Friday, May 25, 2012
IT is hard time for Juma Mohammed a resident of Markaz area, Ukonga ward in Ilala district, Dar es Salaam region one of the severely and most affected victims of the Gongo La Mboto bomb blasts whose house was completely destroyed. He is currently living in hardship following the tent on which he temporarily sought for refuge is currently leaking at this time of the occasional rains. The dilapidated tent on which he living in is not in good condition due to physical weathering, a spot check by Guardian on Sunday can reveal. In an interview carried recently he said that, he is not happy as the tent has become old an aspect that he doesn’t have a night rest and his children gets difficulties while doing some studying at night. He has been living in a tent now for 16 months since the bomb blasts incident occurred at Gongo la Mboto Military camp (511 KJ) on 16th of February 2011. According to him, the tent is damaged and water permeates from its roofing thus causing inconveniences while he is asleep with his family at night. He blames the government for not quickening the pace of construction of their houses it earlier promised to build as compensation for the victims, and instead the delays caused by the government makes his family to live uncomfortably. Earlier this week, the government through the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner’s office announced the development step it has taken so far as a promise it had issued of building houses for the Gongo La Mboto bomb blasts victims The RC for Dar es Salaam region, Sadik Mecky Sadik said in Dar es Salaam that, the government is expected to hand over the newly built houses for the victims in June next month. He said when placing the foundation stone for a total of 35 new houses to be built at Msongola village in Ilala district, about 40 kilometers away from the city.
PLANS by Dar es Salaam based Kariakoo Market Corporation (KCM) of constructing a 30 storey modern shopping centre seems to be faltering despite of the readiness of all the documentation of a master plan of the building. The new structure to be located adjacent to the current main market built in early 1970s, is an extension to the current small market complex which is to be demolished to pave way for the modern multi-storey structure. The project was scheduled to be completed within 18 months since it was first commissioned to a Chinese strategic investor in 2010. Due to this delay, investigations has discovered that, there is a likelihood of the investor who was initially awarded the tender of erecting the modern facility to pull out of the contract if the government would not give a go ahead of the project sooner or later. The KMC General Manager, Florence .M. Seiya, told the Guardian on Sunday in an exclusive interview early this week in Dar es Salaam that, the investor in this project is still waiting for the permission to be granted by the higher authorities. However, he couldn’t disclose who the authorities are, and the name of investor’s company or the costs of the building when required, but maintained that his management has been told to hold on the project until further notice. He is however astonished by the higher authority’s call and their negative attitude about the project and yet everything is on the table including business and site plans as well as architectural drawings which are waiting for the permission from the authorities concerned to start on straight. “We are only waiting for the higher authorities to give us a green light in order to kick off the project whose feasibility study and other details are already handed over to the strategic investor to start working, but to my great dismay I am surprised to see that the authorities have halted the project telling the investor to wait for unknown reasons”, he said.
THE Community Health Fund (CHF), a subsidiary division of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is campaigning for the fishermen and peasants across the country to join with the newly introduced health insurance fund in order to help them get free medical treatment services A senior official of the CHF which coordinates its activities on behalf of the NHIF in the country made the call last week in Dar es Salaam in an exclusive interview during a training seminar his organization had organized as part of their sensitization program. Health Fund Manager, Joyce Sumbwe, said that, peasants and farmers and many other groups of people who toil for a daily bread are the most marginalized groups who do compose the majority of the people in the informal sector and in view of this, it’s therefore imperative for them to join in order to benefit. She stressed the importance of the membership which could be beneficial to the unprivileged groups such as those working under the informal sectors in the country as most of them are not able to afford huge expenses of the medical treatments in the country. She said CHF was specifically established in an effort to improve heath services delivery to such people under the informal sector in order to get free medical treatment through their program known in Swahili language as ‘TIKA’ meaning ‘TIBA KWA KADI’ which literally means getting medical treatment through special cards.
THE Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) has alerted Daladala commuters in Dar es Salaam to be watchful with some bus operators who tend to increase the fare beyond the current rates it had announced over two years ago. An official from SUMATRA made the call early this week in Dar es Salaam when contacted by this paper for clarification after it was found that, there are some daladala operators who have been charging higher the amount of fare along their routes, this was discovered in a secret monitoring sting operation. SUMATRA’s Manager for Public Affairs, David Mziray told the Guardian in an exclusive interview that, his organization is asking for a joint concerted effort among the commuters in order to net the culprits whom he described are violating the rules and regulations set. However, he has cautioned that, the operators should not take the decisions this time around as SUMATRA is currently in a process of collecting views from the main key stakeholders of the regional transport industry in order to look at the possibility of increasing daladala fare as per the request sent t them by the Dar based association of bus operators known by its acronym ‘DARCOBOA’.
