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Hockey Body to Mark Olympic Day in Style

Tanzania hockey fraternity will mark the Olympic Day in its style at the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Youth Park in Dar es Salaam today.

Tanzania Hockey Association (THA) Kaushik Doshi told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that preparation for the busy-schedule has been finalised. Doshi said that the event has been organised by THA in collaboration with Italian coordinator, Valentina Quaranta and will stage several events to colour the day.

He said that ten teams with mixed boys and girls from Dar-based primary schools will compete at the hockey 5 aside tournament. Doshi said that this is the second time Tanzania Hockey Association is celebrating such an event, last being in 2016.

He said the gala will also mark the inauguration of training on wheelchair hockey, a group of mixed teenagers with and without disability will attend.

The secretary added that the training will be followed with wheelchair hockey match between Juhudi Secondary School and a group of disabled teenagers in an event organised by Mariana Mponji from the Paralympics Committee.

Doshi noted: “The aim is for all to experience a new way of thinking and playing hockey, for the teenagers with disability to play together with their fellows without disability.

“For the teenagers without disability, it will be a chance to experience what it means to be disabled and live with a physical impairment, so it will be an opportunity for awareness for these children.” He said that over 4 million participants across the five continents took part in Olympic Day last year.

“Olympic Day 2017 is an opportunity for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Movement to continue expanding the engagement with athletes,” he said.

It is also an opportunity for Olympians and Youth Olympians, fans, volunteers, influencers, ambassadors, coaches, national federations, many other organisations and the public at large to join the movement and share how they are getting physically active for Olympic Day.

Tanzania

Govt’s Anti-Corruption Policy Seeks to Protect Whistle Blowers

Plans are already underway for a national anti-graft policy that cuts across every sector, a strategy that will place an… Read more »

Finance Bill Gives Taxpayers Reason to Smile, Caress Pockets

By Masato Masato in Dodoma

THE Finance Bill, 2017, came for the second and third readings here yesterday, providing for amendment of 15 legislations related to the country’s tax regime.

Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango told the House that the amendments envisage introducing, modifying, reducing or repelling the rates of various taxes, duties, levies and fees as well as improving tax collections.

The Bill that seeks to enact the Finance Act, 2017, will give legal support in the execution of the 31.7tri/- national budget that Members of Parliament endorsed overwhelmingly here on Tuesday.

Dr Mpango said the Bill amends the Electronic and Postal Communications Act, widening the scope of floating communication companies’ shares on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).

Under the proposed changes, Tanzanians or any Tanzanian institution, Tanzanians in the Diaspora, companies jointly owned by Tanzanians and foreigners as well as citizens and institutions in any of the East African Community member states will be allowed to buy shares in the communication firms listed on the bourse.

The amendments further exempt companies with application service licence from issuing to public 25 per cent of its shares. The minister said the changes in the Income Tax Act aim at subjecting non-profit making organizations to justify non-profit making through normal taxes process instead of being removed from the tax net procedure.

The amendments impose withholding tax on payments derived by small and medium sale of minerals. Under the Bill, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will collect wharfage revenue and all public moneys will be collected through the government e-Payment Gateway System, with the view of curbing revenue losses by ministries, departments and public institutions.

Proposed changes in the Tax Administration Act aim at enhancing voluntary tax compliance through improved chargeability and collection of interest on late payments of taxes, enabling the collection of penalties arising out of breach of tax laws to be collected by TRA.

The Budget Committee Chairperson, Ms Hawa Ghasia, commended the Bill, saying the government had obliged to over 80 per cent of all the legislators’ demands. She asked MPs to pass the Bill for the implementation of the budget.

But, the deputy shadow minister for Finance, Mr David Silinde, belittled the Bill, saying it had been presented against House rules; the Momba MP on Chadema ticket decried harassment by the traffic police officers whom he claimed had been given targets to collect money through fines.

“It’s not appropriate to use fines as a source of government revenues,” charged the legislator, raising concern over high number of taxes, which discourage investors.

Tanzania

Govt’s Anti-Corruption Policy Seeks to Protect Whistle Blowers

Plans are already underway for a national anti-graft policy that cuts across every sector, a strategy that will place an… Read more »

Zanzibar International Film Festival Partners With Showmax

Dar es Salaam — The Zanzibar International Film Festival is almost here and the excitement that usually accompanies the season is on with the announcement of a partnership with Showmax being the latest development .

According to organisers Showmax will be sponsoring the coveted ZIFF Golden Dhow for Best Feature Film with a cash prize of Sh6.6 million.

This is the first time the winner of the ZIFF Golden Dhow Award will receive a cash prize and the award will be announced on the closing night of the festival at the official Awards Ceremony at the Old Fort amphitheatre in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

“For us to make Showmax relevant in Africa, we’ve tailored our apps to manage mobile data constraints, we build local partnerships, and we use local knowledge to deliver TV shows and movies that are right for each country,” read a statement from the internet company. The statement further added: The success of our business depends on truly understanding local needs. You can’t remote manage that from another continent, which is why we’ve got people on the ground in East Africa and why we’re sponsoring the Golden Dhow award. It’s a great way for us to get closer to the industry and support African film.

