1994.

I was among the top 17 best students who excelled in their final examinations of the 2010/2011 academic year and awarded with the Vice-Chancellor’s prize. I have scored 4.5 GPA (First Class) in BA in Journalism. Above I am being given a certificate by the Chairman of the Open University of Tanzania Board of Senate, Professor Samwel Wangwe.. Standing at the centre facing camera is the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tolly Mbwette. Extreme left partly seen is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Elifas Bisanda. This occasion took place during the convocation meeting, a day before the graduation day at the prospective permanent headquarter of the Open University of Tanzania which is currently under construction at Bungo-Kibaha in Coast region 40 kilometers away west of Dar es Salaam city.

When outlining the development of a permanently expected headquarters of the Open University, Professor Mbwette said, a total of Tsh. 400 billion is needed to complete the construction of all the designed buildings at the maim campus whose architectural drawings are in place. Either he noted that, there were so many challenges Open University is facing from the national leaders whom he described to have not taken an active part to advertise the presence of the university in their regions despite of the fact that, open University has opened its regional centres in all regions in the country. Analyzing a detailed report of the development of the expected Open University headquarters, the Chairman of the Board of the University senate, Professor Samwel Wangwe said that, only two buildings which have been constructed so far, these are an office block at the entrance and a book store within the yard which covers approximately 40,000 acres of land.

This is how I looked like during the 23rd graduation ceremony of the Open University of Tanzania. A day has come and I have a reason to smile for what I had been waiting for in my life is now around the corner. How proud is it if someone recognizes you as a degree holder? How do you feel by having this academic achievement? It is really fascinating as it paves the way for one to proceed with another.

He has challenged the main stakeholders of the higher learning institutions from the Ministry of Education in the country to dish out money to help develop some regional centres which are now all over the country. Other challenges he noted are that, the Open University has been assigning outside tutors to run with the teaching exercises and provides teaching materials for students, but lack of money has been an exacerbating issue. He has therefore asked the government to set aside money in its next financial budget in order to subsidize for the payment of part time teachers who are hired from other universities to do the job. Despite of running with these disparities, the Vice-President assured the management of the Open University that, he would take to task all the problems mentioned before him, and promised to give a full support wherever appropriate and necessary. Going on its 20th year of its existence next year, another challenge the University is faced with is the shortage of lecturers as this is an issue affecting most government higher learning institutions in the country. In return, the Vice-President has asked the management of the University to liase with the Ministry’s officials in the country in order to ward off the existing phenomenon

The Precision Air company to open more regional routes

TANZANIA' s leading airline service company, the Precision Air is set to expand its operational services by opening other five regional air flight routes within central and southern Africa region. Business Times has been informed. The company's Managing Director Alphonso Kioko said in an exclusive interview last week in Dar es Salaam that, his company is expecting to inaugurate a maiden journey of these routes in January and February and later in October next year. “The first route will be inaugurated to Lubumbashi in DRC followed by Luanda in Angola, these two air flight routes will be effected between January and February next year” he said adding that, other three routes will be inaugurated in October. The inauguration of these five routes will make the total number of seven routes plus the two ones under which the airline operates. These routes are Johannesburg in South Africa and in Comoro Islands which were inaugurated early this year. He mentioned the other three routes with their respective countries in brackets as follows, Lilongwe (Malawi), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe). However, he said all these routes will be succeeded following plans by the company which are underway to buy the third aircraft, boeng 737 whose aim is to boost the regional internal flight services. He says after the purchase of the boeng aircraft which will be acquired on hiring basis from a US based company at a cost of between US$ 100,000 and 150,000 per month, his company is planning to bring in two brandy new ATR 42 aircrafts next year.