A Member of Parliament for Serengeti constituency has described the recent killing of the two rhinos by unknown illegal poachers which occurred in his constituency bordering Serengeti National Park as an act of economic sabotage. Hon. Dr. Kebwe Steven Kebwe told a press conference yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, killers of these animals might have had got an easy access to the national park and managed to reach at the special integrated project zone area within the park known as ‘ MORU’ where the animals had been preserved. However, he has described the incident as a serious reversal of the progress that Tanzania was making to raise the mammal’s population, while citing lack of effective and tight security of the area is the cause behind the malpractice. Hon Kebwe has also urged the government through the ministry of Tourism to add extra security personnel claiming that, the current number of game rangers at the national park of 461 is not enough to carry on their security duties which he says is confined within an area of 14,000 square kilometers that surrounds MORU project zone. According to his preliminary investigations, he has noticed closely there is lack of protection at the area an aspect that the government must increase efforts to guard the rhinos and if possible it should double the number of game rangers who have been stationed for security purposes in the area. In his opinion, the killing of the rhino was “indiscriminate” considering efforts being made by the Tanzanian authorities and other parties to boost the population of the endangered animal by bringing more rhinos to Serengeti, their ancestral home.
Monday, May 7, 2012
AS the exhibitions organized by Commission of Tanzania Universities (TCU) in collaboration with higher learning institutions which started on Wednesday last week in Dar es Salaam, a media professional has thrown a challenge to academicians who are recruited for various academic posts in higher learning institutions in the country. Reflecting his views on Journalism and Mass communication professional categories, he is suggesting that preliminary newsroom practical training was vital to tutorial assistants who are being prepared to become future media trainers under this category at higher learning institutions. He has however, condemned the habit being practiced by most higher learning institutions of recruiting their best performing students who are good in theory and not in practical to become lecturers in future, an aspect that most of their candidates graduates with lower professional skills. The Managing Editor of a weekly tabloid 'the Guardian on Sunday' newspaper which is being published by Tanzania leading IPP Media company, Richard Mgamba has suggested that, before their recruitment such candidates should undergo formal media training immediately on completion of their first degree programs before they are considered for masters and later become lecturers.
FOUL smell accompanied by noise emanating from the Ukonga based abattoir popularly known as 'Mazizini' in Swahili language, have been regularly inconveniencing the lives of residents of Markaz area at Ukonga ward, in Ilala district in Dar es Salaam region who lives close to it, Some interviewed residents have said that, noise of workers at the abattoir which starts at around mid night while people are in deep sleep in their houses has been inconveniencing them. Together with this habit, the bad smell emanating from what is likely to be a rotten flesh have together been disturbing them in their day-to-day's life The persisting situation has caused scores of residents not to tolerate with the situation and instead, they have asked for the immediate relocation of the abattoir which has been existing for over four decades now. The abattoir which is the oldest and the longest serving as a slaughter house for the entire Dar es Salaam residents, is surrounded by residential houses built in recent years and its current location is extremely situated at the centre which according to the environmental management regulations its presence is likely to pose serious heath hazards to the people close to it. In an interview with this paper, residents have pleaded for its relocation to a far remote area as the smell of the rampant filth and scattered rubbish which is left uncollected within its compound are a great menace to their lives in general. Othman Iddi a businessman whose house is closer said that, he is not happy especially during evening hours when the atmosphere is cool, but all of a sudden the air is polluted with stinking smell coming from the direction of the abattoir. Other presidents said, they had long been complaining about the situation and have sent their requests several times whenever they meet with their street chairman and ward secretary, but in vain. Despite of these requests, it seems as if the city council officials have ignored their matter. When contacted for comments, an official of the union owners of the abattoir Mr. Kedmond Chalo, said that, they had long been told by the municipal council's authorities about the relocation of their abattoir, but plans have not yet been worked out almost a decade ago. However, an official from the Ilala Municipal council who preferred anonymity when contacted for comments defended himself as he is not a spokesman of the council. However, he revealed that the council was making preparations for the construction of a modern abattoir to be built at Chanika on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city.
