Monday, July 31, 2017

Insurance covers is big deal for the poorer nowadays

More advocacy is urgently needed so as to promote the insurance activities in Tanzania. Stakeholders of this industry have emphasized on the need for increased number of people using insurance services in the country, in a bid to make the sector contribute more to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Players in the sector noted that awareness among the public over the importance of insurance cover was still low, leading to poor response from people in seeking such services. They macde their concern in Dar es Salaam over the weekend shortly after participating in an insurance awareness walk, aimed at raising awareness to the society about insurance benefits. The walk organized by Tanzania Insurance Brokers Association (TIBA), attracted more than 200 stakeholders, including the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), Tanzania Reinsurance Company Limited (TAN-RE), representative of Africa Insurance Organization (AIO) and Institute of Finance Management (IFM). TIRA’s Licensing and Market Conduct Supervision Director, Samweli Mwiru said currently the insurance sector benefits very few people. According to Mwiru, contribution of the insurance sector to the GDP is less than one per cent, which is a very small amount. “The contribution is supposed to be at least three per cent from the current less than one per cent,” he said. The TIRA Licensing Director explained that they continue collaborating with other insurance stakeholders to ensure that insurance services reach many people, including farmers. He explained that insurance is very important as it avoids potential financial loss by transferring the risks to the insurer.“Insurance is important because both human life and business environment are characterized by risk and uncertainty in peace of mind,” he stressed. Suleiman elaborated further that business owners can take on certain business ventures because they can shift the risk to insurance. He added that insurance helps mitigate the risk of life on the road. The walk which is funded by AIO started from the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) and ended at the National Library at the city centre. The AIO is expected to hold its annual conference in Arusha in November, this year, where more than 50 countries are expected to attend. The IFM Deputy Vice- Chancellor, Emmanuel Mzava, said only 20 per cent of Tanzanians are aware of insurance, noting that more education is needed to attract more people who can benefit from the services. The main objective of TIBA are to promote interaction among the Insurance Broker Members and to encourage, promote, facilitate and protect the interests of the members of TIBA and to provide an avenue to the members for further education, training and research in all fields of insurance and represent the interests of brokers with other organisations. Currently, TIBA has more than 90 live members

Who can volunteer taking care of the people with albinism?

DESPITE the decline of attacks against people with albinism, those living in rural areas continue to live in fear amid presence of root causes that led to violence against them in the past. The remarks were made in Dar es Salaam last week by the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ms Ikonwosa Ero, at the end of her 11-day visit to Tanzania. “People with albinism continue to live in a very fragile situation as the root causes of the attacks against them remain rampant and the effects of over a decade of violations have taken their toll,” she noted. Ms Ero said more work must be done to address witchcraft and sensitize community members on the importance of protecting people with albinism instead of harassing, killing or raping them. She further praised the government for its effort to tackle the issue, which is rooted in the mistaken belief that certain body parts of people living with albinism bring good luck and prosperity. Albinism is a rare genetic condition, which affects the pigment in the eyes, hair and skin. In the US, about 1 person in 17,000 has albinism. In Africa the prevalence is estimated to range between 1 in 1,100 to 1 in 15,000. But in Tanzania, the rate is much higher – about 1 in every 1,400. The Independent Expert, however, said that there have been positive measures to address witchcraft practices in Tanzania including registration of traditional healers, but full oversight over their work has still not been achieved and confusion still exists in the minds of the general public between witchcraft practices and the work of traditional healers. On number of people being prosecuted due to albino killings, she said it was still not clear and the government needs to investigate properly as according to the State, among 66 cases reported, 55 were prosecuted but NGOs and people with albinism had reported a different number which was higher than that. Ms Ero also highlighted that skin cancer rather than attacks was one of the biggest threat to the lives of people with albinism; it is another area where more could be done. “Stronger government involvement is needed to reach more people and provide visual aids and use mobile clinics to prevent skin cancer are sustained,” she said. During her mission to Tanzania, Ms Ero met with various government officials and civil society organisations; she also visited Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Kasulu and Kigoma.