According to him, one boeng plus two aircrafts, these would bring flexibility to clients and will make the total number of the aircrafts owned by the company to be 14, which by no any doubt, he is optimistic the operations will be smoother to cater the need of the customers within East, Central and Southern Africa region. On the issue of the maintenance of its aircrafts, the company is currently busy to finalize the construction of its long awaited hangar at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) which is expected to be ready within one and a half months' time in order to accommodate these aircrafts. However, he cited weather conditions for being the main challenging factor that constraints their flight programs. These are to be issued by Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) on alert that impends any danger ahead, and is uncontrollable. He said for the last two months, his company has had experienced a problem of weather in Bukoba, Shinyanga and in Mara regions mostly due to the prevailing rains. He said the aircraft operating in these regions experienced strong weather conditions an aspect which forced them to suspect or cancel their flight schedules for a while. In addition to the weather challenges one of their aircrafts, ATR 42 was grounded and after its maintenance its operation is back in full swing and has now improved. Meanwhile in another development, the Precision Airline sought to raise close to TZS28 billion Tanzanian shillings (USD$16.5 million) from its IPO for modernization and expansion of its fleet, but managed to collect just TZS11.84 billion shillings. The company is co-owned by Kenya Airways offered 58,841,750 shares for sale during the IPO that ended last week. "The response of the public has been very impressive and we expect increased demand from large institutional investors these last days," Lauren Malauri, CEO of Orbit Securities was quoted as saying early this week in Dar es Salaam. The price for each share in the IPO had been pegged at Tsh. 475 and buyers were expected to purchase a minimum of 200 shares. The listing of the Airline at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange would be on December 8.

A Kenyan company unveils TV decorder in Dar es Salaam

TELEVISION viewers in the country will now have the opportunity to make a wider choice on the variety of the TV channels they wish to visit following the launching of the most powerful and the cheapest TV decorder popularly known as ZUKU in Tanzania. The product which was unveiled early this week by Wananchi Group from the Republic of Kenya, is a pay TV satellite service that offers over 60 TV channels found worldwide at an affordable price. It has already started operarting through agents stationed in the country. The initial installation charges plus fees and the costs for paying technicians will be totaled at Tsh. 92,000, then afterwards, a customer will continue paying a normal monthly fee for the broadband charges of Tsh. 20,000. Zuku TV offers a wide selection of entertainment channels covering news, sports, movies, documentaries and musics. These includes various third party channels such as BBC, MTV Base, Setanta sports, MGM Movies just to name but a few. According to the Chairman of Mwananchi Group, Ali Mufuruki, the provider also offers many of its own tailor made channels such as Zuku Africa airing African content, Zuku life airing documentaries, modern consumer fresh, innovative and affordable options for entertainment and communmication.

Mwananchi Group CEO, Richard Bernalist elaborating a point to journalists {not in picture}on how the Zuku TV brand he had just inaugurated for his company will be beneficial to TV users in the country. On his right he is flanked by the company's Chairman Ali Mufuruki.

He says, there are currently three commercial products under Zuku namely, Zuku TV {DTH satellite TV covering 12 countries within East and Central Africa}, Zuku triple play which is a bundle cable offering of TV high speed broadcast and VoIP, and Zuku Biz the company's own cable. Echoing his sentiments, Wananchi Group CEO, Richard Bernalist explained that Zuku was uniquely positioned in this market as a truly dedicated East African service made by Africans for Africa. “In the ten countries we are targeting, Zuku pay TV penetration is presently at less than 1 percent and there is a need for affordable quality content which is suitable for the entire family” he said early this week. In early this year, Wananchi Group raised $57.5 million in growth from a group of international investors which is going towards supporting the roll out of Satellite services in 10 countries. Zuku TV is expected to provide numerous employment and business opportunities to Tanzanians through its distribution network.
The Wananchi Group company is the leading provider of cable and internet services in Eastern Africa region which was established in 2007. As the African leading provider of “triple play” with a cable network passing 40,000 kenyan homes, the company is positioned to become the premier media operator in the region. Zuku TV meets the obligation of the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) that requires all Television broadcast services to migrate from analogue to digital by 2012.

Sardine prices spiral at Kariakoo market by 100 percent.