Speaking about the new partnership Festival Director Fabrizio Colombo said he was elated with the latest development which puts film at the centre of ZIFF.

“This year we received over 600 entries for the festival and the quality and caliber of the films received is amazing. The juries will have a difficult task in selecting this year’s winners,.”

Tanzania

Govt’s Anti-Corruption Policy Seeks to Protect Whistle Blowers

Plans are already underway for a national anti-graft policy that cuts across every sector, a strategy that will place an… Read more »

Social Media Reacts to Magufuli’s Decision to Ban Teen Mothers

Photo: Daily News

A pregnant school girl (file photo).http://allafrica.com/stories/201706230688.html

By Deogratius Kamagi

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli’s remarks that girls, who are impregnated, while at school won’t be allowed to resume studies after delivery, has drawn heated debate on various social media platforms.

Twitter users were the first to create a hash tag #ArudiShule to oppose President Magufuli’s decision.

Girls’ rights activist Rebecca Gyumi, who is also the founder of Msichana Initiative, an organisation, which fights for girls’ rights, said the girl had a right to attain her academic dreams even if she was impregnated.

She also used social media to reiterate her call for the government to change suppressive laws towards girls, including the Law of Marriage Act, 1971.

Kigoma Urban MP and ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe posted on his twitter account, which cited Article 11(2) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977.

“Every person has the right to access education, and every citizen shall be free to pursue education in a field or his choice up to pursue education of his choice to his merit and ability, the highest level according to his merits and ability,” reads his post.

Ms Rahab Mbise and Petrider Paul maintained that there was a need for girls to be allowed back to school after giving birth, asking Dr Magufuli to rethink his decision.

Another Twitter user, Togolani Mvula, suggests that the best way that could be used to fight against schoolgirl pregnancies is by sending them to boarding schools at least up to Form Four.

More on This

Magufuli Won’t Allow Teen Mothers Back to School

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has vowed on Thursday that his administration would not allow schoolgirls, who get… Read more »

Mobile Phone Firm Eyes 5G Technology

By Abduel Elinaza

TIGO Tanzania said yesterday while expanding the 3rd and 4th generation mobile networks coverage in the country it is also eyeing 5G technology to cement their fast speed data top position.

Tigo Tanzania Chief Technology Information Officer, Jerome Albou, said though the 5G technology was yet to be rolled out they are eyeing the service to better serve customers.

“The 5G technology is yet to be rolled out globally but we are eyeing it for benefit of our clients,” Mr Albou told journalists in Dar es Salaam. The 5G are the proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G standards, which is expected to be rolled out in 2020.

He said currently Tigo’s key strategic objective was to transform broadband customers experience by providing seamless and high performing network as per industry standard in both 3G and 4G techs.

He said in the next 12 months Tigo planned to invest 70 million US dollars (some 140bn/-), among other things, to strengthen southern highland network, which currently is not performing well compared to the northern area. With the help of fibre cable, Tigo has new 535 sites with 3G technology to reach 1,500 towers while 95 new sites with 4G has been added in the last 12 months to reach 300 sites.

“We have now 4G coverage in all major cities and towns across Tanzania,” Mr Albou said. He said Tigo has invested 75 million US dollars in the last 12 months.

The 5G planning aims at higher capacity than current 4G and 3G allowing a higher density of mobile broadband users, and supporting device-to-device, ultra reliable, and massive machine communications.

“The problem we are facing is still majority of mobile phone users do not have 3G or 4G Smartphone devices… making the 4G rollout to be in big cities and towns,” Mr Albou said.

Tigo’s Head of Planning and Engineering Mr Emmanuel Mallya said to improve their network speed they added the cache server in the core network to make frequently accessed internet.

“The Google and facebook cache serve is in Salasala and Temeke thus making services such as Google, youtube, android, facebook, whatsApp or Instagram readily available in Tanzania in a single click,” Mr Mallya said.

Also, Tigo had made a substantial investment in stabilizing its network after it commissioned 2,294 kilometres of backbone fibre which traverses through 22 district headquarters expanding the existing National ICT Backbone footprint.

For 2G network, the second leading telcos has added 260 sites mostly in rural areas to 2,700 towers thanks to UCSAF and GSMA initiative.

Based on this year’s quarter one data Tigo is the second leading telecom with over 10 million subscribers and termed to have fastest data speed network in the country.

Tanzania

Govt’s Anti-Corruption Policy Seeks to Protect Whistle Blowers

Plans are already underway for a national anti-graft policy that cuts across every sector, a strategy that will place an… Read more »

Buganda Royal Fight Threatens U.S.$ 250 Million Hospital Project

Photo: The Observer

President Museveni is shown how the proposed U.S.$250 million hospital will look like. On his right is Enrica Panetta, the Italian investor behind the project.