TAZARA railways picks up

After suffering a significant drop in cargo volume for several years, Tanzania- Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has started picking up, as the company has now secured freight orders to transport 600,000 tonnes. The increase in cargo volume has been attributed to intensive marketing campaign to regain customers’ confidence by improving efficiency. The successful campaign has seen the company moving from transporting 130,000 tonnes of cargo in 2015/2016 to 600,000 tonnes. TAZARA Managing Director, Eng Bruno Ching’andu said that following a successful marketing campaign and a demonstration of the company’s ability to deliver on time with maximum safety and security, many customers had now offered confirmed freight traffic orders in excess of 600,000 tonnes for transportation on both ends of the railway line. Under the new marketing strategy, the company has reduced the number of days for transporting cargo from 20 days to 5 days from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. Speaking last wee at the official opening of the second meeting of the Master Workers’ Council, Eng Ching’andu challenged workers to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the abundant cargo that is now being presented to the authority for transportation. He commended the workers for working hard to win back confidence of the customers and challenged them to now focus on delivering and proving to the public that the company was capable of meeting the huge market demand. “We have to prove our relevance to our shareholders as well as to the public by moving all the freight that has been availed to us,” he said. Eng. Ching’andu further observed that although TAZARA was facing capacity constraints, the huge demand for the railway transportation services, coupled with the positive and encouraging good will from the two governments of Tanzania and Zambia, was sufficient to spur every worker to think of creative ways for overcoming the challenges. “We need to be innovative and to think outside the box in order to overcome these capacity constraints,” he said. He however informed the workers that in order to enhance the haulage capacity in the short term, and considering that funds for re-capitalization would take long to materialize, the management was actively seeking to increase the fleet of locomotives and wagons through short-term measures such as leasing of the required equipment and other external operators to ply the railway within the next few weeks. In order to increase efficiency and capacity in November last year, Tanzanian President, John Magufuli met with his Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu to discuss among other issues, Tazara’s long-standing woes. The two heads of state agreed that Tazara management set up needed to be changed to allow people from outside Tanzania and Zambia to be considered for senior managerial positions in the firm, which is contrary to the current arrangement where the managing director comes from Zambia, with Tanzania providing the deputy. President Magufuli said their decision was aimed at restoring Tazara’s ability to serve its customers, and said in 1976 Tazara was able to transport five million tonnes of cargo annually, but that figure had dropped to128, 000 tonnes last year.  In order to revamp the authority, the two head of states directed attorney generals of the two countries to meet and review the legal framework of the Tazara Act of 1975 to accommodate changes in the management setup to make the authority commercially viable and attractive to private players.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Japan assures its continued financial support in Tanzania

Tanzania has been a donor recipient country since independence time, and has managed to plan its economic development strategies due to financial aid from various donor countries. Among the major donor country is Japan which has been funding various projects worth billions of Tanzania shillings. Despite of this, the Embassy of Japan has assured Tanzania of its continued support on development projects in the country and especially in the Iringa region and other areas in its quest to support the fifth phase. Currently the embassy has helped in the construction of Idodi Secondary School’s dormitory in the region at a cost of 270m/-.Speaking during the official inauguration of the dormitory last week, the Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Masaharu Yoshida, said the money was donated by the people of Japan who appreciate development projects being undertaken by the Tanzanian government. He added that construction of the dormitory was done after a request from the Ismani Member of Parliament and Lands and Human Settlements Development Minister, William Lukuvi, who made the appeal soon after the dormitory was gutted down by fire.“Mr Lukuvi gave us a request for several development projects including the Isimani Secondary School girls’ hostel that was constructed between 2005 and 2008, the Mlowa Health Centre’s Outpatient Department (OPD) as well as the purchase of the Centre’s motor vehicle,’’ he said. The envoy said that an agreement for the construction of the Idodi School’s dormitory was signed in February 2016. “I am glad to witness the completion of this project and it is gratifying to see that this hostel can now accommodate 208 students,’’ he insisted. Mr Yoshida added that because of the great supervision that was done, a Japanese company, Koyo Corporation, had also offered to supply the solar electricity to all students staying in the dormitory. He also promised to support the Magufuli-led government under its famous slogan: ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’. Iringa Regional Commissioner (RC), Amina Masenza and Mr Lukuvi, thanked the Japanese government for its support and assured the envoy that the dormitory would be well preserved so that it can help the students in the region.

Magufuli applauds Kafulila over IPTL deal

In a bide to strengthen support the fight over graft in the country, President  John Magufuli himself has appreciated former Kigoma South legislator David Kafulila’s firmness on the infamous Tegeta Escrow scandal, saying Kafulila demonstrated the highest level of patriotism. This is a phenomenon outlook ever since President Magufuli became head of state. President  Dr. Magufuli uttered his emotions on Saturday last week when  addressing the residents of Nguruka ward during the launch of a mega water project in Uvinza district. He said he would have left the area with guilty consciousness had he not congratulated the youthful politician. He said although Mr Kafulila belonged to an opposition party, on the Escrow saga he stood firm and put the national interests forward. The president accused the Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) of occasioning substantial loss to the government. “At some point, Mr Kafulila was dragged to court and was admonished, calling him a monkey but, he remained bold for the interest of the nation,” he said amid cheers from members of the public. 

Former Kigoma South legislator David Kafulila (On NCCR-Mageuzi ticket before he joined Chadema party) showing a valid document to fellow legislators in Parliament as proof that substantiated what he had revealed as illegal transaction entered by some government officials during a debate session that discussed the Tegeta Escrow scandal in 2014.

The president said people who mocked and likened the former MP to the monkey for unearthing the IPTL scam are now the real monkeys. While in Parliament in 2014, former Attorney General (AG) Judge Frederick Werema crushed with Kafulila, branding him monkey as the legislator described the former AG to have involved directly with financial loss of Escrow money. Regarding the IPTL saga, Dr Magufuli said he would in his entire life salute the former Kigoma South MP on NCCR Mageuzi ticket as a hero who dedicated his energy for the nation. The president implored all Tanzanians to remain united on issues of national interest, charging that previously, many elected leaders thought of their personal gains at the expense of the nation. The Tegeta Escrow scandal has seen two business tycoons, James Rugemalira and Harbinder Seth Sigh arraigned before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court, charged with several counts, including economic sabotage and occasioning over 22 million US dollars and 309bn/- loss to the government. The parliamentary session in November 2014 endorsed eight resolutions, one of them being the investigations and arrest of all people who were involved in the Tegeta Escrow scandal. The decrees followed a report by a special committee of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the now Kigoma Urban MP, Zitto Kabwe, to probe the dubious deal.