Sunday, December 23, 2012

New TPA Board suspends 4 directors

THE Newly appointed Board of Directors for Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has suspended its top officials including four directors, eight managers of the various departments and other three subordinate officers of the authority in a move to pave way for further investigations on various allegations leveled against them. The suspension follows a thorough scrutiny which was ordered to be done by the Board in collaboration with an enquiry committee formed by the Minister of Infrastructure Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe about two months ago. With this number, it will now make a total of 23 workers who shall have been suspended since the minister started to deal with the TPA. The move aimed at finding out private networks that secretly involved with the rampant theft and other loss of the properties at the port including containers which have been disappearing n a mysterious condition at the port. The four directors and their specialization in brackets are Engineer Bakari Kilo (Director of Engineering), Florence Nkya (Director of Planning), Ayub Kamili (Director of ICT), and Maimuna Mrisho (Director of Management Systems).  Announcing their suspension yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Infrastructure Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe said that, as the Board is still going on with the investigation pending on various misuse of the TPA’s properties which he said aimed at getting rid of unfaithful workers and this will be continuous until efficiency at the port is regained. Before he met with the workers, the Minister held a two hour closed door meeting with the Board members and other top officials of the TPA, a meeting which was bound for access to journalists.  The eight managers are Engineer Raymond Swai (Engineering department), Bahebe Machibya (Procurement and energy dept), Theophil Kimaro (Procurement Manager), Mary Mhayaha (Head of Engineering dept) and Mathew Anthony (Container dept). Others are Marcelina Mhando (ICT Manager), Owen Rwebangira (In charge of Oil Jet), Fadhili Ngorongo (Marine dept), Fortunatus Sandaria (Security Manager). Other subordinates are Mohammed Abdula (Driver) and one security guard who was identified by one name as Kilimba. Dr. Mwakyembe was addressing workers at the port yard who gathered for hours in a meeting he had just convened which also gave the opportunity workers to air out their views and various problems affecting their daily activities and used time to deliberate on the possible ways how to avert them.

Tanzania's Minister of Infrastructure Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe.

He also used the opportunity to introduce his newly appointed Board members to TPA workers whom he mentioned to them as Raphael Mollel (Chairman), Julius Mwambiro (Deputy Chairman) and others are  members who are, Bajkari John, Said Sauku, Jaffer Machario, Katherine Kavishe, Asha Kassim, Dr. Bakari and Dr. Hildebrand Shayo In his speech he noted that, it was shaming to see that, a big port that serves 6 landlocked countries is becoming notorious with some unbearable behaviors which he said is tarnishing a good name of out country. However, he has assured them that he would continue to fight with embezzlers until he sees that the condition is restored as usual. He said that, ever since he started port operations, there has been a monthly increase in revenue collected at the port compared to before. However, he said that, the revenue has increased from Sh. 28 billion in September to Sh. 38 billion in October, and added that may be in November the revenue is expected to reach at approximately Sh. 42 billion per month. “This is still less than the Kenyan government is collecting at Mombasa port which is equivalent to Sh. 300 per month”, he queried and noted that, Tanzania port revenues are down because of theft which is growing at a rampant rate. He said recently, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had threatened to send a letter to boycott their business involvement with the TPA and in replied he has assured the president that, he will stand firm to ensure that, he cut off all networks that caused any losses of the containers. During the meeting, a cross section of workers complained before the Minister and revealed how the management was beaching various work laws an aspect that most of them have been working for a long time without being employed. Kondo Rajabu who works at the dockyard section noted that, they have so many workers who have been there working for long without being employed at asked the minister to intervene in order to solve their long standing problems. Elaborating the issue, the Minister reminded the management that, if that was the trend, they would be bound for accusation before the court of law as it was illegal for a casual labourer to keep working for the year throughout without reviewing their contracts. On the issue of employment, the minister has assured workers that, he would form a committee which would go through workers’ details to find out whoever would be found to have submitted documents which are not relevant to the basic qualifications needed for a particular professional fields, the culprits would be axed without mercy. However, he has asked those who knows that did a mistake and are working in a position to which he or she is not professionally qualified, then they should remove themselves otherwise once his  committee finds them with such mistakes, will all be given a summary dismissal whereby they would loose all their benefits.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Airport authorities urged to take precautions amid influx of passengers

THE Government has alerted airport authorities at Kilimanjaro International Airport and Mwanza airports to take early precautions in order to curb with the expected influx of passengers likely to occur at their airports. Remarks by the government were issued two weeks ago in Dar es Salaam by Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Dr. Charles Tibeza during the unveiling of the Fastjet airbus A319 low cost airline carrier that took to the skies for the first time in the country with passengers in a round trip journey from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza. Dr. Tibeza said that, fear has amounted at these airports with the looming influx of passengers who have turned up to book in large numbers to board an airbus plane which has opened its business in the country and come up with a strategy of offering low cost fare to its passengers. He said the passenger increase will be a great challenge to the government as according to operators, have been selling more than 100 flight tickets in a day for a domestic flight between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam and Mwanza respectively.

Deputy Minister for Transport, Dr. Charles Tizeba addressing invited guests (not in the picture) during the launching of Fastjet plane, a low cost flight carrier in the country.
Dr. Tibeza has also asked the operators to clarify their tickets and flight schedules to the public in order to avoid any confusion which might arise between them and the passengers especially on their fare rate of $ 20 (Sh. 32,000) per trip destinations. Dr. Tibeza is in the view of the fact that, many Tanzanians do not believe the fare rates as they compare the fare for a normal bus operating from Dar es Salaam all the way to Mwanza and takes approximately 16 hours to arrive charges its passengers between Sh. 40,000 for ordinary bus and Sh. 45,000 for luxury. How comes that, a highly expensive airbus like this one here equipped with highly expensive facilities charges much lower in a journey that lasts within one hour or less? Queried one businessman, Shabir Iqbar a Tanzanian of Asian origin doing his businesses in Mwanza city. In clarification, the Chief Executive Officer of the Fastjet air company Edward Winter noted that, the average fares are expected to be $ 80 (Sh. 120,000) but now start from as low as $ 20 one-way excluding taxes and other charges for customers who book early. Meanwhile, the government has attracted investments in infrastructure development and has put in place requisite environment for private sector’s involvement in infrastructure development and air service provision which go hand in hand with legal and regulatory reforms. In view of this the government would continue with the improvement of infrastructure in its biggest airports in the country so as to ensure that the industry operates more efficiently.

Quality control agent stresses on the limitation of imports

TANZANIA Bureau of Standards (TBS) has said that, one way to protect local industries to fair in business with other partners in East Africa region is to introduce a policy which would limit and prevent the importation of substandard goods in the country. TBS Director of Quality Management, Dominic Mwakangale said recently in Dar es Salaam that, the move would give a little chance for the unscrupulous importers to think of ordering faked and counterfeit goods which have become a menace to local consumers in the country. Analyzing his point, he said that, the freedom which the government has given importers is what has brought such a problem in local market which currently is flooded with about 20 percent substandard goods in circulation at a local market. The TBS boss said when he had just presented his paper to industrialists during a one day symposium organized by Tanzania Confederation of Industries (CTI) under the theme titled, “The role of pre-shipment verification of conformity to standards (PVoC) in curbing counterfeit and substandard goods in Tanzania”. During his presentation, he hailed the government of Kenya (a member state of EAC region) for its efforts and strictness towards the importation of sub standard goods and has reduced the circulation of sub standard goods to a greater extent in their country. However, giving the available statistics within the East Africa region, he said and added that, Kenya has managed to control the illegal importation of goods by 75 percent, and added that, Tanzania has virtually done little compared to other EA states to help its industrialists. He noted that, there is a common language used by traders in local market when a buyer of an imported product goes to their shops to purchase commodities, who have a tendency of asking their customers if they could want genuine or sub standard goods which have been categorised in different prices. The introduction of Pre Shipment Verification of Conformity to Standard by TBS is one of the strategies the government is taking to deal with such goods, he said and named three International companies which have been assigned by TBS outside the country to ensure that, they do inspection of goods before allowing their importation into the country. The companies are Intertek, Bureau Veritas and SGS.

