Monday, January 21, 2013

Opposition leaders welcome Judge Lubuva’s views

A Day after the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) the retired judge Damian Lubuva proposed his views requesting for the establishment of an independently working electoral commission in the country, leaders of the political parties have welcomed his views with great enthusiasm. judge Lubuva made his presentation on Friday last week in Dar es Salaam before members of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) led by Chairman Judge Joseph Warioba who were in their usual meeting of collecting people’s views to be included in the national constitutional review making process. Speaking in an exclusive interview at different times in Dar es Salaam on Friday last week, some political leaders jointly commented their appreciation over the idea noting that to have an independent working electoral commission is the key towards maintaining a true democratic leadership in the country. However, they have hailed Judge Lubuva’s views which he issued before the commission team saying that, the idea is also in line with their party’s manifestos for which they have been campaigning through since the re-introduction of multi-party politics in the country about two decades ago. “We have had been striving to have an independent electoral commission in which its members have to work independently and without any interference from the government” said Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, the Chairman of the Civil United Front (CUF) the second leading opposition party in the country. He said in a telephone interview that, the current National electoral commission works in an environment that it cannot be trusted at all as all its members are appointed by then ruling an aspect that creates some sort of uncertainties and disbelief among voters in the country. He said that, election supervisors at a district level where there are majority of voters are district council workers who are appointed by the government led by the ruling party, and therefore it becomes impossible to expect a free and fair election under such circumstances. According to him, if an independent commission is set to organize own matters under special law, then it would have opened an opportunity to conduct the country’s elections in a peaceful manner and moreover in free and with fairness without favoritism. Professor Lipumba has greatly thanked the Judge Lubuva for having seen the matter broadly bearing the fact that, he is a Chairman of the electoral commission for which he might have seen lots or irregularities on the course of work execution during elections. Cornered for comments, the Chairman of the UDP party, John Cheyo said that, the issue of having an independent election commission has long been a subject of debate ushered by opposition parties in the country, the demanding for the free commission process had been delayed ever since the multiparty systems came into being. He is however, appreciating the idea of Judge Lubuva which he issued before a constitutional review commission team, as it would make a democratic republic whereby political parties would be free when conducting national elections. In addition, Cheyo has suggested that, a newly instituted national election commission should recruit independent workers who are not affiliated in any way by any party whatsoever when it comes to decision making processes.  However he said for one thing, the commission must be well remunerated and that it should have its own governing policies and laws that guides elections and the internal governance should not be interfered anyway whatsoever. Comparing the current NEC with others in the world in terms of their internal operations, he noted that, Tanzania’s electoral commission is having some elements which do not show its proper implications and as such its budget is not stable. Citing an example of the election commission of the Republic of Ghana, he noted that is good to emulate as the commission has its own secretariat which deals with ethics, and is being invited by other political parties in their country to exchange views and share experiences with members of opposition parties if need be. Members of the Tanzania Electoral Commission are appointed the president of the ruling party as per the constitution of the country which was last amended in 1977 during the time of the one party system. However, after having realized the existing disparities among the stakeholders and peace loving people in the country, the public including the opposition parties have been crying to have the constitutional change in this aspect which was passed during the one party system. Speaking on behalf of the National Electoral Commission before the members of the constitutional review commission, Judge Lubuva said that, there is a need for Tanzania to have a free electoral commission which is acceptable by all elect ion stakeholders and people in general. However, he further noted that, the commission should be working independently without interference by the government and that it should be left to decide its own matters for the interest for the welfare of the nation. “The freedom of the commission should start right from name of the commission itself, which musty literally change and to replace the name freedom might cause a positive notion over the electoral commission” he said. However, he elaborated that, a free and fair national commission is supposed to be established under the new constitution of the country just as it is in other African countries. He mentioned the countries like South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Botswana and proposed that, the appointments of the members should be done by different stakeholders before their names are submitted to the president before is approved by the National Parliament.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

High profile politicians and foreigners involved in poaching -Msigwa

As the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism battles the escalating wave of poaching in the country, Shadow Minister in the same docket Rev. Peter Msigwa has dropped a bombshell, saying high profile politicians in the country, including MPs are involved in the illegal business. The Chadema legislator (Iringa Urban) went further to include foreigners and some State House officials as one of the entities involved in the illegal business. However, when quizzed by reporters yesterday in Dar es Salaam to name individuals involved in such illegal business the opposition MP fell short of explanation, maintaining that his observations and findings were general. According to the shadow minister, researches showed that a quarter of tusks and rhinos’ horns impounded in various corners in the world originate from Tanzania. He told a press conference that various reliable information sources in the country confirms that about 23,000 elephants from various national parks in the country are indiscriminately killed every year, this number is equivalent to 67 elephants per day. According to him, the killing trend indicate danger for natural species and other resources and also it endangers the inheritance of the country’s natural resources. “As an MP for Iringa urban constituency, I have the mandate to stand for the government in defending our natural resources and effectively curb the increased poaching activities which takes place in our national parks” he said. He said that, due to the increased acts of corruption among stakeholders and the continued poaching network activities in the country, he has seen the need to submit the issue to the parliament and to enforce the government in taking stern legal measures which would ensure the safety of the country’s natural resources. In view of this, the MP will present his personal views about the matter before fellow members of parliament during the tenth parliamentary session scheduled to start on 29th January this year. Msigwa is also intending to inform the Chairperson of the National Assembly to establish an independent probing committee which would investigate the matter into details and come out with a clear solution. According to him, he is sure that the parliamentary probing committee to be formed would run smoothly with its activities in probing the matter as it would contact any suspected individual regardless of their high ranking positions and it would work free and fair to establish how far the truth is with the matter. Msigwa is optimistic with the facts that, once his views is presented before fellow members of parliament regardless of their political affiliations would be interested to discuss it without resistance as it’s their obligation to defend country’s wealth for the benefit of the nation. Narrating how he started to work on the issue, he noted that on 31st December 2012 he submitted an intended letter to submit a personal idea in parliament in relation to the continued illegal acts of poaching which takes place now and then in our national parks. The objective of his ideas is to request the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to defend the country’s constitution for the implementation of the constitutional rights for the people’s needs. This is in line with the government’s obligations in defending country’s resources and people’s rights to ensure their active participation in defending the country’s natural resources. According to him, he has already received a formal letter written by the Secretary of the National Assembly instructing him to submit his personal views to the Chairperson of the Parliament Anna Makinda so that it should be discussed in the coming parliamentary session later this month.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The government to work for people with vision disability

