Saturday, February 4, 2017

Makonda sacrifices his life to deal with contraband illegal drug traffickers

As the nation is mourning for the people who have turned drug addicted, government machineries such as the police and the judiciary have totally failed to net the culprits who directly involved in the illegal deal. Thanks to the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner who has seen the need to make it open to the general public those who are directly involved in this deal which has consequently ravaged the lives if innocent Tanzanians. With the government’s quietness, it seems as if the network of those who are involved is very dangerous in a manner that everybody is afraid to point an accusing finger to the concerned individuals. But nevertheless, as a saying goes, “the days for a thief are counted beyond 40 days”. Probably this is why the RC Makonda has realized the bitter truth to deal with such a mischief in the country by mentioning people who involves directly or indirectly in the network. As concerns with the matter, fresh details are emerging on the drugs saga with the police in Dar es Salaam forming a special task force to deal with drug barons in yet another move seeking for a lasting solution on the illegal trade in the country’s commercial city. In accomplishment, the RC for Dar es Salaam region Mr Paul Makonda, on Thursday this week ordered an arrest of three more police officers believed to be among the perpetrators of the vice. According to the RC, the three police officers who are in the network of drug kingpins made 1bn/- from the illegal trade in the past two weeks. Mr Makonda revealed more names of drug kingpins and dealers at a press conference in Dar es Salaam that saw the number of suspects soaring. They are Mudy Zungu, Fadhili and Ben. He asked the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Simon Sirro, to arrest them immediately. “I have been informed that one of them has purchased a house in Kigamboni after minting cash from this business,’’ he noted. In what appears to make Dar es Salaam a hotbed of drugs criminals, the RC revealed more names of suspects who are linked to the illegal business that has now attracted members from the crucial security apparatus who extort cash to protect the barons. Apart from the three police officers, Mr Makonda mentioned another suspect as one Omary Sanga who he described as a notorious drug kingpin. 

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Mr. Paul Makonda addressing a press conference in his office in Dar es Salaam.

He said the suspect was luring many youths to transport drugs to China. “70 percent of Tanzanian prisoners in China who were convicted for the illegal trade were being sent into that country by this man who according to our intelligence information is currently in Dubai. According to him, he was currently planning to travel for China but our security machineries will make sure that he does not leave that country. He added that he would be arrested and deported immediately, as the region came in with renewed force to deal with the menace as well as cracking the whip to perpetrators ruthlessly. The no-nonsense RC gave a list of other people linked to drug dealers. The list includes prominent artists Vanesa Mdee and Tunda Sabasita alias Video Queen. Others that he mentioned only by one name are Kashozi, Amani, Halidadi and Kadhila. Mr Makonda asked Mr Sirro to summon them to appear before the central police station for grilling immediately. He further named a prominent hotel named the Mediterranean, which is located in Kawe in the outskirts of the city that it was a centre for drugs business contrary to their licensing issued condition. On Thursday, The RC revealed the first batch of alleged drug dealers including senior police officers and popular artists in Dar es Salaam who were arrested in connection with the illegal trade. Mr Makonda told reporters in the city that the suspected drug kingpins were apprehended during an overnight special operation that he carried out in collaboration with the region’s security and defense organs. He named the suspects under police custody as Ahmed Ngahemela popularly known as Petit man, Said Lina (Alteza), Nasor Nassor, Bakari Khelef and one identified by one name, Omary. Police officers in the arrest list include former Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Christopher Fuime, Kinondoni Regional Crime Officer Fadhil, Inspector Wayi, Steven (D/ SGT-RCO Kinondoni) and James (D/C-Kinondoni). Others are Swai, Neri, Willy and Makomeo at Oysterbay station, D/CPT Dotto from Kijitonyama police station, WP Glory of Kawe police station and JB from Chang’ombe police station. The RC directed some Dar es Salaam-based artists to surrender themselves at Central Police Station on Thursday to give statements over their alleged drug abuse or drug business facilitation. The summoned artists were Wema Sepetu, Khaleed Mohamed (TID), Winfrida Josephat (Recho), Khery Sameer (Mr Blue),

CCM fulfils long standing railway transport woes

THE ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has started to fulfill its promises which it gave during the campaigns of the October 2015 general elections. Among the most crucial issues the ruling party promised to the people was to build among others the Standard Gauge Railway line from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza which is going to be constructed in five different phases up to the time of its completion. On Friday this week, government officials from the Ministry of Communication signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two construction companies from Portugal and Turkey. The MoU ushered the immediate construction of the 300 km standard gauge railway line between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro worth 2.2tr/-, whose implementation is expected to commence in the next six weeks. The railway line to be constructed using electric-infrastructure is set to spend seven-hours from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza cruising at 160 kilometers per hour - the highest compared to the rest in Africa. The train will spend 2 hrs and 30 minutes from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. The railway-line is designed to carry 17 million tonnes of cargo per year. The MoU signed creates a joint venture between Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO) with Yapi Merkezi Instaat VE Sanayi A.S ( Turkey) Mota- Engil, Engenharia E Mota-Engil, Engenharia E and Construction Africa from Portugal. Speaking during the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the Dar es Salaam- Morogoro phase of the project will cost 1,215,282,000 US dollars (VAT included), equivalent to 2.2tr/-. “Dar-Moro phase is part of five phases planned to be implemented to complete the SGR to Mwanza,” he said, adding that the SGR project which is the biggest infrastructure in Tanzania to be implemented. It will be completed in 30 months. He added: “We are determined to improve transport services our country by using modern infrastructure, thus why the government has decided to construct the standard gauge railway with high speed compared to others in Africa. ” He added that the construction of the railway line will act as a catalyst for social and economic development in the country. The minister, however, insisted that the cost for the construction of railway line will not be the same in other regions due to geographical differences. Prof Mbarawa promised to increase the budget for the construction of the railway line in the next financial year, adding that the government will also continue to seek soft loans for completing the project.

