Friday, June 29, 2018
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa
The National Parliament has closed its sessions today until 4th September this year when it will resume again. The Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa winded up the debate which was preceded by his long interesting speech that summed up what parliamentarians discussed in the house for a couple of two months and eight days. This is the budget session which among others is a most important assembly in this supreme legislative house in the country. It is the session which approves what the government will forecast for the coming 2018/19 financial year. A total of over 600 questions were raised by law makers and directed to the government which had time to be answered or clarified by the Ministers in different respective portfolios. Some had direct answers given on the spot while some were promised to be worked upon as days moves on. In his message, the Premier thanked his fellow parliamentarians and wished them good journey back to their respective constituencies.
The government has admitted the fact that, most dilapidated roads in rural areas takes long time to be repaired due primarily to less money which has been invested in the recently established Tanzania Rural Roads Agency (TARURA) an aspect that makes it impossible to execute duties within set timeframe. The government established the agency purposely to help speed up rural road construction activities in collaboration with district council’s authorities countrywide whereby 90 percent of its work execution is targeted to road repair while 10 percent is for the construction of new roads. The deputy minister of State in President’s office George Kakunda said in parliament today that, from the 90 percent of the workload in road repair works which are intended to be done by the agency, only 57 percent is accomplished. The minister was responding to the question which was earlier raised by Mbulu urban legislator Zacharia Paulo Isaay (CCM) who wanted to know why the rural road agency is slacking in executing its duties as intended an aspect that most roads remains unattended for longer.
The legislator raised a complaint and cited a 40 km stretch of a road in his constituency which is not yet repaired for long time even before the starting of long rains, leave alone by now whereby it is in bad shape after the rains. In responding to this query, the Chairman of the National Assembly Andrew Chenge directed the question to the deputy minister for Works, Transport and Communication Elias Kwandikwa who said that about Tshs. 814 m/- has been set aside for the road which will be repaired soon. The minister also noted that, the government had undertaken the task of valuing the damages caused by the recent rains and that is another aspect that an effective work has not yet been taken to repair roads in the country. He answered a supplementary question which was raised by Mbulu rural legislator Fratay Gregory Massey (CCM ) who wanted to know steps taken so far by the government of valuing the damaged roads in rural areas which needs urgent attention. In addition to this question, another supplementary question was raised by Mpwapwa legislator Malima Lubeleje (CCM) who wanted to know plans by the government of increasing the budget fund allocated for the TARURA agency so that it effectively works as required. The minister noted that, the reports of the damaged road infrastructures would be released tomorrow by the Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) whereas plans by the government to increase the budget fund for the rural road agency will be considered as in accordance with the availability of fund.
High influx of the number of mineral license applicants who are eager to invest in mining and gas sectors is a sufficient indication which shows that the sector is growing with high speed and thus is recording a tremendous increase of mineral production in the country. The deputy minister of Mining Stanslaus Haroon Nyongo said today in parliament that, Tanzania is receiving more prospective investors who regularly are eager to invest in mining sector. He said that currently his ministry has received the number of applicants which has pegged to 800 who need to have licenses that would allow them to invest in prospective mining activities whereas, they have received 26 applications of those who wants to invest in special mining activities.
Dr. Peter Dalali Kafumu
The minister further noted that, from the statistics given, it instinctively shows that, there is a tremendous development in mining sector since the government reviewed the Mining Act in 2017 with a view to protect the natural resources for the benefits of the country. The deputy minister was responding to the question earlier raised by Igunga legislator Dr. Peter Dalali Kafumu (CCM) who wanted to know why has there been a decrease of investments in mining sector in the country since the review of the Mining Act 2017. In responding, the deputy minister refuted his allegations and listed down the demographic figures which highlighted the tremendous increase which has attracted many investors for the exploration of mines and gas in different areas in the country. He said, the high statistics is due to the firm commitment of the fifth phase government which it has come up in line with the ruling CCM manifesto which is aimed at developing the sector for the country’s economic development. He also noted that, the government has been creating conducive environment for investors and do the resource location that does not only give opportunity to investors to rely only on exploration alone, but also engage actively in mining activities.