THE Government has pledged to provide learning facilities needed by the visually impaired people in the country so as to help them. The Minister for Health and Social Welfare Dr. Husein Mwinyi made the call last week at the climax of the international day celebrations of the Braille writings which was cerebrated at a national level in Dar es Salaam. Braille writings are dotted marks specifically designed on a paper by a machine to help visually impaired people in the world who use them to get their right of reading materials as well as getting various information which are issued in written documentation forms as this is a salvation for their life. These writings have been given the name ‘Braille’ to honour a young French national by the name Louis Braille who discovered the writings almost two centuries ago after having pricked his one eye by a sharpened iron object at his father’s workshop in 1826 at the age of 13 years old. The history tells that, he lived with the help of a single eye for a considerable time of years before it got destroyed at the age of 20, and later on became totally blind before he died at the age of 36 years. Many countries in the world have been celebrating this occasion now for over 190 years and it is a second celebration to have taken place in Tanzania. Before the Minister gave a pledge, he received a statement of complaints from Tanzania National Institute for the Blind (TNIB) in their speech which was read before him during the occasion, and later on made his own pledge on behalf of the government to solve such problems besetting members of the association in the country. He said that, his ministry would work in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to buy the necessary facilities and equip them in various schools for the blind people in the country. However, he has also asked TINB members to make sure that, are  convincing people with visual impaired to join their schools as one step development to get their social needs. Dr. Mwinyi pledged to help books written inn Braille dot marks which according to te association are few in their schools and these are so expensive as they are printed outside the country. Other challenges the association noted are lack of teachers and working facilities which Dr. Mwinyi has pledged to include in the national budget.  However, he told The Guardian in an exclusive interview after the occasion that, the government has established a council fund which would be contributed by individuals and civil society groups. The money will be used to help cater for the needs of all people with various disabilities in the country. Dr. Mwinyi has congratulated religious institutions such as the Anglican Church for their devotion after having been established schools for the people with visual impaired disabilities in the country. HG has also asked other denominations to follow the suit. He said the government is ready to work in collaboration with various civil societies which have shown interest to work for the people with disability and improve their lives whatsoever. This is in line with the government’s decision to form policies and enact law No. 9 of the year 2010. He said the law would help to make sure that all rights reserved for people with disabilities in the country are well transformed to the respective individuals and that these are protected and guided as required and given the priority it deserved. laws which guides the jurisprudence of the people with disabilities in the country. According to TINB Chairman James Shimwenye since the establishment of their association in 1998, there are a total of 32 schools for the visually impaired people and among them, 10 are secondary schools while 32 are primary schools.  Out of these both primary and secondary schools, 95 percent of them are owned by the government, the rest are owned by religious institutions. There is also one higher learning institution for them.

CCM party to ward off bureaucracy that retards the development of SMEs

IN mid of November this year, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) held elections of its leaders from the district to National Executive level who would lead the party to another five coming years. After the election, the party outlined various resolutions it had put forward during its 8th general meeting which was held at Kizota hall on the outskirts of Dodoma town, a prospective Tanzania’s capital city. Among the most important recommendations put forward, the ruling party has directed the government to give priority to entrepreneurs and also to ensure that it removes all sorts of bureaucracy among the executives of the financial institutions against money lenders. The party has also directed financial institutions and money lenders in the country to limit down some of their tougher conditions which they have imposed to their money lenders so as to allow entrepreneurs and individuals as a whole to take loans of affordable interest rates with ease. Announcing the new basic concepts of the party’s stance, the newly appointed CCM secretary general, Abdulrahaman Kinana said that, CCM has reiterated its commitments to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which offers self employment to about 80 percent of Tanzanians. CCM’s concept has come amid statistics which shows that the current inflation in the country stands at 19.2 percent from 12 percent it had been seven years ago when the fourth phase government of President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete came into being in 2005. The CCM’s development concept aims at empowering SMEs and the move prompts national strategy on poverty reduction drive whose aim is to seek better life for Tanzanians before its goal has to be realized by 2015. But despite of the efforts shown by the government, interviewed loan seekers say that bureaucracy is still existing in some micro-finance institutions which are involved in the provision of loan facilities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) including banks which are operating in the country.

They say the developing habit has been the main stumbling block for the development of their SMEs in the country. The situation has discouraged most loan seekers who sometimes are asked to introduce bribes (the so-called kitu kidogo) before the service is rendered to them whenever they apply for loan facilities from these institutions. Some loan seekers when interviewed early this week in Dar es Salaam said that, the low capital which they have is not enough to run their business activities and instead resort to depend on loans from various financial institutions to help them run their businesses but to in vain. Expressing their emotions over the issue, some disappointed entrepreneurs said that they have been met with lots of challenges accompanied by tough conditions an aspect that most working groups have failed to meet them. “Postponements of unfulfilled appointments are the order of the day” says Rhoda Kilasa who has been making frequent visits in follow up for her loan application she had applied two months ago from one of the well-known financial institution (name withheld) located in Dar es Salaam, but to no avail. Ezekiel Kilambo (42) a resident of Ukonga-Madafu who was in need of a medium loan to increase his working capital from one of the famous micro-finance institution in the city (name withheld), is discouraged when he failed to get financial support due to tough conditions imposed by loan officers. However, in desperation, he says that, there was no need of establishing such institutions which do not fulfill their appointments to help the needy people as required. Mr. Kilambo is on the view of the fact that, the long process of obtaining loans is too cumbersome and time consuming without success an aspect that most loan seekers gets discouraged. According to him, loan officers have been using a loophole without shame of soliciting for bribes whenever contacted by their customers at their working places. Apart from bureaucracy, banks have to be blamed for stiffer conditions say Marcelina Adoyo. According to her, Banks have been giving stringent conditions in order to get loan facility to the extent that some groups fail to meet them. However, she said that, although many banks have been providing loans especially to women groups, but they have imposed tough conditions which require loan seekers to own things like immovable properties such as a house as collateral, a thing that most of them cannot afford. Cornered by this writer, one lady by name of Lucia Wambura (38) who conducts a shop business selling both human and animal drugs at Kipunguni ‘A’ suburb in Ilala district, Dar es Salaam region, had long been in need of a loan from a renowned micro-finance institution, but she is yet to receive such loan owing to conditions imposed by the firm that she can’t meet. According to her, in order to fulfill one condition, she was told by loan officers to bring a contract she had had entered with the landlord in a house in which she conducts her business. As if that was not enough, she was also told to show alongside the annual property tax receipt if paid to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), she dropped the order upon failure to meet all these. When contacted for comments, the head of the loan section of the National Micro-Finance Bank operating in the city who spoke on strict condition of anonymity said that, most loan seekers are not trustworthy an aspect that ought them (as bank) to investigate their customers’ businesses to establish their existence. However, one loan officer from one famous and long serving Micro-finance institution known as Promotion of Rural Institution and Development Enterprises Ltd, in short ‘PRIDE (T) Ltd’ Rehema Boniface said that, the issue of bureaucracy is personal and has nothing to do with his firm’s operations. PRIDE (T) Ltd has been a liberator of most women groups in the country, and in view of this, the institution takes long time to verify the authenticity of the documentation produced by their customers who needs personal loans as collaterals for proof as some documents presented by their customers are not genuine. However, she added that, they have to check them thoroughly according to procedures any documents presented to them by their customers so as to ascertain any irregularities and or suspicion that might have been noticed before decisions to accept them is made. However, she said adding that, the exercise takes about one month or two including a visit to a principal place of business. Customers might take it as an easier task and that’s why it takes long process to complete. The essence of doing this is to verify the truth before the actual money is issued as loans to would be applicants, he said adding that many of their customers’ presented documents have sometimes been found not to conform to their original ones, therefore a need for more time scrutiny is essential. According to one economic analyst, Rebeca Mdoe “lack of enough capital has been a stumbling block to most newly formed business enterprises in the country which have failed to develop for lack of bigger capital. Some of these have ceased operations for failure to meet their business targets mainly due to low capital investments”. In a bid to keep customers’ credit information database into a single databank system, the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) which is the main financial regulator in the country launched a Credit Reference System (CRS) in the country two months ago. The CRS system is designed to collect and provide information on the payment record of all clients of the lending banks and other financial institutions as well as those of Savings and Credit schemes in the United Republic of Tanzania and other entities engaged regularly in the extension of credit. The BOT’s Director of Banking Supervision, Agapiti Kobelo said during the launching that, “the establishment of CRS is a continuation of government’s efforts to reform the financial sector with the enactment of the banking and financial institution’s Act which started way back in 1991”.