DELIVERIES of sardine from the great lakes regions to the main Kariakoo market, the biggest in the city of Dar es Salaam have gone down, thus forcing the prices of this commodity to rise up. With this supply crunch, the survey conducted early this week at the market shows that, a retail price of a kilogram of this commodity is currently pegged at Tsh. 5,000 from Tsh. 2,500 which it had been before in the last two months. This is an increase of 100 percent. Statistics kept by the market administration shows that, beginning early October this year, daily deliveries to the market have fallen by approximately 50 percent from 506 bags to 244 bags per day each weighing between 45 and 55 kilograms. Nicolus Omolo, an economist and market statician attributes the dwindling supply that has resulted high sale of this protein nutritious food as due to scarcity of sardines currently being fished out from the lake. However, he added that, this is being caused by the prevailing long rains from the main supplying regions which started in October. Other reasons he attributed as the most important ones are due to the high freight charges induced by road transporters which is currently characterized by the constant depreciation of Tanzanian shilling coupled by the rise of oil. Traders at the market say that, the trend of the business is normally affected by weather conditions of the year that interacts with the trading periods from the source areas which normally starts from October and ends up in early January. An unfavorable condition reduces supplies to markets from the production areas.
Johnson Ouma, a wholesale trader from Mwanza region told this paper in an exclusive interview that, during rainy seasons, sardines are not easily found as they go down to the basement of the lake because they need warmth an aspect that it is very difficulty for fishermen to catch them.
However, he said that it's not easy to predict when how long is this situation going tio persist, but critics from the areas of the main supplies that fishermen are not to blame as they are not concerned wit the price rise for they are also labourers. Good sardines never fail to find a good market in Dar es Salaam city markets says Mary Adoyo, a famous sardine wholesale trader located at Kariakoo's sub terranean part of the market {shimoni}. However, she noted that, despite of the price hike, still people would prefer to buy the commodity as the sardines from the great lakes regions have a delicious taste and have no difficulty in attracting customers.

This photo was taken in early July this year, when a kilogram of sardine was sold at Ts,. 2,800 at Kariakoo. Now the prices have doubled.

The survey has also discovered that, there is a slight increase in price of sardines from Kigoma in lake Tanganyika. These are sold at between Tsh. 12,000 and 17,000 from between Tsh. 9,200 and Tsh. 12,500 per kilogram depending on the variety and in terms of quality at the same marjet. “It is surprising as more customers would now prefer to afford a kilogram of oprdinary meat which can be fetched at the same market at between Ts. 4,500 and Tsh. 5,000” remarked one customer who prefered anonymity when approached for comment. Meanwhile, with just three weeks remaining ahead of christmas festivities, prices for cereal foods and other leguminants foods are likely to raise up primarily due to their low supplies at the Kariakoo market. Nicolus Omolo attributes the scarcity of the commodities such as beans, cowpeas, pegion peas, green grames, lentil, monkeynut, peanut, sorgum, finger millet, wheat, rice, maize etc from their areas of main supplies as the impending danger of crop production.

TPCC rises up the price of its Twiga cement product by 4 percent

TANZANIA Portland cement Company (TPCC) has increased the price of its Twiga cement brand product by 4 percent, thus forcing cement buyers in the country to deep further into their pockets in order to acquire the product. A reliable source from within the factory based at Wazo Hill on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam says that, a wholesale price of a 50 kg sachet of cement at factory price is now sold to cement agents at Tsh. 12,439 from Tsh. 11,960. This is approximately an increase of 4 percent. TPCC’s Director of Sales and Marketing Ekwabi Magigo attributed early this week in Dar es Salaam that, the price increase is alongside with the increase in the factory’s operational costs which has been exacerbated by a constant depreciation of a shilling against dollar. He added that the continued situation has disturbed the stability of cement production. He further said that, higher production costs and usage of the US Dollar in procurement of natural gas are some of the factors that have increased cement prices. The company buys gas from SONGAS Ltd and for importing raw materials by using US Dollar whose value is increasing now and then against Tanzania shilling.

Twiga Cement plant at WAzo Hill on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city.