Ministry sets steps to deal with cancer among women

Early diagnosis of cervical and breast cancer among women will soon get new impetus as the government on Thursday this week announced to set up 90 centres for test and treatment of the diseases in 30 councils by June, this year. Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, told a press conference that the World Bank (WB) will finance the construction project and it has already released 2bn/- for the work. The stations are expected to address a challenge whereby most of the patients are diagnosed while the diseases are already at a high stage, a situation that defies treatment. “We are going to train 180 health experts for these centres. This means we will deploy two of them at each centre,” she said. She noted that the statistics indicate that the 70 per cent of the patients go to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) at the time when the disease has already spread, reaching at third or fourth stage. “This leads many of them to death after failing to treat them. And the country has been losing human resources because many of these patients are in most cases aged between 30 and 63 years,” she said. It is estimated that the country records 50,000 cases of cancer every year. However, only 11.4 per cent get treatment. She was speaking at the ongoing parliamentary debate sessions in Dodoma ahead of the World Cancer Day which was marked nationally on Friday in Dar es Salaam. This year, the Day is marked with the theme: “We can. I can,” to explore how everyone together and individually – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.” She said the ORCI will get two new X-Ray machines for cancer treatment after it has received 5bn/- from President John Magufuli, thus making a total of 9.5bn/- for that purpose. Dr Magufuli’s move will give relief as the shortage of the machines has afflicted the nation for a long time. The only machine available is outdated and invariably gets technical faults. “I would like to inform the public that now the procedures to procure the machines are about to be completed,” she said. She noted that the procurement of the machines will help in reducing the number of Tanzanians travelling abroad to seek treatment. On the other hand, she said other efforts made include increasing the budget for buying drugs at the ORCI whereby in this financial year the government has allocated 7bn/- from only 700m/- in 2015/16.

Govt introduces a mandatory course to its servants

Senior public service officers will soon start attending a mandatory course for reminding them of their duties, this was said in parliament on Thursday this week. The course is set to be introduced by the government through the Public Service College. Minister of State in the President's Office-Public Service Management and Good Governance, Angela Kairuki said that the aim of the training was to build capacity for senior public officers, adding that there would be no promotion before taking the course. “We will also introduce an assessment centre for all the managerial positions and leaders understanding will be tested before any promotion to a higher position” she said. The minister was responding to a question by Vwawa MP, Japhet Hasunga (CCM) who wanted to know the government’s plan to train leaders as most of them got positions before undertaking a leadership course. “What are the strategies to ensure all leaders get leadership training before appointment to new positions in the public service?” he asked. But the minister specified that there were several institutions that offered trainings, adding that the government would continue providing leadership development programmes to senior leaders. She said such trainings were always offered by different agencies through TaGLA, Mzumbe University and ESAMI whereby in the 2015/16 1, 397 leaders received training. The minister also noted that through the ministry of Defense, the government initiated the National Defense College of Tanzania which provided inter-service training to military and non-military leaders. However, she added that the government would continue with the in-service training programmes for various public officers once they have been identified for promotions.

Development initiatives in the Isles are hampered by poor statistics-Shein

PRESIDENT Ali Mohamed Shein has said that poor data collection, negligence, and lack of use of statistics in the country are problems hampering Zanzibar’s development initiatives. Dr Shein disclosed this at the opening of the first ever conference on statistics in the Islands, under the theme ‘relevance of statistics, every leader use it for national development.’ He told participants who included leaders, parastatal executives and ministers; “I am not amused with the poor use of statistics and research findings.  Dr Shein has appealed to the civil servants to discuss the importance of statistics in national development and government officials at all levels should embark on using data from reliable sources mainly the Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS-Zanzibar). The president cautioned that no meaningful national development can take place without use of statistics and research findings, urging the senior civil servants to apply statistics for better planning because it is vital and relevant. Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed, said the conference held at the former House of Representatives debate chamber, Kikwajuni area, follows Dr Shein’s recent directive and call for utilisation of statistics. Dr Mohamed said that his ministry is on track in ensuring proper data collection and utilisations in national planning and development programmes, as the OCGS Director, Ms Mayasa Mahfoudh Mwinyi, mentioned challenges in her office which need to be addressed. “We need skilled labour, equipment, and coordination for proper collections and keeping of records. It is true that you cannot find data in some areas of research just because of lack of equipment, insufficient funds and lack of knowledge about statistics. However, gradually, we have been overcoming the challenges,” Ms Mwinyi said.