Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Kigoda dismisses claims by opposition camp, asks for physical evidences
THE Minister for Trade and Industries Dr. Abdalah Kighoda on Wednesday this week dismissed claims by opposition camp which it raised against relatives of the ruling CCM Members of Parliament allegedly to be owners of the company earlier entered into a joint contract with a National Development Corporation (NDC) to generate wind electricity power in Singida region. Winding up his speech for his ministry’s budget estimates for 2013/14 financial year, Dr. Kigoda said that, it was not true that owners of the private company namely Power Pool East Africa Company Ltd mentioned in their statement are relatives of the ruling CCM party. To verify the truth over the matter, Dr. Kigoda has however asked the opposition camp in Parliament to produce evidences to clear doubt and if possible should they cross check the registration particulars of the company from the national Business Registration Licensing company (BRELA) in order to prove their allegations. Earlier, a spokesperson of the opposition camp, Highness Samson Kiwia (Chadema) claimed in a statement he issued in Parliament in which they wanted to know how the company was involved in the whole process of power generation and came to acquire such a huge funded contract project. Relatives of the CCM MPs who the opposition camp alleged in their statement to be owners of the company are Maswa Kagoswe, Isack Joseph Mwamanga, Emmanuel Kasyanju, Prosper Tesha, Lennard Tennende and Athumani Ngwilizi. According to Highness, their involvement was a planned mission organized by the said CCM MPs (whom he didn’t disclose in his statement )with a view to benefit through cheating the amount of money which currently is being processed by the government as a loan amounting to $ 136 million (equivalent to Sh. 210 bn/). The money will be received from Exim Bank of China which has agreed to disburse it on relief condition and that the government has already issued a letter of support to the bank by the ministry of Finance. Apart from claiming of their relationship, the opposition camp also wanted to know whether the government had done an in-depth investigation by vetting the owners in areas of their technical ability and the legitimacy of the said company if it has enough experience in power generation activities before approval by the government to undertake such a huge project. The opposition camp doubts about the experience and the skills the company has whether it has ever done such a project elsewhere in the country, he queried while warning the government should not involve itself into another Richmond saga. The project which is expected to generate total 300 megawatts is yet to start, but initially the company was expected to generate 50 megawatts to be supplied 12 kilometers away in eastern direction of the Singida town Council. According to the details made available about the project, it was supposed to commence during 2012/13 financial year. In early 2012, the managing director of state-run National Development Corporation (NDC), Gideon Nasari, confirmed the parastatal has entered into a contract with a private firm, Power Pool East Africa Company Ltd for wind power generation. In the deal, NDC holds 51 per cent stake while a privately owned company, Power Pool East Africa Ltd, with 49 shares, under the agreement the private firm will service the loan for 20 years. The demand for power in Tanzania is growing by more than 50 MW a year, fuelled partly by an expansion of mining undertakings in parts of the country. Currently, hydro is the major source of electricity in Tanzania. The wind farm in Singida will mean that power-dependent industries will soon be provided with electricity generated locally. The wind farm will benefit the local economy, providing 200 jobs during the construction phase and a handful of jobs when it is up and running. Wind power on a commercial scale is not common in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the existence of constantly blowing and consistently strong winds, especially along the top of the rift valley, the mountain plateau which runs through east Africa from Ethiopia to Malawi and Mozambique. Singida project seeks to be the country's first wind energy power project. The project is a result of the government push for diverse energy sources, as drafted in its recent policy on renewable energy.