Following the increase of this precious commodity used for construction purposes, I carried a survey in some parts of the city’s suburb and found out that, there is a slight increase for the purchase of one bag weighing 50 kilogram. The survey shows that, the retail price of a bag of 50 kg sachet of Twiga Cement brand is now fetched at between Ts. 14,000 and Tsh. 14,500 from between Tsh. 13,200 and Ts. 13,500 as it was before two weeks ago. Tanzania’s local cement industries are capable of producing three million tones of cement per years against the country’s yearly demand of 2.1 million tones, but lack of electricity power supply is an exacerbating factor which hinders the production of this commodity in the country, says an official from Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI). In 2009, Heiderlberg Cement Company owners of Twiga Cement Company invested more than US$ 100 million to expand the TPCC production facilities in order to meet the increasing cement demand in the country. Despite of such an investment, still Tanzania was experiencing an acute shortage of this product an aspect that the government allowed foreign imports of the same commodity from Pakistan and India to be sold in the local market. Following this decision by the government, there was an outcry from the three giant local cement manufacturers in the country who complained that their competitors were being subsidized by their government to produce export cement, and it is very unfortunate that Tanzania does not have such a privilege. Three years ago, the import duties on cement were abolished by the government and President Jakaya Kikwete reiterated that these were temporary measures initiated to whether the storm of price hikes, but seemingly this is not implemented. The decision back in 2008 was fuelled by a rise in demand for cement that local producers could not meet. However, local cement manufacturers have been complaining that the decision enabled colossal cement imports mostly from Pakistan and India undercutting the local manufacturers.

Nyerere’s film blamed to have insufficient contents

SOME Dar es Salaam residents have criticized the production of a film documentary which has been designed to honour the father of the nation and his importance in modern Tanzania history in commemoration of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the country’s independence. The film titled, “NYAYO ZA MWALIMU” which literally means ‘footsteps of the teacher’ a popular title used to refer the first President Julius .K. Nyerere is currently sold in some parts of Dar es Salaam city centre at a negotiable price of between Tsh. 3,000 and Tsh. 5,000 respectively. Some interviewed residents who bought the film at Kariakoo market said that, “the film shows only few and not important areas that could enlighten the future generations on the basic important social and economic activities which were spearheaded by the father of the nation who died in October 1999”. According to one, Rhoda Simbale a resident of Vingunguti claimed that she thought the documentary would show the struggles of the farther of the nation towards the attainment of independence and any other activity as related to his charity idea of maintaining peace, unity and brotherhood. Another one, Joseph Mwambi who resides at Kinondoni was very happy to buy one film and thought it would show anything crucial to honour his credibility for being a long serving President and the founder of our nation. But to his great dismay, he was surprises to view the long speech which Mwalimu gave in a conference meeting with journalists he organized at the then Kilimanjaro hotel in Dar es Salaam. This was when Tanzania was getting prepared for the first multy-party elections in August 1995. Contrary to the expectations of many, the film shows only part of the Mwalimu’s visit of the battle field during the Kagera war in 1978/79 as well as when his body was being brought into the country aboard Air Tanzania plane (Ngorongoro). Other sections of it shows the procession amounted by a cross section of youths running after Mwalimu’s body while chanting slogans to praise his efforts, this was during when Mwalimu’s body was being driven to his Msasani residence in Dar es Salaam. Ally Abdallah, a resident of Ilala commented that, the film could have shown Nyerere’s efforts towards the liberation of southern African countries for which he was the Chairman of the front line states is such one aspect to be put in memory for the future generations not only in Tanzania but also for the benefits of the rest of the world.

This is the film cover of a documentary that bears the portrait of Tanzania’s father of the nation. The film is not sufficient with the contents it deserves to honour the father of the nation in culmination of the 50th anniversary in commemoration of the country’s independence celebrations.