WILDAF official tells men to expose their sufferings

AS the 16 days of the National gender activism campaign against violence and human rights is going on, an organization which stands for women in law and development in Africa (WILDAF) has urged men in the country to expose any acts of violence being committed against them by their spouses. An official with the WILDAF Tanzania chapter expressed the concern recently in Dar es Salaam in a move to favour men who are subjected to various forms of violence and made it clear that, the campaign is not only for women but also for men. Speaking in an exclusive interview WILDAF Director in Tanzania Dr. Judith Odunga said that, his office has done a research and found out that, there are some acts of gender violence being committed to men by their wives who in turn are afraid to expose such mischief before the society. “Although there is increased human right violations to women which is seen at a higher rate percentage in Africa, men are also subjected to a certain extent with the humiliations caused by their spouses, but are unable to speak out such sufferings” she said adding that, it’s high time for men also to liberate themselves and be free from gender violence. Dr. Judith who is currently a national coordinator of the campaign which ends on Monday countrywide has urged men not to shy and instead they should also join forces in support of the campaign by revealing out what makes them feels unhappy once mistreated in whatever ways by their wives. However, she has urged them to join forces to oppose this malpractice, and explained her emotions urging them to emulate their fellow Kenyans who have gone to the extent of forming an association that stand for their rights. Apart from men, Dr. Judith has also thrown a challenge to the government urging its machineries such as police and the judiciary to put more emphasis in its fight against gender violence especially to women whereby the malpractice is growing at an alarming rate in the country. She has also urged that, to make a good success if not to reduce a malpractice, she has asked the government to introduce educational curriculum in the national teaching syllabuses which will put an awareness to school children starting in primary level understand the impact of the issue in debate about their rights and gender activism in society. The campaign on gender activism which started early this week ends on 10th next month, and carries a message that opens people’s mind to oppose violence against women and comprehensively insists for a joint accountability, which has seen with a wide spectrum groups of people still practices acts of violation against women. According to WILADF acts of gender violence have been increasing to a greater extent and statistics carried by the organization in newspaper shows that in 2012 alone there were 6,001 cases of violence which were re[ported in newspapers compared to 3,542 cases reported in 2011. This is an increase of 90 percent. The outcome of the research carried by the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) in 2010 shows that, gender violence has been committed in various ways such as beatings, female circumcision, raping, women killings, killings of people with albinism, women inheritance, violence at homes and many others. According to Dr. Judith, the victims suffers the great and have their physical bodies deteriorated due to this mistreatments and moreover others are more psychologically affected an aspect that the situation undermines their economic well being together with the nation as well. Analyzing the impact of it she noted that, it inwardly causes stress and a victim overcome permanent disability and sometimes leads to death. Despite of this, she is optimistic that a society might be applying positive changes that cold avert such kinds of attitude to dominate people’s mindset. The essence of the 16 day gender activism program came into being after the killings of the 16 women who were killed in Dominica in 1960. As from November 25th 1991, the United Nations adopted the day and commemorated it as a special world day to be honoured as a day to commemorate women violence. The day will be climaxed on 10th December this year as the International day of the special declaration of human rights and also to insist that, the day is a sign of relating violence against women and insisting that it is a violation of human rights.

Tibaijuka launches Land law book in Dar

THE Government has pledged to work on people’s views to be considered for inclusion in a new national constitution in order to ward off the existing problem of illegal land ownership among the individuals and civil societies which has been prevailing in many parts in the country. The Minister for Lands and Human Settlements Development Professor Anna Tibaijuka made the concern on Wednesday this week as a guest of honour during the launching of a land law book titled, “Land as a human right”. She said that people’s views and their decision over the issue of legality of land acquisition is an important aspect at this time around when Tanzania is going through the constitutional making process, and added that, it’s the only way to cut off attitudes of some corrupt government executives. Describing about the book, she noted that, the contents highlighted are relevant and helpful and consented that her ministry would be a prime custodian as they relevantly interacts with the legal matters pertaining to the development of land policies in the country.  The 412 paged book has been written by a young academician Abdon Rwegasira who joined the school of Law of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) as an assistant lecturer in 2010. She said the author has described the entire background history of land law and its practice in Tanzania since independence time. She said that, in order to spread the land law knowledge which most Tanzanians do not have in the country, her ministry has ordered 150 copies of the book from a Dar es Salaam based publishers, Mkuki na Nyota Publications Ltd which she said would be distributed in all districts in the country. The reasons behind the move as described by Professor Tibaijuka, a former UN Habitat Director and a former senior lecturer at the UDSM, is to enlighten the district land officers in the country in their job execution when analyising issues of land acquisition in general. However, she added that the move behind is to limit controversies on land issues in some parts of the country.  She further said that, the continued problems of land ownership in the country is as a result of some few executives from the village levels to district levels who do not know the application of land Act sections  4 and 5 as stipulated in Village Land Act of 1999. She said as a result of poor performance emanating from the relevant authorities, her office has been receiving about 300 grievances from people complaining about land cases channeled through the ministry’s email address requesting for her intervention as most people are unable to see her personally. “The issue of land use and control has never been an easy matter under the administration of my Ministry and the government in general” she said adding that, the government still see thousands of her people living in slums without security of tenure both in rural and in urban areas. However, she noted that, as long as the government continues to record controversial land cases and the allocations of prime areas including open spaces, it also continues to face case of land conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers in various parts of the country and many other similar cases. Detailing author’s views, she said he has described land to be an important resource for the country’s economic development on the one hand, but also an essential need of all human beings and major source of livelihood. In other words the author is on the view of the fact that, it’s through land that the state is well placed to advance sustainable national economic development. According to Rwegasira, the two categories of interests such like state and private, have not been reconciled by law or its proper administration and in view of this, land has ceased to be an important resource but an arena of struggles and conflicts of every description between the contending forces across all ages. According to the Dean of the school of law, Professor B.I.Rutinwa, Land law has always been a subject of great difficulty mainly because of scarcity of literature based on contemporary land law and practice in Tanzania. This is both challenge and an inspiration to all junior and senior lecturers.