Quality experts from TBS inspecting samples of goods to verify their quality in a laboratory.

Meanwhile, the government has called for a joint collaborative effort among industrialists, traders and importers to help curb with the increased sale of the substandard goods which have to a certain extent has agreed to have flooded local market in the country. The call by the government has come after having realized failure by the responsible organs which has been given the task to control the situation, and seemingly their strengths have been overwhelmed with a move to curb the vice being practiced by the unscrupulous traders including importers of such goods. The Minister for Trade and Industries Dr. Abdalah Kigoda made the concern yesterday in Dar es Salaam when addressing industrialists as a guest of honour during the 20th Annual General Meeting of the CTI organization. He named the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), TBS, the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TDFA), the Weight and Measures Agency (WMA) and other relevant government and private sector institutions including CTI, and argued to effectively ensure that the relevant laws and regulations that deal with counterfeit and sub-standard goods are enforced. However, he has also asked them to help reveal those who are in one way or another are directly involved in such malpractice. He said the presence of such goods has been tarnishing a good name of our country at a local market level, and more worse have been causing economic hazards to consumers and their safety which has to a greater extent reduced the production capacity of the local goods produced by local industrialists. “While the government is determined to eliminate the sale and manufacture of sub-standard and counterfeit goods in Tanzania, it cannot succeed on its own. I request all Tanzanians, traders, manufacturers and consumers to join forces with the Government to expose those who are involved in the trading of those goods” he said. However Dr. Kigoda has urged consumers not to encourage the existence of such goods through being cheated by low prices which are normally attached to sub-standard and counterfeit goods. “More importantly, I urge manufacturers and consumers to expose all those who deal in these goods so that the Government can take appropriate measures”. he affirmed.

Dr. Mwapachu highlights weaknesses in EAC regional bloc

DONOR dependency on resources for infrastructure development, coupled by the major weakness of the East African Community treaty for its failure to create the conditions for enabling people’s centeredness integration to take place within the region,  has been described to be among the major weaknesses existing within the regional bloc. These are among several factors that impends the development of the East African Community as highlighted in a book entitled “Challenging the frontiers of African Integration”. The book has been compiled by former Secretary General of the East Africa Community (EAC) Ambassador Dr. Juma Mwapachu. The 414 paged book was launched two weeks ago in Dar es Salaam in a colorful ceremony which was attended by book authors, publishers, educational stakeholders, including among the government dignitaries, former Attorney General Mark Bomani, Chief Justice Othman Chande and a former cabinet Minister Sir. George Kahama and was graced by former OAU Secretary General Salim Ahamed Salim. Dr. Mwapachu has stressed in his book that, despite the immense progress made by the EAC in deepening integration and fast tracking economic integration amongst the partner states is that more work needs to be done. This is especially so in bridging the knowledge and interest divide between the political elite and private sector who are engaged with the regional integration process on a daily basis and the regular people within the community who are still not aware of the milestones that make up EAC. However, he said this is a problem which needed to be worked upon collectively in order to change the attitude to let the people of EAC to have a sense and culture of East Africaness, something he said the father of the nation Mwalimu Julius Nyerere made reference to many times. “We need to bolster this identity” he said. Dr. Mwapachu uses the example of ECOWAS and how despite the diverse cultural environment the people of West African member states have a free movement which has promoted a sense of West Africaness. But we in East Africa share so much in culture, language and share experiences that the notion of East Africannes should be easy to harness. The 414 paged book which focuses on the dynamics of policies, politics and transformation in the East Africa Community (EAC), is the author’s achievement in documenting his insight on the challenges and achievements in the period of his five years of leadership as Secretary General of the East African Community from 2006 to 2011.

Former EAC Secretary General Dr. Juma Mwapachu seated extreme right following the proceedings during the launching ceremony of his book. Others in the picture are former OAU Secretary General Salim Ahamed Salim (left), and centre is the Chief Justice Othman Chande.

The book gives a highlight of the development of the partner states and their way forward to better achievements in terms of political, social and economic grounds and the framework of their policies which are enjoined to be worked for the benefits of the people in the jurisdiction of the community. Speaking during the launching, Dr. Mwapachu challenged educational donors in the country urging them they shouldn’t only donating desk materials, but also build libraries and supply educational books to primary and secondary schools. He said that, it was shaming to see most secondary schools in the country do not have libraries and enough books while in some schools students are seated in good desks which have been donated by well wishers including companies as part of their Social Corporate Responsibilities (SCR). In view of this, Dr. Mwapachu has appealed to well wishers and government to donate part of their money as an incentive so as to help students get educational books for studies. Comparing with the time he was learning in secondary school in 1960s, he noted that, all schools in the country were well equipped with libraries, laboratories and had enough books for studying. Unlike today, the former envoy has also thrown a challenge to the government which he said does not have a culture of supplying enough books to meet the demand of students in schools despite of efforts it had shown of constructing many secondary schools in the country, but most lacks reading materials. Judging from the experiences and compared Tanzania with other neighboring East African countries such as Kenya and Uganda, he noted that, the two countries have put seriousness in education an aspect that if Tanzania won’t wake up now, is likely to loose opportunities in EA common market. His remarks went alongside with the insistence to government retirees whom he urged to engage in publishing books or reports of their experience of long service in order to honour our African culture and way of life. “Many retirees do not leave behind reports to be used as reference to the coming generation” he said and added that, this is why Tanzania does not have enough publishers with interest to write about Tanzania and others. In view of this, he has congratulated few academicians like Professor Shivji and Professor Rwekaza Mukandara both of the University of Dar es Salaam for their contribution. Former OAU Secretary General Dr. Salim Ahamed Salim who graced the occasion described the author as vigilant for he has described into details the whole EAC framework and most problems compounded by it and how these could be tackled to pave way for the development within the region. Through his experience he also noted that, the contents highlighted in the book pages would help economic researchers from outside the region to get good contents that would enable them know the entire problems within the region which according to him is inherently part of each others’ and also how the community operates. “This publication is correct and full of reality as it has been compiled by a person who has worked in his capacity as secretary general of the member states for a period of five years consecutively as from April 2006 up to April 2011”, he said adding that, it has given him high prestige. However, he also noted that, the book is expected to be read by highly qualified researchers of all walks of life who would like to highlight issues related with the development of EAC and the economic integration of partner states, not only from that aspect of human life, but it will also help people know about the regional group.

