Sunday, December 4, 2016

UN Chief appoints Nigerian national to stand for MICT courts in Arusha

UNITED Nations Secretary- General, Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mr Olufemi Elias of Nigeria as the Registrar of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICTs) which was recently inaugurated in Arusha. Mr Olufemi, who once worked as an anti-chemical weapon director, will effectively resume his position at ICT or “Mechanism”, effective from January 2017. The Nigerian takes over from Mr John Hocking of Australia, who has been serving as the Registrar of the MICT since January 2012. The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Mr Hocking for his service, including his instrumental role in setting up the Mechanism, and overseeing the construction of its new premises in Arusha. Mr Elias has been serving as the Executive Secretary of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal since July 2016, a position which he also held from 2008 to 2013. He has also previously served as a Legal Adviser and Director at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 2013 to 2016, and as a Senior Legal Officer at the OPCW from 2005 to 2008. Between 1998 and 2005, he worked in legal positions at the United Nations Compensation Commission. Judge Theodor Meron, President of the Mechanism, welcomed the appointment of Mr Elias, stating: “I look forward to working closely with Mr Elias to ensure that the Mechanism will continue to serve as a model of best practices and to be lean, efficient, and effective as it carries out the essential functions entrusted to it.” President Meron also praised Mr Hocking, who will continue to serve as the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, for his contributions to the Mechanism over the course of nearly five years. “Registrar Hocking has played an invaluable role in helping the Mechanism take shape, overseeing the smooth transition of key functions from the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and seeing the construction of the Mechanism’s new premises in Arusha through to completion, a legacy of which Mr Hocking can and should be proud,” he said. The official opening of the new premises of the Arusha branch of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) or ‘Mechanism’ took place at Laki Laki area late last week and was presided over by Vice- President Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan. More than 300 delegates attended the function, including Tanzanian government officials, representatives of the international community and the United Nations, judges and staff of the MICT, and the media. The unveiling of the plaque at the new premises marked the official opening of the new home of the Mechanism in Arusha at the Lakilaki area. During his remarks commencing the opening ceremony, Judge Theodor Meron, President of the MICT, acknowledged the indispensable role the government of Tanzania played in making the new MICT premises a reality. President Meron also underscored the role of the MICT in Africa, noting that: “With the Mechanism rooted firmly here, in mandate, culture, and context, it is not too much to say that this is an African court, and that in carrying out the vital mandate that it has been given, the Mechanism will serve, first and foremost, the people of this region and the world.” Mr Miguel de Serpa Soares, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, delivered a message on behalf of the United Nations Secretary- General, Ban Ki-Moon. Mr Moon was of view that all victims share the same desire “to see those responsible for the crimes against them brought to justice”, adding “the opening of the new MICT facility in Arusha, the African city of justice, is an important opportunity to promote and support accountability for international crimes more broadly”. The three buildings of the new premises – the courtroom, the archives and the office building – have been designed to serve the specialized functions of the Mechanism, which include the completion of remaining judicial work, archives management, witness protection, supervision of enforcement of sentences, and assistance to national justice.

Chinese expert advises Africa to rely on agriculture

AFRICAN countries need to focus their attention on the use of more land by engaging in agriculture to create more jobs to overcome problems of food insecurities. Deputy Director at the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, Dr Tan Weiping, made the remarks on Thursday this week at the African Civil Society Organization Workshop which is coordinated by the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) in Beijing. Dr Weiping said problem of unemployment in Africa can be tackled through modernisation of agriculture and industrialisation in building sustainable development in the countries. ‘Poverty eradication, green development and innovation are therefore essential to the achievement of a strong, inclusive and balanced growth of the world economy and that of the agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, said Dr Weiping. In order to end poverty, there is a need for new skills development as well as overcoming the use of outdated equipment in farming. For that matter, China has changed its poverty reduction programs to poverty elimination programs which assist the country to reduce the number from 70 million people last year to 55. 7 million people in 2015. From the year 1978 to 2009 China’s economic growth rate had maintained 10 percent, whereas the current goal is to lift out of poverty the remaining population by the year 2020. China’s plan of poverty elimination is being undertaken through the 13th Year Five-Year Development Plan which is going to end in 2020. Government’s are thus urged to create favourable policy environment to support and encourage the private sector and civil society to play a greater role in poverty alleviation. The Secretary General of Chinese Follow-up Committee for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Amb Lin Songtian, who is also the Director of Africa Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted several concepts to assist Africa to attain development. He pointed out that China was committed to support programs that would improve the livelihood of the people through incentive, industrial and green development.