Monday, January 7, 2013

JK tells manufacturers to add value on their products

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kiwete on Thursday night directed industrial product manufacturers in the country to add value on their products so as to achieve an international accreditation which would enable them to lead in global business competition. He made the concern at the award giving ceremony that recognized best local manufacturers of the year 2012 from 17 selected economic sub sectors that were presented with certificates and trophies at the occasion which was organized by the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) through its President’s Manufacturer of the Year Award (PMYA) that took place at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam. In this year’s award, the organizers announced the Tanzania Distilleries Limited the overall winner, other winners from three contesting categories grouped in small, medium and large categories were Prestige industries Ltd (small industries), DPI Simba Ltd (medium industries) and Kioo Limited (large industries).  The occasion which was fully sponsored by the IPP Limited is the eighth running annual event which was established in 2005 by CTI with the aim of recognizing and appreciating the manufacturing sector’s important role in Tanzania’s economic development process. In appreciation, the organizers awarded the IPP Limited Chairman, Dr. Reginald Mengi with an appreciation plague for the sponsorship of the event, who after the presidenbt’s speech, he thanked him with assurance that, through action they are able to perform. This is because the industrial sector with its strong backward and forward linkages has the unique capacity to provide activities with high value addition, wealth creation and employment creation that are key to economic growth and poverty reduction. The occasion also enables key stakeholders to share experiences on matters related to their daily activities. In the occasion, the President threw the challenge to manufacturers shortly after he had received claims from industrialists in a speech which was preceded by the Chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Felix Mosha who requested the government to look at the means on how they could improve their industrial productions to higher standards. In reply, the President reaffirmed them that, his government depends on their innovations and creativity in order to achieve the utmost standards of their product manufacturing processes despite of the challenges facing the industrialists such as the continued erratic power supply in the country. The President assured them that, this would come to an end when the gas pipeline project currently in construction at the main station at Kinyerezi from Mtwara starts operation. He noted that, the government recognizes the importance of industries and manufacturers as is the most crucial sector which has the largest revenue contribution to the government treasury, and added that, it’s imperative therefore to give the sector the priority it deserves for being a driving engine of the national economic development growth. “The industrial revolution and their production in the country depend entirely on your own decision as members of this confederation” the President said urging them to make a strategic plan for a certain period to work through to achieve the targets. However, he insisted that trade competition is inevitable by any means whatsoever, so what is needed at this juncture is to cope with the emerging trend in terms of technology in order to ward off all obstacles lying ahead and by doing so would pave the way for success. “I urge you to add value on your products to become the leading producers with best quality, and if possible should you put a roadmap on how to go about it”, he said assured them that under that spirit the country would change industrially within ten years to come. The President also assured them that, the government is currently working on the problem of the basic infrastructures such as railway for transport, and is also working on the availability of water supply to ensure adequate electricity supply as currently the power generation largely depends on hydro power energy.