Tanzania appeals to its partners on quick disbursement of GBS

THE Government has appealed to its development partners to adhere to the quick delivery of the General Budget Support (GBS) fund so as to enable timely arrangement of the smooth facilitation of the basic social and economic development projects for which the fund is intended for. The call by the government was issued early this week during annual review meeting between the government and the development partners who met in a one day forum organized by the Ministry of Finance with a view to deliberate the GBS expenditure of the previous year. Before winding up a summary report of the meeting to journalists, the Minister of Finance, Dr. William Mgimwa said that, some development partners have a tendency of delaying the money an aspect that sometimes results into the failure by the government to make its budget through as planned in most targeted areas such as agriculture, education, Health and Construction. He said the government and its partners agreed to enhance the dialogue for the key focus for dialogue next year which will be based on the sustainable growth, improving quality of social services at local government level and maintain public financial management and transparency. The meeting also heard about the government’s new development agenda which will be strengthening delivery across a number of critical areas such as Energy, Oil and Gas, Transport and Revenue collection services. On the other hand, the development partners have pledged to enhance predictability of the GBS disbursements on the basis of a reinforced dialogue, and there was a consensus that the continuing challenge for both partners is to support sustainable growth which benefits Tanzanian citizens at large leading them to a significant decline in poverty. The current Chairman of the development partners’ group in the country who is also the head of Britain’s Department for International Development (BDID) Marshall Elliott was quoted as saying that, this year’s commitment from the budget support has remained just under half a $ billion which is a significant contribution to the national budget. However, he said that, this is a similar level to last year which is 68 percent of the payment equivalent to $ 337 within the first quarter of this year. GBS annual review meeting is an event of the partnership framework memorandum of understanding which the government signed in 2001 with the development partners who are 12 in number to join help budget support program in the country. Its contribution has brought a significant outlook in the country’s developing economy. The aim of the annual meeting intends to provide an opportunity for the government and the GBS partners to assess the performance in implementing their mutually agreed commitments that are considered essential for Tanzania’s growth and poverty reduction. GBS is an aid delivery modality that provides financial assistance to the country’s national budget. In the case of Tanzania, the funds are provided by Development Partners (DPs) and used by Government to reach the goals of Tanzania’s National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (popularly known as MKUKUTA for Tanzania’s Mainland and MKUZA for Zanzibar). It is up to the government to manage the money and it is spent according to the prioritizing made in the national budget, in dialogue with development partners and a unified assessment framework. This means that budget support as an aid modality leaves more of the responsibility with the recipient government than more traditional project assistance. In Tanzania, the GBS is financed by 12development Partners, 9 bilateral and 3 multilateral and these are The African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank.

Tanzania to benefit from child health program initiative

TANZANIA will benefit from $ 2Million (Sh. 3.2 billion) to be donated by Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with its partners through its ‘Seeing is Believing’ Program which aims to liberate children under 8 years old from visual impairment in three East African countries, it has been learnt. The amount of money is part of the total $ 6.25 million to be disbursed to three countries (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) to help facilitate the project which aims to provide eye treatment to reach out at least four million children in these countries starting from January 2013 and ends in 2016. Speaking in an exclusive interview over the phone in Dar es Salaam, the bank’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Beda Michael Biswalo said that, the program will also build referral networks to identify and correctly diagnose and treat children with eye problems. He said the initial payment for Tanzania would be directed to its ten regions in the country to start with as a pilot project. He mentioned the regions as Iringa, Kigoma, Manyara, Mwanza, Mbeya, Rukwa, Tabora, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam. He said that, the Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with its partners has invested such a huge amount of money as part of the bank’s social and corporate responsibility and specifically will target the unprivileged communities. He said, out of the total amount, his bank will contribute the largest chuck covering 80 percent of it all, while the remaining 20 percent will be contributed by their two partners a consortiums led by the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and the Brien Holden Vision Institute based in South Africa respectively. Elaborating the aim of the project in general he noted that, the move is to directly benefit 4 million children under 8 years old through screening, treatment for basic eye problems, eye surgeries and issuing of eye spectacles.

Three weeks ago, Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania office convened a meeting alongside with the program to celebrate the launching of the East Africa Child Eye Health project which took place at Mnazi Mmoja Municipal grounds in Dar es Salaam city. The occasion brought together 15 different organisations under the banner of ‘Seeing is Believing’ a model for the delivery of child health which will directly benefit children under 8 years across East Africa region. The project launch was attended by delegates from Kenya and Uganda respectively and their host Tanzania. From Kenya the delegation was led by the country’s Minister for Medical Services Dr. Samwel Kambi, while the Ugandan delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Samwel Kabikule. The Bank’s Chief Executive Officer for Tanzania Jeremy Awory said in his key note address that the project is part of the global $ 100 million (Sh. 150 billion) drive as the bank’s contribution towards achieving vision 2020 which targets to completely eliminate preventable blindness among children. The bank is optimistic that as an international institution, they have the capability and a strong network to help tackle these social challenges facing local African communities as part of their social and corporate responsibilities. However, he said adding that, the progression in the Seeing is Believing initiative to support children eye health care is a great opportunity which is aimed at protecting children from blindness and visual impairment and further to enhance the lives of younger generations. The four year program is in partnership with the Ministries of Health, Medical and Education which encompasses the three East African countries who would be working in collaboration with its two partners in order to achieve the desired goals. Statistics shows that, in East Africa alone, an estimated 8,500 to 10,000 children live with blindness a disability that has serious effects on the educational and employment opportunities for children. Since its launch in 2003, $ 50 million has been raised and used to tackle avoidable blindness in disadvantaged communities across Standard Chartered’s market in Asia, Africa and the Middle East continents. The target is to raise 4 100 Million by 2020.

Tanzanians told to emulate Angola’s experience of gas extraction

AS Tanzania prepares to work on various strategic plans on how to manage the extraction of its discovered natural gas deposits in southern region of Mtwara, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benard Membe has urged the government to adopt the technology being applied in Angola, a giant economic producer of natural gas in Africa. Minister Membe made the call recently in Dar es Salaam when addressing members of various diplomatic corps accredited in the country who attended the 37th anniversary celebrations of Angola’s independence, the occasion was organized by the Embassy of Angola in the country. In his speech, Membe praised Angola for its economic advancements it has made so far since independence time and said that, it’s a country worth to be emulated by Tanzania government when it comes to gas extraction. However, he said adding that, Angola’s economic success is as a result of the cooperation amongst its citizens since the country liberated itself from the Portuguese colonial yoke way back in 1975, and that it had shown a tremendous development initiatives in its economy citing minerals and natural gas as the major economic drive which have made it to become a giant economic producer in Africa. “Angola is one of the world’s major centres for oil and gas exploration and the nation's wealth of hydrocarbon resources attracts investment in both the industry and the community”, he said adding that, apart from natural gas, and it ranks the third largest oil producer in Africa after Libya and Nigeria.

Tanzania's Foreign Affairs and Internatuional Cooperation Minister, Benard Membe.