AN Initiative working to eliminate malaria in Africa, known as Netsforlife has reduced the rate of the disease by 45 per cent in more than 5,000 communities across 17 sub-Saharan African countries Tanzania included. In Tanzania, a total of 155,020 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets have been distributed to selected areas since 2006 through the financial support of its corporate partners Coca-Cola, and Standard Chartered, the initiative has saved the lives of more than 100,000 children under five. NetsforLife has trained nearly 74,000 community volunteers to distribute nets and teach people how to prevent malaria, since it started in 2006. As a result, more than 8.5 million malaria nets have been delivered to communities where malaria is prevalent and 25 million people have been educated about the mosquito borne disease. Shaun Walsh, the Executive Director of NetsforLife said in a statement he issued early this week that her organization has managed to save lives of thousands of people through help they had been receiving from their donors who share their knowledge of malaria prevention with others. NetsforLife hopes its achievement inspires other corporate partners to join the fight to eliminate malaria reads part of a statement. Through its network of local churches, faith-based groups and NGOs, NetsforLife can access remote communities typically unreached by national health programmes. The initiative, however, depends on donations for malaria net distribution and malaria education campaigns. Netsforlife ids also seeing the benefits of community education which is leading to positive behavioral change around the use of life-saving malaria nets. According to the initiatives, more than 85 percent of households in the communities where it operates now own at least two mosquito nets, compared to around six percent of households in 2006 Nine out of 10 people are aware that malaria is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito compared to four out of 10 people in 2006. Through the joint efforts of governments, health organizations and Non Governmental Organizations like NetsforLife, overall reduction of global malaria-related deaths by one third in the last decade, largely as a result of the distribution of nets and raising awareness of malaria prevention.The statement further says that NetsforLife has made a positive impact in Tanzania. Over 3,000 Malaria agents have been trained from 2006, and through working with the Malaria agents, 873,490 people have been sensitized and educated about Malaria prevention in Tanzania. NetsforLife is a partnership of corporations, foundations and faith-based organizations working to eliminate malaria in Africa. The program partnership includes ExxonMobil, Standard Chartered, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Starr International Foundation, the J.C. Flowers Foundation and Episcopal Relief & Development.
THE low supplies of indigenous breed of chicken in Dar es Salaam markets have sent their market prices soaring between Tsh. 8,000 and Tsh. 12,000 for a hen, and Tsh. 10,000 to Tsh. 15,000 for a grown up cock. The survey conducted in various Dar es Salaam city markets this week has shown that, the supplies have been gradually falling down for the last three months now, thus forcing the prices of the indigenous chicken to rise. The reports on the survey from these markets further can reveal that, the sale of indigenous chicken in these markets s higher than dressed chicken which seems to be many as their availability is so great and their prices are lower. Due to this situation which is prevailing at the market, most people in various Dar city suburbs seems to have refrained or ignored to purchase the indigenous chicken due to its spiral high prices, if compared to a kilogram of meat which could be more easily affordable. Reliable sources from these markets have said that, the current trend of the business of a market profit on a product has become low because only few people can afford.
EAST African business confidence has dipped 21 Index points to 130 since September 2011, according to the global Regus Business Confidence Index report. However, companies reporting revenue growth increased to 76 percent compared to 63 percent six months ago, although there is a minor squeeze on those reporting profit increases, down to 59 percent from 61 percent. Mindful of the need to contain costs in the quest for sustainable growth businesses identify increasing use of pay-as-you-go business services, more flexible workspace and increasing cloud IT applications as the most effective cost cutting measures for the coming months. Looking back, East African firms identify paying for unnecessary office space (76 percent) as the main reason for corporate distress during the downturn, followed by making permanent staff redundant 48 percent. The report has identified that, respondents identified increasing use of pay-as-you-go business services at 66 percent, more flexible workspace at 52 percent and increasing cloud IT applications at 48 percent as the areas where companies could best make savings without damaging growth prospects. East African firms report that more flexible working conditions for staff (40 percent) and a wider distribution of customers (40 percent) would make the greatest contribution to enhancing future business stability as a platform for growth. Globally, the Business Confidence Index rating is lower for small businesses than for large firms.
RURAL Tanzanian dwellers are expected to benefit from money transfer project dubbed TPB POPOTE which is to be introduced to them by a long serving Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) later this year. TPB's Corporate and Marketing Communications Manager, Noves Mosses said in an exclusive interview recently in Dar es Salaam that, the project involves the installation of Point of Sell (POS) terminals which will be placed in many areas up to the villages where customers will use to make deposits, withdrawals, pay for goods or services, transfer money and many more services. “We are looking forward to implementing the second phase of Mobile banking popularly known as TPB POPOTE this year. This is in a bid to extend postal banking services to rural areas where the majority of Tanzanians live”. She said However she noted that, “the first phase started last year which was mainly concentrated in the cities and town centres, which enabled most TPB customers to pay their utility bills using their mobile phones or even top up airtime of their phones or someone's phones.