Change national educational curriculum into life skills, urges the don

DURING the era of socialism in the first phase government, primary school leavers were proud after having been selected to join secondary school education in the country, and for those who missed the opportunity resort to seek for the admissions in private secondary schools which were few by then. The concept means that during that time, government schools were valued to the utmost standards in terms of the provision of better quality education and other things than private schools as related in the general educational curriculum of both ordinary and advanced secondary school. Unlike before, today after 50 years of independence, the trend has changed as most parents prefers to send their children to privately owned secondary schools if need be, depending on the availability of money and economic and financial position that determines their capability. As the educational system in Tanzania is changing as years goes by, most parents whose children prepares to undertake early secondary education prefers mostly to take them to privately owned schools rather than public ones even if are selected  to go there with ambition that would get quality education. Recent educational research activities have shown that, there is neglect on students once selected to pursue their secondary education in government secondary schools, and instead students whose parents are economically and financially able tend to send their children to private schools. Research has discovered that students whose parents are poor and not able enough to afford high school fees charged by private secondary schools prefers to remain in public schools mainly due to their low economic resource power as they are not able to afford such a high educational expenses. Reasons why parents who are well economically prefers to have their children enrolled in private schools in the country is well stated with evidences which shows that the private educational sector in the country has advanced due to investments since early 1990s after economic liberation. Before 1985, the government was the major operator but after the economic liberation, the public and members of the community have to support education by contributing in one way or another in order to make schools operate and equip with modern educational learning materials. The individual contribution to educational system in the country began to slow down the pace of public schools’ development which largely depends on the availability of government funds in order to cater for essential educational needs. Essentially, as the number of primary school leavers increases in the country year after year, the demand for secondary schools and other facilities such as electricity, water, amenities and other educational needs also increases in public schools. Narrating the trend of education and the possible consequences that resulted into poor education in the country, an educational expert and a senior lecturer from the School of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam Professor Akundaeli Mbise said early this week in Dar es Salaam that, “unless the national educational curriculum is changed otherwise Tanzania will continue to lag behind in terms of education”. Speaking in an exclusive interview Professor Mbise said that, the government needs to look for the teachers’ training curriculum that promotes innovation and creativity that makes teachers become innovators rather than people who transfer knowledge. The basic idea in this concept is that, Prof. Mbise is on the view of the fact that, there should be a building curriculum that is full of entrepreneurship life skills if applied would help students outside the school, or prepares them for self employment and meet other challenges of the 21st century. Narrating the downtrend of the educational system in the country, Prof. Mbise categorized the reasons in three major factors which he said are the major cause of underdevelopment and urged the government to take appropriate measures in order to remedy the escalating situation to save the future generation Remuneration and teachers’ motivation in public schools has been a subject of debate in education sector and this is a prime cause of poor education in the country. “Teachers are the most resources, but are demoralized when are not paid well, there is a likelihood of getting poor education quality” he said. The learning resources such as books and in modern life styles computers plays the part, poor dilapidated classrooms, lack of essential working facilities, inadequate water supplies, poor electricity supplies in urban centers coupled by high costs of paraffin in rural areas, all these if compounded together with others are common problems affecting education sector, said Prof. Mbise Lack of support from the communities in the building of social facilities such as water boreholes, classroom renovations and other facilities like amenities which have to be supported by the community, and since the community is not responsible enough then the quality would definitely deteriorates. It is very shaming to note that, the community members have not seen the importance of this in order to change their lives in most parts of the country bearing in mind the fact that, such expenses could be met by the government, but due to poverty the situation becomes worse. Public schools suffer so much because parents do not push their children for studies and this is because of little motivation for studies. But in private schools they have an idea for education as investors in private sectors takes care of students and equip them with the necessary teaching materials. Private schools are properly managed and supervised as their owners have to make a follow up and see what their consumers and members of the community would want them to do. Unlike in private schools, public schools have no supervisors to look after students. Teachers are trying to push them to study but find it very difficulty as their parents are not doing that. Comparing the educational system of the neighboring Kenya and Ugandan countries, Pro. Mbise noted that, “the two countries are more advanced than Tanzania as they started to build their system earlier though are very expensive in private schools, but have very high quality education” However, he said that, teachers in these countries have their students pushed on by their parents from their homes. He mentioned the Harambee philosophy being used by Kenyans since independence and is still in practice. The philosophy he said has helped many Kenyans as it is a joint community efforts to let their children acquire education which in return is for their benefits. Unlike in Tanzania which in the past had a self reliance education policy which he noted could not work effectively, and this is because of the fact that, the country is not committed fully into valuing education to the community. “If people are able to contribute for wedding why not education” he queried. In order to restore the dignity once attained in the past, the government cannot run away from investing honest efforts and resources in education. In this case, every person has a role to play especially parents who have a greater role to push in their children. The community must make sure that, teachers whom they have entrusted with the responsibilities to sharpen those fresh brains and are properly prepared for academic knowledge and skills have their schools improved as everybody sends their children to them to get knowledge. Professor Mbise has suggested that, the government should embark on the issue of creating a conducive teaching environment for teachers and students as well, by this he insists that, teachers must get enough motivation and good environment with full facilities available for their living despite of the fact that such incentives are not given priority by the government.

An expert warns against early childhood admission in boarding schools

PARENTS and prospective child care givers in the country have been warned against sending their children to primary boarding schools at an early age preferably between 3 and 8 years because of some psychological effects that might develop within the minds of such children, an expert in childhood education has said. A senior lecturer in the department of psychology and curriculum studies at the School of Education of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Professor Akundaeli Mbise said in an exclusive interview early this week in Dar es Salaam that, at such an earlier age, children needs to receive their parental care as this is the basic elementary knowledge needed for them prior to maturity. Prof. Mbise who has specialized in early childhood educational career noted that, sending children at such an early age denies them basic rights which they should earlier be given by their parents for social, physical and intellectual stimulation before are taken to school.  In view of this, however he has strongly cautioned that, children’s admissions into primary boarding schools at such an age have a negative effect that is likely to lead them to emotional growth. “Sending children to boarding schools under 8 years means you are separating them from their parents as most of them becomes frustrated emotionally”. He said adding that, they get distressed emotionally a situation that eventually develops low sense of attachment from their parents’ care. Elaborating further he noted that, children loose parental warmth which could make them know who exactly are their parents, they also develop negative behaviors due to lack of cooperation among them which arises as a result of bullying that sometimes develop fear feelings among them.  Elaborating the effects of sending children to schools for class one admission at an early age and not in a boarding school he noted that, at a normal circumstances the attitude has positive outcome as there will have no any bad effects if trained properly at school as early teachings gives them confidence to work hard in order to maintain high learning achievements. He explained that, early childhood education which is recommended for mentally development at between 5 and 7 years old has also been much more social when they meet fellow children at the school. Social behavior becomes more cooperative among them and more easily and also they support one another in different matters. The normal childhood education in Tanzania is mixed up with principal education whereby primary school teachers teach children how to count and read. But as for the development of children this is not enough as teachers may also use numbers for everyday home environments. According to Prof. Mbise this is to develop pre-reading which prepares them into a stage whereby once sent to start standard one, should not be in difficult. To do that, he added, teachers requires preparing well materials for them. Commenting on the fee structure charge by private schools in the country, Prof. Mbise noted that, there should be a regulator to control this in order to let every student be able to afford it for all including other expenses charged. In this manner however, he noted that the government would be in a position of grading their standards that students would know the types of services they provide.

Quality control agent stresses on the limitation of imports

TANZANIA Bureau of Standards (TBS) has suggested that, in order 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 which threatens local manufacturers in the country. TBS Director of Quality Management, Dominic Mwakangale said in an exclusive interview recently in Dar es Salaam the formulated policy would give a little chance for the unscrupulous importers to think of ordering faked and counterfeit goods whose presence has become a menace to local consumers in the country. Analyzing his point, he said that, the government has failed to control the influx of such goods because of the freedom which it has given importers and this has brought such a problem as they can import cheap selling products of the low grades which do not conform to the standards. The TBS boss had just presented his paper in a one day forum organized by the Confederation  of Tanzania Industries (CTI) that discussed the main challenges facing industrialists in the country in their move to curb with the increased substandard products in the country.  The one day forum had a theme that focused “role of the role of pre-shipment verification of conformity to standards in curbing counterfeit and sub-standards goods in Tanzania” However, he admitted the fact that, to a certain level TBS has failed to curb the increased substandard goods which have flooded the local market as most of these goods are entered through porous routes whose control has become inevitable by all circumstances. 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 to a greater extent in their country. 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. 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. 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 Confederation of Tanzania industries (CTI). He named the Fair Competition Commission (FCC), TBS, the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TDFA), the Weight and Measures Agency (WMA) police force 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.  “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. According to a recent study conducted by CTI on “Review of Laws and Regulations relating to counterfeit and Sub-standard Goods in Tanzania” counterfeit and Sub-standard products account for an estimated 20 percent of all goods imported in Tanzania.  The negative effects of such goods on the economy of Tanzania are immense. 