As a general comment and expectations of many said that the film does not portray sufficient contents if it was meant to honour Mwalimu’s efforts as the nation is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence bearing the fact that, he had a reputable role to play for the attainment of the independence in 1961. When contacted for comment over the issue, the Director of the film Renatus Theophil said in a telephone interview that, when he asked for the permission to prepare this film he was restricted not to use some other parts of Mwalimu’s activities as they have been preserved as secret matters.
However, he could not even disclose who permitted him and for whom the work was intended, and instead he declined to say anything further. Social and political critics says that, the history of Mwalimu and the perils of nation building in Tanzania and Africa as a whole from before independence in 1961 to his retirement in 1985 is the idea of importance for the future generation of Tanzanians. Mwalimu led Tanzania into peaceful independence overcoming colonialism, internal divisions and cold war intrigue to build a unified nation that led the drive to liberate Southern Africa from white minority rule. While he never succumbs to corruption like many of his peers, Mwalimu dominated Tanzania politics for nearly 25 years. Without uncompromising idealism and piercing analysis, he inspired a generation with his vision for Africa as the “continent of hope for the human race”. He pursued his course out of his genuine desire to build a peaceful and prosperous society, and thus his failure cannot be attributed to greedy or other personal shortcomings but are rooted in deeper structural issues which continue to vex African leaders.

Local oil price fluctuations to continue unabated-EWURA

THE National Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has assured oil consumers in the country to continue receiving price fluctuations on oil petroleum products as the situation is determined by the change of prices at global market. In view of this, EWURA has reiterated its stance to continue issuing indicative prices in order to curb with any possible economic downfall which is likely to be caused by unscrupulous oil dealers in the country. According to the authority’s head of Communications and Public Relations Titus Kaguo, there is no way to avoid the recurrent oil price increase, and if left without control, unscrupulous traders might take the advantage of rising the prices according to their wish. EWURA is working hard to regulate petroleum products, and the firm has appealed to petroleum product consumers to ask for receipts from buyers in order to ensure that important details such as the name of the petrol station, the indicative price and date are endorsed. The control of oil price by EWURA will continue to be reviewed at fortnightly intervals as earlier announced due to the sudden increase in price at global market. This is in a bid to stabilize oil prices in the country an aspect that helps to curb with the emerging unscrupulous oil dealers in the local market.

Director General of Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority {EWURA} Mr. Haruna Masebu elaborating a point to journalists not in the picture in early this year when the authority increased power tariff to current levels.

EWURA which is a sole regulator of oil products in the country has of recent instituted indicative prices and the essence of doing this is after it had discovered that there was no fixed price for oil products which keeps on rising and falling according to the oil shortages. Apart from that, oil dealers had to make own prices that seemed to be extravagant higher than normal an aspect that caused public outcry. “The intervention by EWURA has helped to stabilize the price at local market” says Mary Sichalwe an economist based in Dar es Salaam According to her, oil is a driving engine of all economic resources of all sectors of the economy and if the government would let private stakeholders to control oil businesses in the country, they would arrange their own prices as they are after the profit and not the welfare of the citizens in the country. Before the introduction of indicative prices on oil products by EWURA, oil dealers took an advantage when shortages of this precious product occurred in August this year when scores of filling stations across the country refused to sell fuel for some days in protest over unrealistic reduction in prices instituted by EWURA. However, both EWURA and the Tanzania Oil Marketers Association (TAOMAC) confirmed that the periodic shortages are artificially created by some unscrupulous dealers who speculate on the movements of indicative prices. Two weeks ago, fuel shortages arose after EWURA had announced indicative prices which were lower forcing the TAOMAC to issue a statement condemning the malpractice. According to the statement, the association was disgusted after it claimed to have witnessed long queues and the rush to many filling stations in Dar es Salaam city following rumours that there were no fuel supplies something that EWURA dismissed as untrue statement. According to EWURA, the country has enough oil stock and that mere speculation intends to set a petroleum issue as a political agenda that the government would decide to increase the prices following the fall of a shilling against US dollar. In order to be on the safe side, EWURA introduced new indicative oil prices and issued a directive to various filling stations in the country to introduce fuel price caps indicating the maximum above which fuel must not be sold. Apparently, the price hikes this time round were attributed to the increase of oil prices at the world market. Other contributing factors usually include the relentlessly depreciating Tanzania shilling against US dollar which is traditionally taken as a standard in the world of commerce. It is steadily but surely becoming normal that the fortnightly price changes either way up or down come at a time when dealers still have considerable quantities of fuel in stock. The move is in a bid that oil dealers should not exceed the authority’s wholesale price caps and retailers should not overcharge the consumers.