In January 2007, Angola became the 12th member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a significant supplier of its rich underground natural resources to both China and the United States. Describing its other economic features such as the infrastructure built across the country, Membe noted that, Angola has its road flyovers, and currently its government is underway to introduce a bullet train journey that would cut across southern African countries from Lubeto to Luanda and Zambia and if possible would enter in Tanzania. Other developments included housing for its people and that currently the country maintains its stance to transform the lives of its rural people at all costs in order to develop social and economic life. In view of this, he said adding that Tanzania must adopt its way of economy. Although not well known, the natural gas reserves in Angola are estimated above the 11 TCF (trillions of cubic feet), being its majority associated gas. The lack of more accurate knowledge of natural gas reserves in Angola in part is due to the absence of dedicated investment and non existence of a legal and contractual framework. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to advise the government to send the current Minister for Energy and Minerals Professor Sospeter Muhongo to visit the country to acquire experience and skills of the technology used for gas extraction and exchange ideas with Angolan experts.  On his part, the Angolan Ambassador accredited in the country Professor Ambrosio Lukoki noted that, Tanzania might be able to receive oil from Angola and advantageous conditions and benefit from Angola’s experience in the oil and gas industries. He said Tanzania might benefit economically from the bilateral relations which has been existing between these two countries for the last 37 years now, and added that, this is a consolidation of the excellent political-diplomatic relations between the two countries which dates back from the beginning of the struggle for national liberation. Describing social and educational development of his country, the Ambassador noted that, in order for his country to meet the demand of youths in his country, his government has established 17 national universities and has other 44 higher learning institutions for technical professional education. All these he said have been invested with an equivalent of more than $480 million for the last three years.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why the sunken RSM Titanic vessel was remembered in this year’s maritime day

BETWEEN 17th and 18th September this year, Tanzania joined other nations in the world to celebrate the World Maritime Day, the occasion was celebrated under the theme titled “one hundred years after the Titanic”. The occasion had its major significance in terms of ensuring marine safety and regulations and the most practical legacies which were first introduced immediately after the accident of the luxurious marine passenger vessel, the Royal Mail Ship or ‘RSM Titanic’ which sunk in the deep sea waters of the Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage to New York one hundred years ago. The accident which occurred at night on the eve of April 14th 1912 after the ship struck an iceberg, is described to be the worst marine accident to have ever happened in the world since the technology of the marine vehicles came into being even before the birth of Jesus Christ. The disaster raised so many questions that alerted stakeholders about the safety standards in force after more than 1,500 passengers and crew on board died, an aspect that forced the United Kingdom Government who owned the ship to propose holding a conference to develop international safety regulations. The Conference, which was attended by representatives of 13 countries most of which from Europe, introduced new international requirements dealing with safety of navigation for all merchant ships in maritime safety since that disaster and to examine which areas of ship safety should be given priority in the years to come. The outcome of the conference saw the need to introduce safety regulations in order to provide lifeboats and other lifesaving appliances for all on board and this led to the developments in the design of lifeboats, life rafts and the means of launching them under all conditions. The regulations also encompassed international requirements which deal with safe navigation, watertight and fire resistant bulkheads, fire protection and fire fighting appliances. The conference also saw the need to introduce safety exercises which are now mandatory for all new passengers joining a passenger or cruise ship and for the crew to undertake lifeboat launching and evacuation exercises before the ship leaves the harbour. Legislation was prepared under the international adoption on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention following the investigation of the sinking. Sadly this initiative was interrupted by the 1914/18 world war and was never ratified. The SOLAS convention had been updated and came into force in 1929, based on that of 1914 to reflect developments in technical design, scientific knowledge and seaborne trade. Today it provides the key international regulations governing maritime safety. It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations and from the mid-19th century onwards a number of such treaties were adopted. Several countries proposed that a permanent international body should be established to promote maritime safety more effectively, but it was not until the establishment of the United Nations itself that these hopes were realized. In 1948 an international conference in Geneva adopted a convention formally establishing International Marine Organization (IMO). The original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO), but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO Following the adoption of the international marine conventions from IMO, Tanzania has been striving hard to cope with the marine disasters’ international regulations but seemingly lack of seriousness over the matter coupled by insufficient knowledge, the two have been a drawback to the development of the sector, says the Minister for Transport Dr. Harison Mwakyembe. According to him, the government through the Ministry of Infrastructure is underway to propose a bill which will work as a guideline policy for rescue operational activities for marine accidents. The bill will ensure together with other things marine accidents are attended promptly.  

Titanic as it looked like. It was 270 meter long and 75 meter width.

he move by the government has come barely after Dr. Mwakyembe discovered there is a great discrepancy on marine policies which is important to be used as a guidance of all marine disasters in the country, in view of this, his office is currently preparing a bill that would help curb with the situation. The bill would be tabled in parliamentary sessions scheduled in February 2013. He came to realize the need of having this policy after having studied what had transpired in the recent two worst marine disasters along the Indian Ocean which involved MV Spice Islander which occurred in September 2011 and MV Skagit in mid of June 2012 respectively. The two recent worst marine disasters caused losses of hundreds of lives of innocent Tanzanians. Dr. Mwakyembe who is a professional lawyer has come up with the idea after having realized  that little knowledge is being applied of the general idea of rescue operations due to lack of proper understanding on the whole issue. This is coupled by lack of modern rescue operational facilities that Tanzania is still faced with as a great challenge. However  he noted that his office is currently working with a team of local experts on important elements from both inland and marine transport sector in the country to ensure that, a comprehensive policy on rescue operations is drafted and a law is passed to make if more effective. This year's World Maritime Day provided an opportunity to take stock of the developments of various marine policies and regulations which have been adopted by member countries in the world as important legacies not only to ensure marine safety, but also to defend the rights of workers on board. The tragic story of the sinking of the Titanic vessel as an example reveals that, all the engineers on board were lost through staying at their posts busy trying to maintain the ship’s services and putting repairs on the damaged hull for as long as they could without success. Following this, in 1912 the UK newspaper, the Daily Chronicle, initiated the Titanic Engineering Staff Memorial Benevolent Fund to assist the widows, orphans and dependents of the engineers who died so heroically at their posts below decks on that fateful night. The Titanic was not the first or the last passenger ship to sink, so what was so special about this tragedy whose memory has been kept in many ways notably books, films, documentaries and websites?

This is a newspaper cutting of a tragic story of the sunken Titanic which was carried by the New York Times by then. The designer splashed the story on the front page of the newspaper the same way as it was carried during that time in the newspaper when Milvina Dean died in June 2009.