TBS rejects oil cargo at Dar port

TANZANIA Bureau of Standards (TBS) has rejected an oil cargo consignment aboard MT Alburaq ship amounting to 100,000 metric tones of diesel destined for Tanzania market due to failure to meet the required standards, it has been learnt. Confirming the incident, the General Manager of the Petroleum Importation Coordinator Ltd (PIC) Michael Mjinja said recently in Dar es Salaam that, his organization received a letter from TBS on Thursday this week stating that it had stopped the owner Addax Oryx oil company from offloading the consignment at the port. He said Addax Oryx which won the 5th and the 6th oil marketing tender respectively, and in its last tender it loaded oil cargo to be transported into the country, and on reaching at Dar es Salaam port, the TBS officials who works in collaboration with other quality certifying companies such as the Independence Survey Ltd, discovered that the consignment did not conform to the required standards. Narrating about the incident, he said that, the rejected cargo consignment would be returned to its country of origin which he couldn’t disclose when asked but noted that, they are only looking at the bill of lading of the consignment. He also clarified that oil selling companies comes from Arabian countries in Middle East. “Following the incident which to a certain extent has tarnished a good name of the Addax Oryx which has won their tenders for three times, has to face a disciplinary action which he noted that is likely to be blacklisted from the main oil supplying companies in the country” he said. However, he said the decision by the PIC management is to stick to the rules and regulations governing petroleum importation procedures and that it would not hesitate to take disciplinary legal actions against the offenders who want to attempt to bend the contractual procedures for their own benefits.

Asked if the return of the consignment would affect the entire operational demand for the diesel in the country, he said that, there would be no any shortage of diesel oil whatsoever as the storage capacity in the country is measured in terms of stock which he said is enough to caster for the need in the country. He also noted that, his office is currently working over the issue and if possible take the necessary legal measures as per the contract with the oil marketing company says, and added that the contract would require the ordering company to return the fresh bulk alongside with the extra payment of $ 0.5 to be charged as fine in addition to every metric tones ordered. On December 4 this year the PIC suspended Geneva-based Addax Energy SA from tendering for the January, 2013 bulk oil purchases due to violation of regulations in the previous tender. The multinational company is said to have delayed delivery during the fourth tender. Such delays may result (again) into serious shortage of Petroleum products in the country Mjinja revealed last month during the previous 7th tender bids for oil supply for January, next year. According to him, tender period has been reduced to one month from two months with effect from Tender 4. PIC is now looking on having product based tenders instead of combi-cargo tenders. During tendering the PIC Tender committee overseeing the process declared Augusta Energy SA the winner to supply oil in January, next year. Meanwhile, a local Oil Marketing company -Gapco Tanzania Ltd, has won bulk procurement tender for the supply of fuel in the country scheduled for the month of February next year. The company was announced the winner yesterday in Dar es Salaam at a function of opening tender bids which was conducted by Petroleum Importation Corporation (PIC) at their office headquarters located along Nyerere Road. This is the first local company to have won such a tender which it had competed with other six oil marketing companies operating in the country. The companies are Augusta Energy SA, Addax energy SA, Vitol SA, Glencore energy UK Ltd, and Gunvor SA. Before he announced the winner, the Chairman of the tendering committee Nazir Hadji who is also a Country Manager for Nat Oil Company Ltd opened the tender box on which there were six large envelops which had contained details of the contesting companies. In each envelop, there were two copies and an original letter on which the specifications for the tender bids for the deliveries of the February supplies were written in respect to the regulations set. After the evaluation of all who participated was done, Gapco Ltd was announced the winner after scoring an average price of $ 52.50 per metric tone. In the trading period, the company will supply a total of 282,872 metric tones of all fuel worth $ 14.8 million. Specifying the metric tones of each oil product, the chairman noted that, the company will supply 178,900 metric tones of diesel, 73,300 metric tones of petrol, 24,520 metric tones of jet fuel and 6,150 metric tones of kerosene. Describing the various challenges facing the CIP, the General Manager Michael Mjinja said that, his company is worried to see how the premiums keeps of declining and noted that, they only prefer to take those ones whose weight average has the lowest price level. Other challenges he noted is based on the storage capacity which he said is not enough and that his organization is currently working on the issue to see that such a problem comes to an end. However he noted that, for this year, his organization has been awarding tenders to foreign companies whereby two companies Addax Energy has been awarded 3 times and Augusta Energy Ltd has been awarded also 3 times. “But we are happy this time around to have a local company announced the winner, and following this victory this is a great success of the year 2013” he said adding that there would be a constant supply of oil in the country throughout the year and which the EWURA would also get the chance to arrange their indicative prices on the product.

High tax rates affects consumers of alcoholic drinks, claims CTI

THE Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has said that, the recent increase of the 25 percent tax which the government had imposed on alcoholic drinks for 2012/13 financial year has affected consumers of such products in the country. Claims by CTI come barely after four months have passed.

CTI Chairman, Felix Mosha said recently in Dar es Salaam that, the tax increase has reduced the purchasing power of consumers as the retail prices of such products are sold at a high price rate which is unaffordable by most consumers. He also noted that, consumers of tobacco related commodities such as cigarettes and some soft drinks are facing hard time as they have to fetch deeper into their pockets to afford such commodities since the tax increase of the 20 percent was imposed on such products in this year’s budget. The CTI boss was highlighting various challenges facing manufacturers when he addressed industrialists in the country during the award giving ceremony to honour best manufacturers of the year 2012, the ceremony was attended by President Jakaya Kikwete at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam. He dismissed claims that, his organisation always speak in favour of their members during the time when the budget session is in discussion to deliberate the outcome for the next financial trading period, but noted that, claims by CTI on tax structure proposals is always considered by looking at the national economic estimates. For example he said that, the budget proposals issued by CTI during 2011/12 fiscal year targeted main challenges that faced the industrial sector during 2010/2011 trading period. If the government could consider their budget proposals of that time, definitely the industrial sector would grow up by 10 percent contrary as it now growing at a rate of 4 percent, he said. Due to little money which the government has been collecting year after year from the tax payers to its coffers, it has now developed the tendency of increasing income tax mostly on luxurious commodities such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, cigarettes and etc. By increasing taxes on these commodities there is a definite decrease in sales which ultimately results into low sales that determines poor profit margin with which manufacturers can no longer manage to meet operational costs, thus resulting into lower government revenues. However, he appreciated the role being played by various institutions such as TBS and Fair Competition Commission (FCC) of ensuring that, they supervise and fight against counterfeit products so as to allow fair business transactions for the sake of defending consumers in the country. Despite of this, however, he noted that although such institutions are similar in executing their duties, but the most disappointing thing to note is that, they have increased bureaucracy in their work performances among them. Either such institutions have been charging higher tax rates in order to meet their operational demand, thus they increase the cost of doing business. He gave an example of Fire and Rescue Force which in recent days it had increased its normal fee structure from Sh. 300,000 to Sh. 9 million. He regarded such institutions for not organizing their operations fairly as wherever there is a slight increase imposed by the government, they also tend to increase their operational fees to businessmen beyond expectation. In view of this, the CTI has requested the government to look more critically the operations of these institutions and make sure that, they should be integrated together so as to reduce the unnecessary operational costs likely to occur in business dealings in order to attract both foreign and local investors. “It is now high time for the government to finance operational costs of these institutions so as to let them work more efficiently and with seriousness rather than changing their services to be the main sources of their operational income”, he said.

