Saturday, March 4, 2017


Dear viewers of this blog these are grandaunts of the Masters of Arts Degree in Mass Communication who graduated at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania on 17th December 2016 last year at Raila Odinga’s ground within the University main campus in Mwanza city located in northern Tanzania. Among the grandaunts is the owner of this blog, I am seated at the centre looking cheerful with my eye spectacles. I am actually proud to have finished my studies safely although there were some challenges which are normal for the academician.  

Ministry empowers women for economy

THE Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is committed to women empowerment to fully participate in the industrial-powered economy in the country. The Permanent Secretary (PS) in charge of Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Sihaba Nkinga, has said the government was taking all possible steps to empower girls and women at all sections in the society. The PS was briefing reporters ahead of the International Women’s Day, annually celebrated every on March 8. She said in Tanzania, the event’s theme would be: “Tanzania’s industry, women are the basis of economic transformation” and would bring together state and non-state actors to deliberate on new ways to improve engagement of women in economic activities. “The event is part of the sustainable development goals agenda 2030 that aim to improve gender equality,” she said. According to the PS, the government had launched a blueprint involving private sectors, civil society organization and development partners to forge partnerships towards eliminating burdens facing women. As actors, she said, “We must come together to ensure all the challenges limiting active participation of women in economic development are eliminated.” To date, women and girl-children are facing excessive gender based violence. Despite community and national interventions women and girls face domestic violence in the form of beating, child marriage, female genital mutilation, rape and other related sexual abuse. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that one in every three girls are married before their 18th birthday. In rural areas, girls get married off as young as 11 years old. But Ms Nkinga said the government was working to improve household income capacity, improve safety for a woman and a girl child and amend legislations propagating gender violence. “We have outdated laws. Some cultural traditional practices and community involvement in most areas will have to be worked on to improve and empower women.”

Crackdown on drug dealers, users, a successful move, says PM

A SEVEN-month investigation by authorities over illegal drug pushers and users across the country resulted in over 10,000 arrests and the seizure of millions of shillings worth of drugs. Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, has said that at least 11,503 suspects were arrested between July 2016 and January this year. A total of 9,811 of them were suspected. The premier went on to explain that a total 974 suspects have pending cases in courts of law and as 238 have been acquitted. “The police in collaboration with the Drug Control and Enforcement Commission are also investigating cases of 478 suspects who were arrested during the crackdown,” the premier said. The operation against illicit drugs has been well received with general support from the public. The prime minister explained that despite the president appointing antidrug cruiser last month “underground work to combat narcotic drug has been amplified across the country.” Addressing cabinet Ministers on Thursday this week in Dodoma, the Premier noted that,  since the appointment of the new Commissioner General, Mr Rodgers Sianga, 76 suspects have been taken into custody. “The arrested are under investigation. 

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa chairing the Cabinet Meeting in Dodoma this week

The initial report indicates that two third of the suspects will be guilty,” he said. “Most of those arrested were found with incriminating evidence.” The latest figures released by the Chief Government Chemist, Professor Samwel Mangele, on Thursday, which highlighted the agency expects to handle almost three times the number of drug samples this year compared to last year as a result of the intensified crackdown on narcotics. Prof Manyele said at a press conference held in Dar es Salaam that the agency is likely to handle 150,000 drug samples this year, an increase of 250 per cent from last year’s 60,000 samples. “Hundreds of hectares of cannabis sativa (bhang) have been destroyed as a result of the ongoing anti-narcotic drugs crusade,” he noted.  Meanwhile the Prime Minister defended the government’s operation against producers, consumers and distributors of alcohol packaged in plastic sachets saying it aims at protecting the youth some of whom have been trapped by the “cheap” product. “Students and the majority youths are falling into these cheap products. It’s unfortunate that unverified beverages were being packaged using approved labels to enter into the local market... “This is unfair and we cannot let it continue,” he said directing law enforcers to intensify the operation to protect the young generation. He said the overnight operation has as a result found a number of factories not paying taxes.

Sale of wood and charcoal banned till further notice-Minister

THE government has finally banned with immediate effect exportation of wood and charcoal after its campaign to restore forestation never honoured as wanton tree felling continues unabatedly with exporters not adhering to cut-one plant-two policy. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, announced the new directives on Friday this week saying that commercial exploitation of wood had already overlapped the annual allowable cut threatening sustainability of forest and nature in the country. “From now onwards no one is allowed to cut and transport wood or charcoal outside the district of origin,” Prof Maghembe directed the Tanzanian Forest Service (TFS), a semi-autonomous government Executive Agency mandated to manage the national forest reserves. “We cannot allow deforestation to continue.” Study has shown the country’s commercial city - Dar es Salaam consumes nearly 70 per cent of all the charcoal produced in the country. But the Minister believes less than 30 percent is used in the city and the rest is exported to Asia through Zanzibar and porous Indian Ocean illegal ports. On Wood, the Minister says it’s high time all wood related production be commissioned where the trees are cut. This will create jobs and add to the national gross domestic products. “There is no need to export woods. These are raw materials and we need them for our industries ... businessmen interested in wood industry should set up their factories at the forest and export fine-made furniture.” He has however directed TSF officials to collaborate with district commissioners who are the district security committee chairpersons in supervising the execution of the directive. Tanzania is witnessing environmental burdens as a result of excessive tree cutting. It includes loss of forest cover yielding to soil and water source degradation, disruption in rainfall patterns and draughts. Prof Maghembe says Dar es Salaam Region can in the meantime depend on charcoal produced from Rufiji, Kisarawe and Ruvu. “There is no need to import charcoal from outside this region.” TFS Chief Executive Officer, Prof Dos Santos Silayo, revealed that the country loses 370,000 ha of forest per year. This means Tanzania ought to a loss of 3.7million ha in the next ten years. In the current exploitation of this important natural resource, its sustainability is severely challenged and the whole concept of the forest being renewable is questionable, he said. He was optimistic that the council meeting in Dodoma could develop best approach to effectively prevent transportation and exportation of wood and charcoal outside the district boundaries. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Permanent secretaries meeting targets on potentials of energy and infrastructure

A SPECIAL committee of permanent secretaries is meeting in Dodoma, the country’s newly designated capital city for the first time to decide on key development issues including the energy and infrastructure needed to meet envisaged government development targets. Chaired by Chief Secretary (CS) Ambassador John Kijazi, the strategic meeting will consider pending issues ranging from statistics, implementation of strategic development projects, investment, trade and climate change. Briefing reporters ahead of the three-day closed door meeting, the CS said the meeting involves a special committee of permanent secretaries from all ministries in the country. “We will receive, analyse and deliberate on the various issues that emerge from different ministries before forwarding them to the cabinet for decision-making,” he said. The meeting which is being held in Dodoma is one among a series of technical conferences which have been held by the committee in Dar es Salaam. “This meeting is being held here for the first time since the new administration under President John Magufuli came to power in November 2015. Such meeting helped the government to decide on implementation of the crude oil pipeline from Uganda to Tanga,” he added. According to the CS, holding meetings in Dodoma was part of the government’s decisions to shift its administration from the port city of Dar es Salaam to the central region. He confirmed that almost all ministries have now relocated their offices to Dodoma from Dar es Salaam. Amb. Kijazi directed all permanent secretaries and their deputies to relocate their residences permanently to the new capital, stressing that all government related duties must be handled in Dodoma. The government started relocating its capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma last year when the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, officially moved to the central region. The move aims to centralise government ministries as Dodoma is viewed as a more central location. The government’s resolve to move to Dodoma was made public by President Magufuli earlier in 2016, which he plans to effect before the end of his five year term.