Critics have challenged the matter as saying that it was so luxurious, boasting of many features unheard of in ocean going liners as it was considered unsinkable. Most probable the main reasons might be linked to its famous outlook so as to let the incoming generations come to know and understand her final days at sea. However, it wasn’t until 1985, when Dr. Robert Ballard, using state of the art technology, finally discovered the final resting spot of this once proud luxury liner.  During the incoming expeditions conducted in a series of years in 1987, 1993, 1994 and 1996, RMS Titanic, Inc. the divers have recovered more than 5,000 artifacts from the wreck site. These artifacts were carefully preserved and have been put on display for the public in several locations in UK. There is some controversy raging over the recovery of these artifacts as some say that the Titanic is a graveyard and a memorial to all those who died on the evening of April 15, 1912. By disturbing the site and removing artifacts, they feel that the sanctity and dignity of the Titanic is being compromised. Others maintains that, the wreck is an artifact of history and the pieces recovered only help to further educate others about the Titanic. They also maintain that the sea is slowing destroying these artifacts and that left in place, over time they will vanish forever. They also feel their efforts to salvage these artifacts will help to preserve the Titanic and its memory forever. Regardless of their position on this, the story of the Titanic is a compelling one. Today, with the release of the hugely successful movie and Broadway musical, Titanic fever has gripped the public like never before.  Living as we do in an age of rapidly progressing technology, it is hard for us to imagine a time when there were no radios, internet or television services. Had the Titanic tragedy happened today, we could all have been aware of the ship’s pilot Edward Smith’s initial distress signals within few minutes. Long range helicopters which were sent out from newfound land could have reached to drop inflatable life rats. The final agony of her foundering would have been witnessed on TV screens around the world. But it’s very unfortunate as the only two ways by which news was spread were by word of mouth and the daily newspapers. The Titanic then the world’s largest marine vessel was designed in England and had 883 feet long (270 meters away), 92 feet wide and weighing 52,310 tons. It was 175 feet high from the knee to the top of the four stacks or funnels almost 35 feet of which was below the water line. The ship could be seen higher above the water  than most urban buildings of the time. There were three real smoke stacks with the fourth dummy stacks added to increase the impression of its size and power to vent smoke from the ship’s numerous galleys. The ship was also designed to be a symbol of modern safety technology, it had a double hull of one inch thick steel plates and a 16 water tight compartments sealed by massive doors that could be instantly triggered by a single electric switch on the bridge, or even automatically by electric water sensors. Even though the Titanic was capable of carrying over 3,500 passengers and crew, it had more than 2,200 passengers on board by then. The ship’s much publicized voyage lured British nobility, members of American society and industrialists as well as many poor immigrants hoping to begin a new life in America. The journey began at Southampton, England at noon on April 10th 1912 by nightfall, the Titanic had stopped in Cherbourg, France to pick up additional passengers. That evening it sailed for Queensland, Ireland and at 1:30pm on 11th the ship headed into the Atlantic Ocean towards New York City. Seasonal Trans Atlantic passengers were impressed by the new ship. It was so massive that they barely felt the moment of the sea at all. The huge engines produced almost none of the vibrations common on the steamers as the ship travelled comfortably at about 25 miles per hour. The weather was clear and pleasant and the water temperature was about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter of 1912 had been unusually mild and unprecedented amounts of ice had broken loose from the arctic region. Titanic was equipped by Marconi’s new wireless telegraph system and the two Marconi operators kept the wireless room running 24 hours a day. On Sunday April 14, 1912 the fifth day at sea, the Titanic received five different ice-warnings but Captain Edward Smith was not overly concerned. A wireless Operator  who was on duty in the fateful day, Jack Phillip was busy sending passengers’ messages to Cape Race, New found land whereupon he received the sixth ice-warning that might, but didn’t realize how close Titanic was to the position of the warning point and put the message under paper weight at his elbow. He never reached Captain Smith or the officer on the bridge. The ocean was usually calm and flat like glass according to many survivors. Lack of waves made it even more difficult to spot any ice-berg since there was no telltale white weather breaking at the edge of the iceberg. At 11:40pm, “lookout” shouted one ship officer who spotted a mass of iceberg dead ahead. He notified the crew concerned and the first officer William Murdock ordered the ship turned hard to port. He afterwards signaled the engine room to reverse direction. The ship turned slightly, but it was too large to move as fast as it was expected and the iceberg was too close.

The late Millvina Dean as he looked like one year before her death at the age of 97 years old in 2009.
Just within seconds later it hit a huge mass of iceberg and split into two before it sunk. Statistics made available shows that 711 lives most of whom were women and children were saved by few available life boats from the scene, but about 1,513 were lost due mainly to lack of enough lifeboats. The greatest maritime disaster in the history began unfolding. What really happened to unsinkable Titanic remained a great mystery until September 1985 when the ship was found some 13 miles east of its last reported position. The discovery of Titanic was helped by a joint French-American efforts which began earlier in the 1985 with a cruise aboard the French research vessel known as Lesuroit which was designed by Dr. Robert Ballard a leader of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Deep submergence laboratory based in France. Its wreckage lies in two sections in more than 12,460 feet of water (about 4km deep). The bow section is upright partly buried in the bottom sand in relatively good condition spot. According to the latest reports issued by British mainstream media in early June 2009, said that, the last survivor of the total saved 711 passengers died at the age of 97.  Millvina Dean, who as an infant passenger aboard the Titanic was lowered into a lifeboat in a canvas mail sack and lived to become the ship’s last survivor. She died at a nursing home in Southampton, the English port from which the Titanic embarked on its fateful voyage. The youngest of the ship’s 711 survivors, Ms. Dean was only 9 weeks old when the Titanic hit an iceberg in waters off Newfoundland on the night of April 14, 1912, setting off what was then considered the greatest maritime disaster in history. He died while having no any idea about the tragedy young as she was during the time of rescue She survived with her mother, Georgetta, and 2-year-old brother when they, like many other survivors, were picked up by the liner Carpathia and taken to New York. Her father, Bertram Dean, was among more than 1,500 passengers and crew members who died in the sinking, a fact that Ms. Dean, in an interview at the Southampton nursing home few months before her death, attributed partly to the fact that the Dean family was traveling in third class, or steerage, as the cheapest form of passage was known.  She was born on 2nd Feb 1912. Millvina Dean never married and had no children.  Dean's mother died on 16 September 1975, aged 96; and her brother Bertram Vere died, aged 81, on 14 April 1992.

Traditional elders in Tarime district calls for land Act review

AS the National Constitutional Review Commission team led by former Prime Minister, Judge Joseph Sinde Warioba is collecting people’s views for a new constitution from various parts in the country, traditional elders in some wards within Tarime district in Mara region have called for the amendment of the current land Act in the country Speaking in different interviews recently in Tarime district, they have said that, there is a great need to amend the existing land law Act of 1999 noting that it doesn’t give freedom and full right of land ownership to indigenous Tanzanians especially in rural areas when it comes to the issue of investments. The elders made their concern when met by this reporter at a prize giving ceremony during which fellow 19 elders from different wards in a district were awarded with cash and certificates for their active participation against war on crime which was organized by special police zone in the district. The elders with their representing wards in brackets are Mwita Kitosi (Nyanungu), Sinda Nyangore (Bukira), Nchagwa Mutongori (Bunchari), Samwel Magaigwa (Turwa) and Wambura Munanka (Nyandoto) According to them, they have suggested that, there should be an aspect of land ownership within the Act that would enable owners to possess national land title deeds as these documents certifies a planned area that guaranties immediate compensation whenever land is given to investors for development. Unlike at the moment whereby the majority uses village land permits which are unsurveyed.“Village land titles do not give full mandate in terms of ownership”, a situation which they have described as easily paves the way for land grabbers like investors who takes an advantage to acquire plots easily, thus resulting into endless land chaos in the country.

The current Director of Tarime District Council, Mr. Fidelis Lumato

Elaborating on the existing problem taking Tarime district as a case study, they have noted that, there has been certain minor problems which arises on land issues occasionally caused by district land officers. They claim that, they do not know clear demarcations of their lands which was issued by the colonialists to their Chiefs way back in 1947 when Tarime was first declared to be a district known by then as ‘North Mara district’. The name continued during post independence time up to 1972 when it was renamed Tarime district, and which half of its land has been partitioned by the government to form another district known as Rorya. The call by elders has come amid recent announcement by government through the Ministry of Local governments and Regional Administration which it issued during last year’s parliamentary budget session that, Tarime district has been upgraded and given the status of a town council. In the meantime, the newly formed town council is getting prepared to put in place a master plan that would outline various development initiatives to be run under various categories for social and economic gains of the people in a district, sources from the district have noted. Among such developments, the issue of land is among the key aspects to be put forward as already land in the surrounding villages of the five wards has been declared to be in the jurisdiction of the newly established town council. The five wards under which the council will operate are Nyandoto, Nyamisangura, Turwa, Sabasaba and Bomani. Investigation by this paper can reveal that, following the upcoming development changes, fear has amounted to villagers from Nyandoto ward whose land had not been surveyed even before the partitioning of the two district of Tarime and Rorya which came into being in 2008. The ward consists of four villages namely Gamasara, Mtana, Kemange and Nyagisya Interviewed district officials have disclosed that, new developments would take effect once a master plan for the district which currently is being worked upon is finished, and these would include the allocations of various social services and many others according to laws that govern town councils. Clarifying the matter, the current director of Tarime district council, Fidelis Lumato said in an interview that, the whole process will take longer as there are lots of preparations to be put in place and which requires huge sum of money depending on the national budget. However he couldn’t disclose how much will be used. “You know there are so many things such as infrastructure, social facilities like schools, police, hospitals and others like these which will be needed for expansion and promotion”, he said adding that it’s not an issue of today or tomorrow. An officer from the land department in the district Ruzama Misango said in an interview that, despite of being given a status of a town council, they are waiting for a certificate of approval from the government to start land surveying in appropriate areas to be designated later in a master plan. Tarime district was recently promoted into a status of being a town council following the partitioning of its division with Rorya district immediately when the fourth phase government of Jakaya Kikwete came in to being in 2005. The partitioning of the district was done so as to quicken the provision of both social and economic services for the development of the entire people. The newly formed town council according to district officials will be inaugurated towards the end of this year on a day yet to be established.