VP cautions African Muslim scholars

MUSLIM Communities across Sub Saharan African region should desist from succumbing on the demands pushed by some Islamic groups and networks bent of threatening the cohesion that has existed between them and people of other religions. VICE-President Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal made the concern recently in Dar es Salaam when addressing African Muslim scholars from 42 different African countries who gathered to deliberate matters related to the development of Islamic religion in Africa. However, he has cautioned scholars and requested them to continue maintaining good relationships with fellow Christians in various countries bearing the fact that there are so many believers of both religions. Contrary to that, he noted that, Africa region is likely to witness massive religious clashes like what has started to emerge in Nigeria and a long peaceful country of Tanzania. A three day meeting under the theme that highlighted “the conduct of former Prophets” had various presentations from experts and lecturers from Islamic University of Kuwait and others who are experts in Islamic religion. The meeting has been organized by a newly formed organization of Muslim Scholars in Africa which was established in 2011 with its headquarters based in Bamako, Republic of Mali. Tanzania Muslim community joined the organization in early this year. Addressing the congregation in Swahili and translated in Arabic language, the VP said that he was optimistic that, the meeting would critically discuss the recent religious clashes which happened in the country with a view to continue live in peaceful manner as this is a sign of Tanzanians of respecting  followers of the two major religions. “A belief should not be taken as a quarrel, except it should be a means of building us morally bearing in mind that one of the ethical criteria of living is to have good faith with the people whom you live together irrespective of their different religious beliefs which does not belong to another believer” he said. He added that, the world in which we live is a globalised sphere and there is no community which can live in isolation like an island. In view of this, however, he cautioned African Muslim scholars and other religious leaders that are aught to look at a most critical point that would see how the globalization process in Africa does not affect their religious beliefs. However, he noted that, by taking a precaution over the matter, it’s upon African religious leaders to direct their leadership codes that show good conduct of their believers, but also how the believers would benefit with the greatest developments of the existing science and technology which have of recently revolutionalized people’s way of living and mankind development in general. Earlier the President of African Muslim scholars Tanzania chapter, Sheik Amran Seleman Kilemile stressed that, Tanzania joined the organization with a view to join relations with other scholars from other African countries and also to share experiences from them. However, he said adding that, other purposes were directed with a view to find a lasting solution of the numerous problems facing Muslims in the country which he declined to specify when asked. But he further insisted that, Tanzania membership would have an advantage of knowing what is going on in other countries. “We expect after this meeting to come up with many different resolutions which would aim to reform Islamic situation and Muslims who live within Sub Saharan Africa region so that the organization should take the responsibility of resolving various problems as related in the aspects to education, social and economic way of life. Other resolutions would be as related in the promotion of Islamic religion..

Two credit reference bureaus licensed by BOT

LOAN borrowers from various financial and credit institutions in the country will now have their credit information database monitored from the Credit Reference System (CRS) which was established by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) in September this year by two credit reference bureaus which have been recently licensed by the bank, it has been learnt. The BOT’s Director of Banking Supervision Agapiti Kobelo has named the companies as Dun & Brandstreet Credit Bureau Tanzania Limited and Creditnfo Tanzania whose task he said would be to provide customer’s credit reporting services as they would be recorded in the system by the financial institutions. The BOT boss told attendants in a one day stakeholders’ workshop on credit information sharing held yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the workshop was organized by Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society (TCAS) in collaboration with the Consumers’ International and it discussed consumer educational awareness. He said BOT has licensed these companies in order to ensure fruitful operations of the credit reference system in Tanzania and thereby the BOT will effectively supervise the operations of the reference databank to ensure that the information collected is managed securely and responsibly at all times and in accordance with provisions of the law and regulations. “Through the system, the borrowers’ information would now be easily acquired by other banks from the companies if needed to see if they might have other loans taken from other financial institutions or not” clarified another BOT official Abubakar Ukhotya. However, he noted that, students who take education loan will also be easily traced through to their employers. The CRS system of the BOT is designed to collect and provide information on the payment record of all clients of the lending banks and other financial institutions as well as those of Savings and Credit schemes in the United Republic of Tanzania and other entities engaged regularly in the extension of credit facilities. During the workshop some stakeholders of the invited financial institutions expressed their concern on the awareness of the system saying that, bank customers need to be educated on the importance of the system before going to an institution to seek for loans. Contributing over the topic on customers’ awareness, TCAS Executive Director Benard Kihiyo noted that, while the benefits of a sound credit information sharing system are evident, it is critical to educate borrowers (consumers) on how to use their credit reports and manage their level of debt. He also insisted on consumer education noting that it is an important part of the process of awareness and understanding of the loan borrowers. However, he said this is a basic consumer right that must be insisted to the general public for the comprehensive records. He said financial education is therefore an important pillar which complement the work being done in enhancing credit information sharing, and added that, consumer awareness program on information is important also. Contributing his views, another stakeholder Onica Makwakwa of Consumer International noted that, “Customers’ Information was an important aspect to be known by loan givers so that once they get such information would help them know exactly how to go about to see their background status of borrowing money from other institutions. The workshop brought stakeholders from BOT, CSOs, MFIs, Banks, CRBs, SACCOS, VICOBA and TAMFI.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Refugees left unattended in Dar guest houses