Dar residents astonished as EID celebrations triggered high food prices

SOME food commodities were sold at high prices at most of the Dar es Salaam markets due to high demand by consumers during the just ended Eid-el-Haji celebrations, Food commodities mostly affected were those normally preferred during special religious occasions and big festivities. The high prices of such foodstuffs are normally characterized by a high demand by potential consumers. Shabani Abdallah, a wholesale trader at the Ilala market in the city said he bought 200 bags of rice from Mbeya and took only one week to dispose of the whole consignment. At other times, it would normally take him about a month to finish the lot. He said during such periods they reap big profits. A random survey at the city markets reveals that, a whole sale price of rice at Ilala market was sold at between Tshs. 140,000 and Tshs. 150,000 for a 100 kilogram bag and sometimes higher depending on its quality. A retail price of the same commodity was fetched at between Tshs. 1,600 and Tshs. 1,750 per kilo, and this is the price of the best quality rice compared to the previous price of Tshs. 1,400 and Tshs. 1,550 a kilogram respectively. At Buguruni market which is famous for selling bananas, prices were not normal as almost every essential food commodity was raised by 25 percent. Cooking bananas were sold at Tshs. 1,000 for a bundle of four pieces instead of the six pieces as it was used before. Ripe bananas were sold at between Shs. 200 and Sh. 250 each piece respectively instead of Shs. 100 and shs. 150 as it was before. According to one trader, Omar Salehe, there is no constant price for consumable products for most traders take the advantage of the festivities.

A congested part of the Kariakoo market at the heart of Dar es Salaam city.

The prices of mixed meat at Gongo la Mboto butcheries rose from the normal Tshs. 4,000 for a kilogram to Tshs. 5,000 a kilogram. This is an increase of 25 percent. Attributing for such a tremendous rise, Mvunda Kipelego a famous meat trader said that, the prices of cows at the nearby Pugu Cattle market were skyrocketed. The survey shows that, a steak meat and goat meat was sold at Tshs. 6,000 instead of the previous prices of Tshs. 5,000 per kilo. Exotic and local breed chicken were far from their normal price as these were rarely seen and apart from that, their prices were unaffordable to ordinary people. The survey can reveal that, a local breed hen was fetched at a lower price of Tshs. 10,000, and a cock at Tshs. 15,000. Exotic chicken were sold at between Tshs. 7,000 and Tshs. 9,000 respectively. However, they could be made affordable only during such festivities. Irish potatoes commodity from which a favourite fried chips is made as a popular food for most young residents including adults in the city of Dar es Salaam remained unchanged at Tshs. 1,000 a kilogram. This price has been virtually remained at a constant level for about two years now in almost all Dar es Salaam markets and their suburbs. The survey shows that, rice, meat cooking oil and Irish potatoes are the most preferred foods during festivities. Other food commodities and condiments such as tomatoes and onions had been sold at a minimum prices as their supplies is constant. A kilogram of onion has been sold at Tshs. 1,400 whereas tomatoes has been fetched at Tshs. 1,200 a kilo. However, market statistics from the main Kariakoo market from where all these commodities are purchased in bulk shows constant supplies of most of these commodities. But prices of such commodities rises up whenever there is a high demand says a market statician Mr. Nicolus Omolo. According to him, unscrupulous traders sometimes are to blame as they tend to rise up some food commodities during religious festivities as they take advantage of the celebrity for unknown reasons as they presume many people would emerge to buy their products. He further said that, the situation is unavoidable as the demand for such commodities surge up within a short time and then the prices falls down to a normal business trend when such festivities comers to an end.