Monday, December 3, 2012

SUMATRA turns against upcountry bus transporters

AS the Christmas religious occasion is around the corner, the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) has issued a strong warning to upcountry bus operators to desist from hiking fare tickets to passengers travelling to upcountry regions, a common malpractice shown when the occasion is nearing. Sumatra’s warning has come about when it was rumoured that there is a looming fare hike at Ubungo upcountry bus terminal in Dar es Salaam as passengers who go for booking are told the seats are full for a particular day they want to travel. Sumatra’s Public Affairs Manager, David Mziray said early this week in Dar es Salaam that, his firm as a regulator has imposed a fine of Sh. 250,000 cash to those found guilty of such a malpractice as they would have violated the legal conditions slated in their operating transport licenses or otherwise will face revocation. A random survey which was carried out on Wednesday this week at Ubungo bus terminal found out that, passengers at the terminal were getting normal services from ticket agents with some of them requesting for a discount on a particular fare price. However, when contacted for comments, one booking clerk who preferred anonymity dismissed claims leveled against them and noted that, if such malpractice were there then it must have been done by few unscrupulous middlemen at the terminal. The Secretary General of the Association of upcountry Bus Transport Agency Hamisi Maneno also refuted the allegations when contacted for clarification and noted that, his agency has been faced with such claims and without proof, but he is surprised to see that claimants have failed to prove their argument beyond reasonable doubts. However, contrary to other sources, the Secretary General of the Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA) Ernea Mrutu has asked passengers to book their tickets right from the designated booking offices located within the bus stand as most conmen are middlemen who hoards tickets and later sell them illegally. Mrutu was speaking in a telephone interview on Thursday when contacted for comments about the matter. However, he added that passengers must be careful at this time of the year when there is a great influx who aspires for traveling tickets.

Meanwhile, Sumatra has amounted a crackdown to net the defaulting commuter buses which are notorious for violating various traffic rules including that of shortening their routes in the city of Dar es Salaam. The exercise by SUMATRA which started three weeks ago came about as a result of the public outcry most of whom commuters who have been complaining about the misbehaviors shown by the daladala operators especially during evening pick hours. “There are some daladala operators who have been charging higher the amount of fare along their designated routes, while others shortens their routes and double charged their passengers” he said.According to Mziray, this is a long standing problem and is a continuous exercise and in order to succeed he has asked for people to cooperate with law enforcers in order to help net the defaulters who are causing inconveniences to passengers. A preliminary investigation by this paper has discovered that, most commuter buses shorten out their routes in a bid to charge their passengers twice or thrice for a single trip. A spot check carried out throughout last week in some bus stages within the city like Mwenge, Ubungo, Buguruni, and Tazara saw some buses which are not designated for the route alights their passengers pretending to be the end of the journey, and thereby a conductor announces to passengers his next destination and proceeds ahead by connecting with other passengers. According to Mziray, his organization has been taking stern measures against defaulters wherever possible though sometimes is difficult to control all of them. When contacted for comments, bus drivers and conductors who preferred anonymity said that, they have to do this in order to accumulate enough sum of money needed by their employer at the end of a day’s contract before they stop. However, others cited the regular increase of fuel prices and also the spiraling operational costs.

The government to scrutinize foreign workers in private sectors

DESPITE of the existing of various departments dealing with the employment related matters to foreigners in the country such as the immigration department and the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), the government does not have a comprehensive report of foreigners working in various professional fields in the country. It has been learnt. In view of this, after having realized of such a discrepancy, the government has set up a format which will enable to know the status of foreign employees working in private sectors in the country, the Minister for Labour and Employment Hon. Gaudensia Kabaka has said. The move aims to help the government know the distribution of employees so as to help capture the statistics of both foreign and local employees who are employed at least on monthly basis just in the same way as it records the number of employees in public sector. Minister Kabaka gave the concern yesterday in Dar es Salaam when addressing members of the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE) who gathered for a one day high level conference which was later on followed by their 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM). She said that, her ministry has prepared a survey form which will be sent to all employers of the private sectors to fill-in each month indicating the type of occupation their workers are doing, gender and their citizenship, minimum wage, sex and also the ministry would know their future projections on the same grounds. According to the Minister, the system among other things will put private sector employers who are the main covering 97 percent of the employment opportunities and the government which covers the remaining 3 percent in close relationship and cooperation in the job creation ventures in the country. However, she added that, the system would be coordinated and make it more effectively through regional offices in the country and will include all types of workers, and the motive behind is to ensure that more Tanzanians are considered for employment as per the government set up. The Minister who is optimistic with the performances of various private sectors, has also ordered members of the ATE to give her the feedback starting from next week so that she could inform the public on the development of these statistics. Earlier in her introductory remark, Minister Kabaka said that, with the East Africa Community already up and running, Tanzanian youths and workforce in general are exposed to a high risk of loosing jobs and other business opportunities due to attitude problems which can be out competed by the neighboring regions. “It has come the right time as many youths are facing numerous challenges to find out solutions to their day-to day’s problems facing their life”. She said adding that, the problem is not only in Tanzania but also in Africa and suggested that, with these problems African governments should take appropriate steps to solve them. However, she admitted that the situation is mainly caused due to low wages which cannot match with the present high living standards. In view of this, the Minister has urged employers not to show bad attitude towards their workers and instead they should be working in collaboration with their workers in order to ward off the root cause of the problem at all levels. Commenting on the event which was tailored by the theme titled, “Work attitude towards business development in Tanzania”, she stressed a point that, it was important that Tanzanian workers should build the right attitude now in order to avoid future challenges that might lead to a more frustrating life. However, she added that, lack of right attitude also has contributed to poor living standard which depends on a number of things. In vice versa, she noted that in employing the right attitude is the recipe to outstanding organizational performance which will therefore lead to economic prosperity. Responding the Minister’s call, ATE’s Chairman Adv. Carnelius Kariwa assured the government that his members will work in collaboration as per the laid down regulations in order to succeed. When asked how ATE would ensure the employment security to the local, he noted that, they would work in close cooperation with the relevant bodies such as Tanzania Investment Centre to accomplish the need. He earlier noted that, ATE had gathered with a view to brainstorm the consistent problems which have been facing local Tanzanians in various levels of professional fields and what needs to be done in order to build the right attitudes of employers to their workers in both private and public sector. Speaking during the conference, the main speaker of the event Dr. Fred Mwita, Chief Officer, Human Resources for Vodacom Tanzania urged employers to empower right attitude towards work in order to promote productivity and competitiveness in the country. He said most of employers complain of retarded job performance but the poor cause of all these is work attitude. However, he said adding that, cases of fraud, corruption, job turnover and gossips cause poor performance at work at work and employers spend most of time dealing with hearings and terminations instead of augmenting production. The ATE is the most representative employer’s organization in the country with more than 1,000 members’ organization countrywide. 70 percent of these are based in Dar es Salaam region, while 30 percent are in upcountry regions. One of the duties of the association is to promote harmonious labor relations at work places as well as best practices in HR management for smooth running of businesses.