SOME refugees from Kasulu camp which is managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who had been transferred to Dar es Salaam for medical treatment are hardly surviving for lack of money since the start of this year, The Guardian on Sunday can reveal. The refugees, who are being accommodated in two different local guest houses namely Elly Tex House and Bosco guest house both located at Ilala suburb in the city of Dar es Salaam, are under the care of a locally registered care group firm known as Relief to Development Society (REDESO) now for a year since they came. The society entered into contract with the UNHCR to undertake medical care as well as treatment for their refugees who fall sick and need to be transferred to referral hospitals such as the Muhimbili National hospital in Dar es Salaam city and anywhere else in the country. Investigations has discovered that, since the start of this year, all refugees who have been accommodated for shelter in these two different guest houses have not been given their subsistence allowances which enables them to buy food since the start of this year. In an exclusive interview with this paper, they have expressed their disappointment and thrown blame to their care giver whom they have accused of taking no seriousness of the matter on the humanitarian grounds.  Speaking on condition of anonymity, they have expressed their sympathy and noted that have been surviving by help of well wishers and workers at guest houses where they have been lodged. A spot check at one of the guest in which are accommodated namely Elly Tex House which is located at a junction of Arusha and Lindi street at Ilala found a miserable circumstances as a pregnant woman, a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is surviving by drinking water and little food offered by well wishers and workers of the guest house who probably might have had a great sympathy on her because of her pregnancy which is nearing to delivery. Another refugee, who did not want his name or his nationality to be mentioned in the newspaper, noted that REDESO accounts them Sh. 5,000 per day the money that is paid in lumpsum for fifteen days totaling Sh. 75,000 to buy only food from morning till they go to bed. With this amount of money however, he says that is not enough to cater for other daily requirements such as the basic necessities of human everyday life since he entered in the city in March 2012 to undergo a medical treatment. The sympathizing refugees most of whom comes from neighbouring countries of Burundi and DRC and few others who came from Ethiopia possessing valid permits issued by UNHCR that identifies them to be seeking for the political asylum in the country. The political asylum seekers wonders as to how the UNHCR pays accommodation for them amounting to Sh. 300,000 per month per room on which each one of them is located, and yet it delays to pay them money for their meals to keep them alive. In his understanding, being sick he is worried if the government is quite aware of the problems facing him and other refugees at a guest house and what appropriate action is being taken by the relevant authorities to solve the matter. He is on the view of the fact that, incase one of them dies for lack of proper diet, how could they treat the issue? He queried. Responding to such claims, REDESO General Manager Mbekenya Desdeurius who admitted the situation said in a telephone interview that, his organization which was given the mandate to deal with the medical clearances for the refugees in the country had no money as they had not yet received fund from UNHCR an aspect that they failed to pay them on time. However, he further noted that, these would be paid today on Monday. Elaborating on what had caused the delay, he affirmed that, the delay was due to the fact that, his organization had not yet settled down new contracts for the year 2013. “You know we had delayed to pay the refugees on time because of the important logistics basing on the delay of contractual basis between UNHCR and his organization owing t a number of factors including a series of Christmas festivities and new year” he said adding that, the money is already signed and would be given to refugees as usual. REDESO is one of the leading projects implementing partner to the UNHCR in refugee camps and local communities in Tanzania. Also the organization is implementing sustainable community development programs in refugee-affected areas in Kagera Region, Kigoma Region and Tanga Region. The organization concerns with relief and development to local and International displaced communities and other vulnerable local communities. Since the inception, the organization has initiated and managed project assignments for the government of Tanzania international organizations, donor agencies and local NGOs.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Kikwete attends Sajuki’s burial in Dar

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete yesterday led thousands of Dar es Salaam mourners who turned up at the funeral of a famous film star artist Juma Kilowoko (26) alias ‘Sanjuki’ who died on Wednesday this week at Muhimbili National Hospital. The burial took place at Kisutu cemetery grounds in the city centre at around 13.30 noon and was also attended by Mayor of Ilala Jerry Slaa, Iddi Azam an MP for Kinondioni among the top dignitaries. Also in attendance was the deputy Secretary General of the leading CHADEMA opposition party and an MP for Kigoma North Zitto Kabwe, members of the Tanzania Film Federation (TAFF) and other artists’ group members, friends and close relatives of the deceased. The arrival of the body at the cemetery grounds was preceded by President Kikwete who when he entered the ground was received by the Mayor of Ilala Jerry Slaa and was given a chair on which to sit and shortly it was followed by the body of the deceased which was carried in a casket escorted by fellow members of the TAFF which was immediately lowered down beside the grave. A Muslim requiem prayers followed and after which film fans and other people who could not control their temper surged forward to take a glimpse of what was happening an aspect that made security men around to beef up their movements as they tried to prevent the mob whose presence almost prevented the President when he went to put a spade of soil on top of a grave. After the activities came to an end, President Kikwete consoled the bereaved family and other film fans and told them that, nobody has power to prevent what the lord has decided to take the soul of their departed comrade who he described as a famous young man who has brought fame in the film industry not only in Tanzania but also to the neighboring countries. He therefore urged them to stay in peace and continue do their work without fear. On his side, the TAFF Chairman, Simon Mwakifwamba in his greetings to console the bereaved family, thanked the President and his presence which he said had brought hope to the film industry stakeholders in the country. “This is an awesome that shows the President values his people of all walks of life. Then the President departed from the cemetery grounds and went to Tabata Bima, a small suburb from where the deceased was living with his family. In his greetings, the TAFF Chairperson has thanked various government leaders and other political leaders for their contribution of money upon hearing the death of their fellow artist which he said has to a greater extent helped to facilitate the funeral arrangements of their departed comrade. The late Sajuki started his career as a film artist when he joined a famous Bagamoyo artist group before he started to work independently and succeeded to attain fames which had emanated due to his different kind of film works that he produced.  Tanzania film fans popularly known as ‘Bongo film fans’ which have the local contents will continue to remember the late Sajuki for his various famous work which he produced through his own locally registered company known as Waje Productions Limited. Among the famous film titles that the film fans remembers him for bears both Swahili and English titles which includes for Swahili as Shetani wa Pesa, Mboni yangu, Dhambi and Vita,. The English titles he is remembered for includes, Round, Hero of the Church, Briefcase, Beverage, Two brothers and Behind the scene. When he was attacked by illness in 2010, the late Sajuki was taken to India for further treatment and returned back in the country with a full recovery and resumed his work again, but he started to succumb other badly sufferings up to the time he met untimely death. In short the late Sajuki was highly concentrating in the preparations and the making up of films as well as live performances. Born in 1986 in Songea in Ruvuma region, the late Sajuki has left a widow Wastara Juma and one child. Sajuki’s death has occurred few days after the government announced that it would sponsor his treatment in India again as it had promised before where he went earlier following contributions by well wishers Tanzanians and regained fully before he was attacked again by the disease. Before his death, the late Sajuki had ever fallen off a podium when he lost strength in one of his performances at Sheik Abeid Aman Karume stadium in Arusha city that aimed at raising funds which would enable his return India for treatment. He had been proclaimed to have died several times.