Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More demand for severe punishment against Escow saga

The union of eight political parties which have no representatives in Parliament, have jointly asked the government to clarify its recent decisions to the international donor community over the dubious transactions entered  by some people who managed to withdraw Sh. 202.9 billion money illegally from the Tegeta Escrow Account. The eight political parties made the declaration in a joint communiqué report they issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam with a view to request the government to restore faith that the donors had lost from the government a result of which made them to suspend the disbursements of funds intended for the development projects in the country due to the scandal. Either the said political parties namely AFP, CCK, SAU, JAHAZI, UMD, CHAUSTA, NRA and UPDP have hailed President Jakaya Kikwete’s decision and steps taken by his government when responding to the eight Parliamentary resolutions which it had issued to the government to implement together with taking stern measures against the people who directly involved in the scandal. Reading the statement on behalf of fellow parties, the Secretary General of the Sauti ya Umma party (SAU) Ali Kaniki told a press conference that, donors are anxiously waiting to receive an official report from the government that would show steps taken so far by the government over the matter. “Many citizens have come to understand the Escrow issue after hearing the President’s speech and that its important the government should issue a statement to donors to clarify their decisions which would make them and external investors to restore faith to the government which was lost when the scandal erupted in Parliament”, he said. Kaniki added that, the decision by the President to reject one resolution which required the government to confiscate the IPOTL’s generating machines was good and that if the president could have accepted the ideas, it would lure other investors’’ mind not to come to Tanzania for investments.“The President need to be respected although others think that, when the President ids overwhelmed with such scandals, makes them come up with new political agenda to make them become famous politically”, he said. 

President Jakaya Kikwete is addressing Dar es Salaam elders who turned up to listen to him when responding to the eight resolutions recently passed by the National Assembly on Escrow saga.

However, he noted that these are the preliminary decisions taken by the government, other legal measures are due to follow later as the President is not forced and instead is being advised on how to make a firm decision over the matter as other organs are still making a follow up on the issue. On his part, the Secretary General of the Chama Cha Kijamii (CCK) Renatus Muabhi said that the issue of donors to suspend funds for development is a painful issue to the nation following some national leaders who are in power do not take necessary steps to safeguard the national wealth as well as being not serious enough over the fight against corruption. He said if the national leaders were serious enough to safeguard the natural resources properly, the donors would have not have become strong enough to intervene and cause a threat to the government by way of forcing them to react over the matter, an aspect that they might have decided to suspend their assistances. “If the donor countries could have not threatened the government to react on their wishes and as a result they decided to suspend the fund for development in a country that is full of natural resources which could enable the nation become rich if properly organized”, he said He said Tanzanians should not be ready to see their President is being bulldozed by the donors by inciting his to do whatever they want, as by doing so it reflects the bad image to the nation. However, he noted that, , President Kikwete should be serious with statements issued b y political figures in the country with the aim of building their confidence over the Escrow account saga so as to plug the nation into a political chaos. “Countries which are in political crisis have their causes erupted by politicians who are looking after building their own political influence, and therefore Tanzanians should avoid the trend in order to continue building peace and harmony which has been existing for long in the country”, he said. On his part, the Secretary General of AFP party, Rashid Rai cautioned politicians to recognize that not all that they recommend to the government and have its commitments by President should be done according to their wishes, bearing in mind the fact that, Tanzania is guided by its constitution. “Let us not advise the president on matters which are not thoroughly checked, and good luck enough our President is wise enough whenever he is given an advise which he works on it before deciding on it”, he said.

Six people are arrested as a policemen is injured at Nyamongo Gold Mine

A police Constable (PC) with force number G 7606 known by one name Deogratius stationed at Kinesi Police Station in Rorya district, Mara region has been admitted at Shirati nursing the wounds he sustained on his ribs. This is after he was pricked by a sharp instrument believed to be a spear while at work with his fellow in their struggle to remove more than 2,000 youths who had invaded a gold mine owned by Acacia North Mara which is located at Nyamongo area in Tarime district whereby the police in the area are holding 6 people in connection with the illegal intrusion that caused the injuries to other policemen within the mining site. The Police Commander of Tarime /Rorya special police zone, SACP Lazaro Mambosasa said yesterday that, a group of about 2,000 youths living in neighborhood close to the mining site believed to be invaders on Tuesday at noon armed with traditional weapons invaded the mining area and caused violence. 

People run in great pursuit to take refuge in an attempt to escape the police who usually fire them with live bullets after they had invaded the mine with intent to steal gemstones. The incident took place at Nyamongo Gold Mine in Tarime district recently.

According to SACP Mambosasa, the group invaded the security guards on duty and swiftly managed to escape with precious gemstones from the mining site while leaving other policemen in injuries. He said that, the police force in collaboration with the security guards amounted a counter attack at the site and in confrontation came in face to face with the intruders in a swift operational move that was succeeded but left other policemen injured. He further noted that, during the operation, one policemen who was hired from Kinesi police station with the force number  G 7606 PC Deogratius was left injured on his side body and w as rushed to Tarime district designated hospital for treatment and at the moment is admitted at Shirati hospital for further treatment. He said 6 people most of whom are youths are being held by the police in connection with the incident and are soon expected to appear before the court of law once investigations about them matter is complete. The suspects would be charged with intrusion to the Gold Mine area and cause injuries to security people. SACP Mambosasa has cautioned to the people in the area not to take law in their hands and desist from forcing their movements illegally into the mining site without permission with intent to commit a crime. He said the police force in the region would not hesitate to take legal actions against the offenders who would be found guilty of an offense and take them before the court of law, and therefore cautioned to the concerned group that the a hand of law would take actions against them.