The Minister for Labour and Employment Hon. Gaudensia Kabaka

NEEC to empower beekeepers in the country

THE National Economic and Empowerment Council (NEEC) has started to work on a five year sustainable beekeeping development program, the project which it had proposed to be conducted in eight regions in the country. It has been learnt. The program with the aim of empowering stakeholders in beekeeping industry will come to an end in 2017. It will look together with other things various impediments affecting beekeeping sector and how to overcome them with a view to increase honey production in the country. Speaking in an exclusive interview, the NEEC’s Executive Secretary Dr. Anacleti Kashuliza said recently in Dar es Salaam recently that, the main objective of the program is to establish and develop modern technology of beekeeping which involves taking care of environment that will effectively contribute to the economies of the key stakeholders at the national level. He said through the program, NEEC would give education to beekeepers on various methods and techniques they should use in order to successfully manage quality production output of honey and how to curb with other challenges facing the whole sector in general. The program also involves sensitization so that people might effectively participate in beekeeping activities. In addition to that, the program also goes alongside with the establishment of business clusters aimed at stimulating beekeeping activity in the country. Under this sensitization program, beekeepers would be introduced and directed how to use protective gears while taking out honey from beehives and many other as related to the general beekeeping activity, he said. The program by NEEC which is spearheaded by the Prime Minister’s Office comes amid a thorough research activity it conducted in collaboration with a private National Beekeeping Supplies Company in Manyara region.

NEEC’s Executive Secretary Dr. Anacleti Kashuliza presenting a paper. Seated on his left is the Minister of State in President's Office responsible for Empowerment Dr. Mary Nagu

The research was done as part of fulfillment of the directives issued by the Prime Minister’s office the department concerned with privatization and empowerment, and this was confirmed on the presentation of the proposed plan by NEEC and after which the council was officially directed and allowed to prepare a five year development plan The findings of the research work indicated that, most beekeepers in the country still uses outdated techniques to conduct their beekeeping activities, and it had recommended that if they could unite their efforts in cooperative societies they could be in a better chance to increase the current low production capacity level of honey and earn the nation more profits. NEEC has prepared this program to be conducted in eight regions through the assistance of the regional secretarial Councils of a particular district councils selected to implement the targeted program. The regions and their selected district in brackets are Manyara (Babati and Hanang), Dodoma (Chamwino), Tabora (Urambo), Kigoma (Kigoma), Tanga (Korogwe). Iringa and Coast regions have yet selected their districts. Other objectives set alongside with the main program includes to establish and or develop beekeepers’ cooperative societies so as to accumulate capital investments and establish special honey markets through various honey centers, to emphasize fishing development activities as well as reinforcing best use of arable land for cultivation, forests and to establish tree seedbeds and continue promoting environmental friendly crops for bees. To achieve all these objectives regulations and bylaws would be compiled to help stand for coordination, measure and value the implementation of the program.  Other challenges to curb with are the poor price offered to honey sellers and lack of strategic market though there is a great demand on the use of quality honey. The migration of bees around because of lack of water, trees and flowers and other disturbances such as smoke and many others have been exacerbating issues which needs urgent attention.

The embossing sexual harassment in Dar es Salaam city

AN Investigative piece of information can reveal that, there are some young ladies who suffer from arbitrary assault of the sexual harassments, a commonly ridiculed habit being practiced by few rowdy male teenagers at Mwenge daladala bus stand terminal on the outskirts of the city of Dar es Salaam. The mostly suffered are those young ladies of the teenage group who tend to wear shameful dresses such as mini skirts that leave them appear in half naked a situation that change their physical appearance and look like sex workers before the society. It has indeed become a common practice for male youths to jeer at those ladies when come into contact with and tend to touch parts of their bodies and make some annoying remarks, utter abusive words and sometimes when they show resistance threatens an attack. In response, the scornful ladies feel afraid and rather ashamed of such an arbitrary action and tend to run away unable to mount a counter attack against their adversaries due to their lower physical advantage and instead resort to hide from their sight far from being ridiculed. Sources from the scene have revealed that, male youths normally practices such mischief while under the influence of the intoxicating drug use, a situation which ultimately drives them into severe extreme emotion, others practices the habit while in sober mood as long as they take a practice as a normal drama. Investigations by this paper has discovered that, a temporary encroachment caused by petty traders within the bus stand which occurs as from the evening till night hours has been an exacerbating factor causing misery among women including young ladies who visit such areas with a view to acquire transport services or buy materials for personal use. Further investigations reveals that, scorers of rowdy young men pretends to be petty traders, sometimes could be seen touting for the products on sale while inviting potential customers in their unique style uses the opportunity to make fun of the ladies who passes along them. They get hold of their breasts, touching their arms and waists and without their consent are sometimes pulled forcefully as a sign of inviting them to buy their products, but ironically all this is done on pretence as though to inconvenience the presence of ladies around them, narrates Lucia Patrick in an exclusive interview when cornered by this writer early this week in Dar es Salaam. Lucia, who owns a salon nearby said that, she has since refrained from walking alone when going to buy things within the bus stand for what she claims to be a disturbance she used to experience while confronted by petty traders. She says most ladies used to walk around in company of few men in order to protect themselves from such harassments. Narrating the ordeal, Halima Mrisho a 21 year old lady became surprised one Friday evening as she was at the stage waiting to board a daladala, as a tall and black gay man grabbed her ass, she was so startled that she glared at him and walked away. Mwenge daladala bus stand has of recent discovered to have no longer enough space to accommodate as many passengers as the area has been invaded by petty traders known as ‘Machingas’.

The Kinondoni Municipal Mayor Hon. Yusufu Mwenda addressing municipal councillors in one of their internal meetings