TASAF advised to focus on women empowerment

TANZANIA Social Action Fund (TASAF) has been urged to work more to empower women in aspects of access and decision on credits to fulfill their desire to redeem Tanzanians from poverty. This is according to the baseline results from the research on the impact of cash transfers on women’s empowerment and on Youth wellbeing along with their transition to adulthood in Tanzania conducted by a research institution REPOA in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). According to the report, giving cash transfers might result in more control on the income, but empowering women to have ability to make decisions on resources is even more important because it is linked with graduation out of poverty. REPOA Senior Researcher, Dr Flora Myamba, said TASAF may need to work more to empower women in aspects of resources that are ownership, sale, purchase and transfer of assets, as helping women was good for both men and women in families and communities. “The study is important because economic growth and poverty alleviation are linked with gender relations and women’s empowerment, their inclusion and empowerment is not only a human right but a more efficient way to promote growth and poverty alleviation,” she remarked Dr Myamba said the study was carried out before phase three funds were disbursed, “We will carry out another study 18 months later after they get the funds from TASAF, asking the same questions to find out if there are any improvements,” Expounding further, she said the overall goal of the study was to explore the extent to which the Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) implemented through TASAF enhance women autonomy and power to make decisions in production, resources, income, leadership and time use. She said the study was conducted in May-July 2015 in eight districts in the mainland and one from the Island was included in youth survey. Among other key findings of baseline surveys, she said, found that targeted population was really poor, which means TASAF targeting of extreme poor was successful for 90 per cent, where they also explored the role of culture, religion and legal aspects in facilitating and or obstructing women’s empowerment. The sample size for the study was 1,335 households with 11,000 people and on youth from same households, 800 were picked, in which 1,300 youth were interviewed. The districts involved were Uyui, Kisarawe, Handeni, Itilima, Mbogwe, Kahama, Misungwi, Kilosa and Unguja. On youth survey, she said the study covered age’s ranging from 14 to 28 years, in which they found that there were low reported rates of having basic material needs met. Only 1 in 4 have all their basic material needs met. “There were high level of violence reported, which includes acceptability of domestic violence, emotional, physical and sexual, where 70 percent of females agreed that husbands were justified in beating their wives,” Dr Myamba said Director for Non- Governmental Organization (NGOs) from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mr Marcell Katemba, said knowledge on those areas was of great interest to policy makers as women in Tanzania tend to be left out in the mainstream economic activities

Tanzania reiterates its desire to add more Bombardiers’ aircrafts

THE government has reiterated its desire that as from next month it will receive one more Bombardier Q400 plane and that a further two Bombardier SC300 aircraft will arrive in 2018. Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said this on Thursday this week noting that the government’s procedures to purchase those jetliners was in progress. The purchase of the CS300 airliners, which are the most economical aircraft on the market in their class, will make a total of five new planes the government would have purchased in a period of two years. Only days ago, the first such CS300 was delivered to global launch customer AirBaltic after Swiss, part of the Lufthansa Group. Treasury Registrar (TR), Mr Lawrence Mafuru, recently said the government has so far made a 30 per cent advance payment for three more airplanes, including a Bombardier SC300 jetliner, and another $10 million advance payment for a 200-seater Boeing plane. The money for the airplanes went to Canada. 


Last September, the government received two Bombardier Q400 planes which have already started operations in the Tanzanian skies as commercial flights. It is expected that the delivery of two Bombardiers SC300 planes in 2018 will then facilitate the resumption of flights to more domestic and regional destinations. This comes at a time when local rivals Precision Air and Fastjet in Tanzania remain in loss making territory and coincides with Fastjet suspending their flights from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe and Nairobi, giving Air Tanzania unexpected openings to take on such vacated routes with smaller and more efficient aircraft. The sale of the first ever CS series aircraft to Africa by Bombardier is a coup of sorts over other manufacturers, in particular Embraer and will probably help to open the African market for such jets in the 100 – 150 seat market. Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) received the Q400 aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier following the purchase agreement signed in August 2016. The aircraft were delivered with a 76-seat configuration at the price of USD 62m. The purchase is part of ATCL’s plan to expand in Tanzania.

TRA advocates secondary schools on matters of tax compliances

THE Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) on Thursday this week launched the Secondary Schools Tax Clubs Competition for Dar es Salaam and Coast regions that aims at preparing students on matters of tax compliance. TRA Director of Education and Taxpayer Services, Mr Richard Kayombo launched the competition at Shaaban Robert Secondary School in Dar es Salaam, expressing optimism that the competition did not only aim at strengthening interschool cooperation but create awareness on the importance of tax for the country’s economy. About 47 secondary schools from Dar es Salaam and Coast regions participated in the competition that shall see the top three winners walking out with flat screen television sets, computers and printers. “We understand that the students have an outstanding contribution to their families in educating and advising on matters concerning tax, so this competition is a crucial impetus towards the importance of paying tax for the country’s development,’’ he said. According to Mr Kayombo, another competition was conducted in Kilimanjaro Region and it had a lot of success on matters of tax. He added that the tax watchdog had already established other clubs in the higher learning institutions in its bid to have all forms of taxes known to Tanzanians. “We know that these students will be business people and employees in future, so it is equally important for them to have a broader knowledge in matters of tax. The TRA official further insisted that TRA would continue helping the clubs in the various secondary schools to its capacity. “The students go to shop, so by inculcating knowledge into them, we believe that they will be demanding receipts upon purchasing their various products and they will equally remind their parents on the same,’’ said Mr Kayombo