Residents in furious mood against their District Commissioner

RESIDENTS of Nzasa, Kilami and Nyaigulu villages in Ilala district in Dar es Salaam region who are bordering the Kazimzumbwi natural forest in Kisarawe district, Coast region have lodged a claim against wildlife security guards of the Kazimzumbwi forest. The residents have accused them together with the District Commissioner of the district Fatma Kimario for their collaborative work of ordering about 700 houses which have been pulled down and setting fire to their livestock on claims that have invaded the area illegally. They have also accused them of slashing down residents’ crops in the area in a move to let them vacate so as to let the investor who want to plant trees for reduction of carbon dioxide emission. 

Kazimzumbwi forests in Kisarawe district, Coast region

Speaking to the writer of this news, a member of the committee selected to look after the demarcations which were placed to separate the natural forests of Kazimzumbwi and the residential areas recognized to be under Ilala municipal council Mary Maundi said that, an action committed by the district officials is inhumane and that it was not right for them people in the area. He said that, the people have the legal occupation of the area for over ten years and have won a civil case which was opened in 2011 and that it was found that the wildlife soldiers occupied the area illegally and built their houses in it. “The case was conducted at a district court for the last two years and failure for them soldiers to tender their evidences in court, the Magistrate cancelled it for lack of enough evidences as they were require to do so” she said.

Public holidays is a disguise for commuter bus operators in Dar city-Survey

The two days of the just ended public holidays for Christmas occasion has become a disguise to commuter bus operators popularly known as ‘Daladala’ in the city of Dar es Salaam, the survey has discovered that, during public occasions most commuter buses plying through various designated routes to their destination points within the city suburbs carries less passengers on board compared to ordinary working days of the week. Interviewed drivers by this paper yesterday in Das res Salaam said that, the two days of the religious festivity became a tough job as none of them could make considerable profit margin out of the daily collection targets required of them by their employers. The daily target set which range between Sh. 90,000/- and Sh. 130,000/- and about Sh. 300,000/- for Usafiri Dar es Salaam buses known in short as UDA buses respectively, is required to be remitted on daily basis. They said during such occasions the business realizes lower income due to few passengers found at various Daladala bus stations an aspect that they make lower profit levels than they could expect for the day. Hamza Rehani a driver of the bus plying between Mbagala and Mwenge route up to Makumbusho station said that, he had experienced a loss of over 40 percent of the total amount which is not accountable with the targeted amount to be submitted to his employer per day. 

According to him, despite most commuter divers used to offer discounts in a bid to let passengers board their busses for a certain distance, still the situation at the end is more alarming. However, he said adding that, they have to use other means to compensate the losses incurred in order to please their employers. Another commuter driver Omary Mwanjusi whom plies between Gongo la Mbotto and Ubungo countered by saying that, public days and weekends are bad days for them and the employers do not mind about except they pay as per their contract says. Contacted for clarification over the matter, UDA’s Chief Operation Officer Cyprian Malekela could not be in a position to respond when this writer connected him in a telephone interview. However, he said that as concerns the contract in between UDA and their bus operators it was none of the public business to know about the company’s affairs and declined to say anything further. Investigations by this paper has further discovered that, apart from occasion to be a disguise to commuter bus operators, a two day occasion had been a bless to city commuters in almost all suburbs in the city who spent fewer time to arrive at their working places. Ezekiel Kessy who resides at Kimara said that, he used to spend 3 hours during pick hours when coming and going back home after whole day’s business at the city centre. But to his great dismay, he found himself using only half an hour to arrive at his destination point. It has been discovered that, during the public holidays the Dar es Salaam city roads becomes decongested with vehicles, the situation which poses a relief to police traffic whom unlike other days are seemingly busy directing traffic at a most intersection.

Monday, December 22, 2014

TMEA launches fund to clear transport logistics in the country

Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) has launched the first of its $ 16 million Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) fund marking a deep step forwards reducing the region’s logistics and transport costs through innovative solutions. The occasion which took place on Thursday last week in Dar es Salaam this week was attended by transport stakeholders in the country. Speaking at the launch, TMEA Tanzania country director Dr. Josephat Kweka said that, by funding solutions to reduce the costs of transport, the fund will make a real contribution to improved trade and prosperity in Tanzania and East Africa region as a whole. He said TMEA believes that LIFT will help ensure that the private sector will be at the centre of providing solutions and contributing to the growth of trade in the EAC region. In addition to that, the fund will also provide grants Dr. Kweka noted that, the grants will range from $ 200,000 and $ 750,000 to winning proposals from innovators from across the world but whose ideas will be implemented in East Africa region. 

Dr. Kweka further elaborated that, East Africa currently has some of the highest freight and transport costs in the world. These costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries, thus reducing tirade economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. In view of this, he said that the fund will contribute to a significant reduction in transport and other logistics related costs in order to increase competitiveness for the trading community in East Africa. TMEA is an organization funded by a range of development agencies with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through trade. The organization works closely with East Africa Community institutions, national governments, the private sectors and civil society organizations.