THE Government of Tanzania, acting through its Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs is in the process of taking measures intended to promote the development of the private sector in the country. This is in a bid to curb increasing global business competition. Reportedly, the proposed measures would financially empower stakeholders in the sector to increase production capacities to the required levels and enable them overcome stiff conditions in their day to day operations. Tanzania's private sector is faced with lots of challenges, including lack of funding. This has been a major contributor to the poor development of the sector in general, which employs over 80 per cent of the national workforce! Having realized the importance of the sector and its contribution to the national economy, the Government has pledged to create a conducive business environment, with the view to help the sector to grow. Apart from financially empowering the sector, the Government is formulating ways to create a conducive working environment so that they produce more for the benefit of the nation. Former Minister for Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs, Mustapha Mkulo, said in Dar es Salaam recently that many entrepreneurs fail to perform to the maximum due to lack of capital. Plans are under way by the government to help stakeholders borrow money from the African Development Bank (AfDB), said the Minister, adding that this would also strengthen Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The government, in collaboration with the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), has been organizing sensitization seminars with AfDB aimed at the stakeholders of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The workshops come at opportune time: the preparatory sessions for the coming business opportunity to be organized as a side event of AfDB's annual meeting scheduled to take place at Arusha at the end of May this year. The meeting will bring together many of the world's business leaders and financial stakeholders including government's finance ministers, governors of the central banks of 55 countries across Africa, and 11 presidents from the selected countries. The AfDB has 24 member countries. Its main objective is to finance ― together with bigger projects ― SMEs' development initiatives. Mkulo is the current chairman of the bank. Mkulo has urged the SMEs in the country to seek bigger loans from the bank to enable them run their daily business activities, asking private sector operators to make use of this opportunity as chairman of the member states. “It wouldn't be good if I approve credit facilities for stakeholders from other countries and leave out stakeholders of my own country,” he said, urging private sector stakeholders in Tanzania to come up with tangible projects. He also challenged the Tanzanian business community to come up with bankable projects to attract the AfDB into disbursing loans to entrepreneurs. “Tanzania's private sector should take this opportunities availed by the AfDB to realize their entrepreneurship dreams,” he stated. In the event, the Government has reassured the AfDB of its support for projects for which the public sector will request funding. In another development, TSPF has requested the Government to strengthen its commitment to financial sector reforms and to ensure that the business community has access to capital. According to resident representative of the AfDB, Ms. Tonia Kandiero, some of the work that the bank is doing in Tanzania is to set the background for sensitization seminar on the bank's activities in the country. Almost 99 per cent of the bank's current operations in Tanzania are focused on road transport, agriculture, water and sanitation, power, health and education, as well as general budget support. Currently, the bank has a portfolio of 16 projects with a total commitment of US$1 billion (Tsh1.6 trillion). Of these ongoing projects, the bank has only two private sector operations to the tune of US$14 million, namely: equity stake in Access Bank-Tanzania, and a 10-year non-revolving partial credit guarantee facility provided by CRDB Bank Ltd. Recognizing the existing imbalance between the public and private sector assistance to Tanzania, it is important to note that many of the public sector operations are directly helping to address some of the constraints facing the private sector in Tanzania: high transport costs, power shortages and lack of skilled labour.
ABOUT one month to Budget Day in Tanzania that's slated for early next June, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has proposed reduction of the extant rates of value-added tax (VAT) on an assortment of goods and services for the 2012/13 financial year which commences on July 1 this year. In its as yet unpublished report ― a copy of which Business Times has accessed, the Foundation has identified 15 main taxation areas which it considers as deserving of reduced tax rates and other forms of tax relief as appropriate. Proposals on all this were scheduled to be lodged with the Government today through its National Fiscal Reform Task Force (NFRTF), a special unit at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs that is well-versed in fiscal affairs The Foundation's executive director, Godfrey Simbeye, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that TPSF has specifically drafted a proposal requesting the Government to reduce the 18 per cent ad valorem rate of value-added tax that is currently being charged on goods and services to 16 percent. Speaking during a breakfast meeting with stakeholders in the city, Simbeye said that the proposed rate reduction will help promote smoother operational activities by the private sector. Noting that the private sector is the biggest source of tax revenues in Tanzania, accounting for about 90 per cent of the tax-paying community in the country, the director said its suggestions and proposals deserve to be given due consideration.
AKIBA Commercial Bank (ACB) is expected to dish out Tsh. 755 million in total as loans to its prospected 1,000 customers in this year. The bank's Managing Director John Lwande said during an official launching of the Home Improvement Loan (HIL) scheme held last week in Dar es Salaam. He said HIL scheme is aimed at improving the lives of low and middle income earners by enabling them to live in decent houses. The ACB undertake to issue such loans ranging between Tsh 500,000 and Tsh. 20 million to eligible customers at all levels who will meet the criteria stipulated down by the bank. However, he added that the loans given will be specifically be used for putting final touches on a newly constructed house owned by a borrower, or a house that needs refurbishment, renovation and minor repair on roofing, plastering, electricity installation and many other minor work. He said that, the eligible borrowers should be aged above 18 years and have reputable business enterprises which have lasted for one year and above, a certificate of house occupancy which is recognized by the government, as well as a letter from the local government leader from the village level, a passport and any legal national identity. He also noted that, the priority will be given to those who have good records of taking loans and return them on time. The money borrowed will be returned within 12 months with 19 percent interest rate.