The ministry of Mining is currently working in collaboration with the ministry of trade and industry in order to sort out problems which made the production of coal which had stalled in Kiwira mine in southern highland region. The deputy minister of Mining Stanslaus Nyongo said today in parliament that, the aim of the government is to revive the production of coal which is precious in industrial processing in the country. The Kiwira coal mine is a small coal mine which is operational near the city of Mbeya with an annual installed capacity of 150,000 tonnes. The Kiwira Coal & Power Company owns the licence to mine at the Ivogo Ridge. The company is wholly owned by the State Mining Corporation that is 100 percent owned by the government. The production of coal in the country has largely been underdeveloped for many years. Tanzania has an estimated 1.5 billion tones of reserves and is believed to have the largest reserves of coal in East Africa.
The minister made a clarification in response to various questions which were raised by different legislators in parliament who wanted to know the fate of a number of natural resources which are not explored in some parts in the country. The legislators from Ndanda constituency Cecil David Mwambe (Chadema) raised a question with a view to know how the environmental impact assessment is going on in his constituency about the granite gemstones. A special seat legislator Fatma Hassan Toufiq (CCM) queried about 700 mining slots at various mining sites in the country and wanted to know how the government is handling the fate of small scale miners in those areas. In response, the deputy minister said that, the report of environmental impact assessment is not yet in place and once it will be out, the government is going to permit mining activity to take place. On the issue of 700 mining slots, the government is looking for the appropriate technology which it would give to small scale miners into making them develop their skills.
The government has entered into the agreement with the government of Vietnam whereby the latter will come and buy 1,000 tones of cured tobacco leaves from farmers in the country. The deputy minister of agriculture Dr. Mary Mwanjelwa has said today in parliament that, this is an opportunity which opens the market potential for farmers in the country and has asked farmers from the 11 best tobacco producing regions in the country to make use of the opportunity. The minister was responding to the question which was earlier raised by Tabora North legislator Almasi Maige (CCM) who wanted to know how the government has prepared the markets fir the tobacco crop growers in the country. The deputy minister has also asked growers to follow the laid down procedures of crop growing and said that the government has its optimum spacing of about 250 trees to be planted in an acre of land with a view to protect environment according to the newly reviewed agricultural laws and that this should not be exceeded.
Dr. Mary Mwanjelwa
She also urged farmers to use the modern technology of preserving the tobacco leaves and asks them to build modern curing burns so as to cope with the technological advancements of promoting the crop which is highly grown in Tabora region. The minister was responding to the question raised by a special seat legislator Rehema Juma Migila (CCM) who wanted to know the development of the tobacco crop and appropriate measures taken so far in order to promote farmers to ensure high productivity. In a supplementary question raised by Nape Nnauye (CCM) of Mtama constituency who wanted to know efforts by the government to avail tobacco seedlings in respective growing regions, the deputy minister said that her ministry has already prepared 13 million seedlings which have been distributed in various research centres for sale. Richard Mbogo (CCM) of Nsimbo constituency reminded the deputy minister of the controversial saga between TLTC Company which had bought cured tobacco leaves from the local farmers in southern highland regions. In responding to this, the deputy minister said that the company must honour the contracts as the tobacco crop is a seasonal crop and must be settled on time.
The government has said that, it is planning to introduce mobile courts which would be stationed at the airports with a view to facilitate the impeding cases related with illegal drug trafficking and deal with the perpetrators once caught red handed with exhibits on the spot, the parliament has been informed. The deputy minister of labour, Youths, parliament and employment Antony Mavunde told law makers today that, the aim of the government is to quicken the pace of hearing of such cases which experience has shown that, they take long time to get finished.
He said, during the court proceedings in other places in the country fir instance, culprits have been colluding with security agents and vanished the evidences an aspect that most of them ended up being freed by the courts for lack of enough evidences. So he explained that, by introducing such a mobile courts at the airports which is seen to be the main gateway used by the perpetrators, this will refrain them from indulging in such malpractices which are easily diverted by people due to long network of the people who involves in this illegal business. The deputy minister was responding to the question in parliament which was earlier raised by the special seat legislator Grace Victor Tendega (CCM) who wanted to know why the government should not introduce a mobile court at its airports to curb illegal drug trafficking just like what is happening in other countries. In another development Mavunde told the Parliament that, in line with the prospective plans, the government has processed 7,517 cases related with economic sabortage since the fifth government came in power in the country.