The area becomes so congested and rather impassable to would be buyers who mixes up with commuters most of whom women who are inconvenienced whenever they visit the area to buy the most cheaply selling commodities. Plans by Kinondoni Municipal Council of removing petty traders from the area seem to have hit a snag despite of the promise by the Municipal Mayor Hon. Yusufu Mwenda which he gave earlier in March this year to look for an alternative solution of relocating them in a permanent area, but seemingly no action has been taken so far. When contacted for comments, police officer in charge at Mwenge police post who preferred anonymity told this paper in an interview that, most victims who are subjected to such sexual harassments are afraid of reporting such malpractices before the police as many of them are not well dressed, and therefore, might be ashamed to do so. “You know there are so many cases of sexual harassments against ladies, but here at a police post we mostly deal with criminal cases and such matters are not reported as mostly affected victims are afraid to expose themselves while they know are in a shameful dress:” he said. The police officer at the police post was contacted with a view to find out the truth about the matter to see if there has been any reporting of such incidences by the victims at their police station. Jehovaness Zacharia a lawyer working for the Women and Legal Aid Centre (WLAC) says that in her experience, many women do not report sexual harassment cases because most of the time the police are not helpful. She also says that there is a lot of stigma surrounding sexual harassment and women are not empowered enough to report the cases as they arise. “Sexual harassment is a criminal offence, and women are supposed to report it once attacked,” she urges. According to one report entitled ‘Stopping abuse of power for purposes of sexual exploitation’ a program of the Tanzania Women Judges Association (TAWJA) describes sexual harassment as a criminal offence as stipulated in the Tanzania’s criminal procedure code. The report notes that the specific Criminal Code offence of "criminal harassment" was only created in 1993. In the past, the police would charge a person with an offence like trespassing at night, loitering or uttering threats. These crimes still exist and may still be charged. However, since 1993 the police force in the country usually addresses this type of conduct through a charge of criminal harassment. Criminal Harassment legislation is a response to the increasing violence against women, especially women leaving a marriage or intimate relationship. As the society continues to complain about the harassments caused to women on streets and other public areas, some social studies have revealed that, there are a number of ladies who during at night hours tend to roam about on the streets looking for men in order to make them to be their friends. According to Emmanuel Shemaghembe, a social anthropologist at the University of Dar es Salaam, women who dress indecently and in defiance of socio-cultural norms are more likely to be harassed, especially in close quarters like at a bus stage, or like in public areas and in daladalas. The social anthropologist says the problem of sexual harassment is rooted in the importation of Western culture that many conservative Tanzanians are yet to adopt. “Sometimes women dress in a manner that causes men to react inappropriately,” he says. “Obviously, harassing a woman based on the way she is dressed is not the right way to address the situation. “This is because for a long time the existing tradition in Tanzania has made them believe that those who wear revealing clothes are immoral. But if a European wears the same clothing no one cares because we know that that is their culture,” he says.

Former TANU legislator challenges the government

FORMER Member of Parliament during the first phase government has thrown a challenge to the government of Jakaya Kikwete suggesting the idea of education should be given priority in all matters pertaining to the execution of national development programmes. Gregory Mogendi Nyanchini (75) once a member of Parliament for Tarime constituency between 1971 and 1975 said in an exclusive interview recently at his Gamasara village in Tarime that, failure to achieve targets for the national development programs is to a certain extent as a result of lack of civic education many Tanzanians have. Nyanchini ostensibly pointed out that, he is surprised to see that there are some national developments programs which do not catch up as planned for reasons he termed as due to lack of proper education amongst Tanzanians the majority of whom are rural dwellers. Elaborating on the constitutional review process which is going on countrywide, the former legislator has observed that, most Tanzanians especially rural dwellers do not know what a constitution is all about an aspect that they might have nothing to comment about during its debate. In view of this, he has however suggested the government should take time to educate its people on the importance of the national constitution so as to let as many of them participate effectively at this time people’s views are collected by a special commission led by Judge Joseph Warioba. According to him, if the government is not serious, scores of Tanzanians are likely to loose their precious chance of contributing their views on what they see should be the right to be done for their future life. “Many people are not well educated when it comes to the issue of the national constitution and its importance to the society as many families are illiterate and still ignorant about their rights” he said adding that there is a need of educating people first prior to giving out their views.  He has also suggested Members of Parliament in the country to take on the responsibility of enlightening their people from various constituencies in the country as illiteracy amongst Tanzanians is still a national disaster. Citing an example during his tenure as a legislator, the government had assigned every Member of Parliament to work with their people for the promotion of the adult education, a program he said was introduced to wipe off illiteracy amongst the people when villagisation program took effect in rural communities in early 1970s. He said the program had some significance pertaining to the promotion of ‘Socialism and self reliance’ policies which were the major ideological basis of the republic. To his dismay, he is surprised to see that most development programs are not given the priority on education a factor he noted that such initiatives ended up with poor results. “During the reign of TANU and socialist policies, the government put much emphasis on adult education a program that aimed at enlightening the masses on the awareness of the impeding development programs in the country” he said adding that, now there is nothing which is being done as a guidance to achieve the required goals. He has however warned Tanzanians to be careful as the issue of constitution is very sensitive and that people must take precautions and shouldn’t give an opportunity for the few to benefit amongst them while the majority is suffering.

Ministry of Energy to construct a network for natural gas in Dar city

THE Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is underway to construct infrastructure network of pipelines at the Dar es Salaam city’s designated centres in preparation for the distribution of the natural gas from Mtwara region to be used for both domestic and industrial usage in the city of Dar es Salaam. The Minister in charge of the Ministry Professor Sospeter Muhongo said recently in Dar es Salaam that the government has issued a total of Sh. 20 billion to accomplish the task which is intended to end towards the end of 2014. The call by Professor Muhongo comes amid President Jakaya Kikwete’s order to his ministry which he issued on the same day when he laid down a foundation stone for the construction of a multi billion project which involves the construction of the 532 Km gas pipelines of Mnazi Bay and Songosongo natural gas processing plant from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam. President Kikwete told members of public who turned up in a sudden heavy downpour to witness the historic event that of the inaugural ceremony of the processing plant which took place at Kinyerezi area in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam region. He said that, the ministry should start such a preliminary preparations so that when the 18 month long project between Tanzania and Exim Bank of China is completed and starts operation, the gas should be transported to consumers easily and without instead of waiting until the project is finished. The project which is wholly owned by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is expected to generate 3,600 MW which is approximately 10 percent in excess of the 2015 national target which was set at 2,780 MW for both domestic and industrial usage. According to Professor Muhongo, Tanzania is now producing 1438 MW but upon completion of the project at Kinyerezi the country will enjoy 54.8 percent of electricity from natural gas, 29.8 percent of electricity by heavy oil and 15.4 percent from water which the government spends $ 24 million on purchasing heavy oil to generate electricity annually.

President Jakaya Kikwete being shown a map for the gas pipeline which will be constructed from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara region to Kinyerezi on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city recently duruing the inauguration of the project. 

However, the Minister has highlighted that the project will ensure the reliable supply of electricity help protect the environment from rampant deforestation which currently is on the rise to meet demand in the urban centers whereas at the moment in Dar es Salaam city alone it’s estimated that about 40,000 sacks of charcoal is used everyday. Earlier the project was signed by a team of Tanzanian technocrats from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Attorney General’s office, Ministry of Finance and TPDC itself which was held in Beijing-China in July this year.  The signing involves $ 1.2 billion credit agreement (about Sh. 1.92tri). The project aims at increasing transportation capacity of natural gas for power generation as well as industrial and domestic use. The project is jointly implemented by the China Petroleum and Technology Development Company (CPTDC), a unit of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and state-run TPDC. The deal involves construction of a 24 to 36-inch diameter pipeline from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara which will be connected at Somanga, with Songo Songo gas field in Lindi region and then to Dar es Salaam. It is also expected to connect Kiliwani/Nyuni, Mkuranga and offshore natural gas reserves. During the preliminary survey, TPDC had engaged Ardhi University (ARU) to survey the route of the envisaged natural gas pipeline from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara Region to Dar es Salaam via Somanga. With recent discoveries of gas in offshore and onshore wells in southern Tanzania, gas reserves are presently estimated at about 40 trillion cubic feet. Since the country discovered natural gas in 2004, the government has saved over $ 2 million (over Sh. 3bn) from importation of fuel used to run generators. Natural gas generates 416 megawatts to the national grid, accounting for 35 per cent of all the electricity produced in the country. Since the discovery of the Mnazi Bay gas field in 1982 the substantial gas resources in this concession have been effectively “stranded”. Gaining access to the greater markets of Tanzania is expected to allow full production from the Company’s existing and future gas wells.