By Joseph Kimbowa

Two Buganda royal families are locked in a battle for ownership of a 37-acre piece of land in Lubowa which was recently earmarked for a multi-billion hospital, writes JOSEPH KIMBOWA.

On June 1, President Museveni officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed $250m hospital complex in the upscale suburb. The project is led by Italian investor Enrica Panetta through her company called Finasi. It’s a joint venture with the government and is funded by Standard Chartered bank

Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister of Health, said that upon completion, the hospital complex will sit on 86 acres.

She added that the specialized hospital comes at an appropriate time when the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is on the increase, especially cancer.

“The challenge has been inadequate infrastructure, inadequate or late diagnosis and treatment equipment.”

President Museveni, meanwhile, noted that the hospital would cater for all the VIP cases instead of referring them abroad. The president added that the project would save Uganda $186m annually, which is spent on treating VIPs abroad. The complex will also have a medical training institute, hotel facilities, among other amenities. On top of that, the facility will use solar energy to cut costs on power.

“Once fully operational, this facility will curb down on the massive loss of foreign exchange by citizens seeking specialized treatment abroad by offering brain surgery, cardiac surgery and thereby promoting Uganda as a medical tourism destination,” Aceng noted.

ROYALS FIGHT

Behind the scenes, however, is a protracted battle for the land that has sucked in Diana Atwine, the ministry of Health permanent secretary.

The battle could delay the start of the project, which is projected to be completed within two years. One faction is led by US-based Prince Joseph Kalemera Kiggala and another by Prince Nakibinge Kimbugwe.

Last year, Nakibinge, issued a statement introducing himself and five other Buganda royals as the caretakers of the disputed land on Block 269. The others are Princes Fredrick James Jjunju, Joseph Kiyimba Jjuuko and John Ddamba Bbemba. The Princesses are: Mariam Namusisi Nasiwa and Victoria Luwedde.

But Prince Kiggala’s faction allege that only two of those listed on the document are genuine royal family members and the rest “are land agents who want to grab the contested land.”

LEGAL BATTLE

Nakibinge, through its lawyers Alaka & Co Advocates, wants the project halted until the owner- ship is resolved. Documents obtained by The Observer indicate that on May 28, they warned Roko construction, the company hired to construct the hospital, to stop all operations at the site and also warned the company officials not to step at the venue for the ground-breaking ceremony.

Following this warning, Roko officials reportedly communicated to Dr Atwine saying, they would not go to the site unless the land ownership issue is solved.

Dr Atwine, in turn, approached the team led by Prince Kiggala, which gave the ministry the go-ahead with the inauguration, promising negotiations with government at a later date.

On May 29, Kiggala, through his lawyers, Alliance advocates, wrote to Roko asking it to ignore Kimbugwe and attend the inauguration ceremony but also warned the construction company not to do anything without their consent.

“This is therefore to call upon you not to deal with the said persons in the matter as they have no legitimate interest at all in the said land. We, however, also demand that you forthwith stop your activities on the said land which are being done without our client’s knowledge, consent or permission on receipt of this letter, failure whereof we shall be constrained to institute proceedings against you…,” said Kiggala’s lawyers.

When contacted, Dr Atwine was reluctant to comment.

“You have been writing about those issues for some time, what other comment you want from me,” she said before promising to call back but by Thursday, she had not.

LONGSTANDING CONFLICT

Dr Atwine chose Kiggala’s faction because it had earlier presented to her 2008 court documents that granted Kiggala powers of administration of the estate as well as the will.

Kiggala maintains he is the only surviving administrator of this estate.The will, dated December 2, 1944, was made by Prince Yusufu Ssuuna, a son to former Buganda king Mwanga II. This 37-acre piece is part of the six square mile Mailo land left by Ssuuna.

On the ground-breaking cer- emony, president Museveni warned individuals claiming ownership of the land whose title is in government custody.

“We took 30 acres of this land to construct this hospital. There is no way anybody can success- fully claim this land,” President Museveni said.

For now, it remains unclear which of the two parties government will compensate for the project but delays in court could stall the joint venture.

EU Gives U.S.$94 Million for Refugees in Uganda

Photo: Daily Monitor

Refugees moving to a refugee camp.

The European Union (EU) has given a massive shot in the arm to the Uganda Solidarity Summit for refugees, which starts in Kampala today, by announcing that it will provide €85 million (about Shs 340 billion) in humanitarian aid and longer term development assistance

According to the EU, the funds will help meet the needs of the rapidly surging number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda. Uganda is currently hosting over 1.27 million refugees and asylum seekers.

“To help Uganda deal with this unprecedented situation and support the most vulnerable refugees, the European Commission has today announced €85 million in humanitarian aid and longer term development assistance. Many refugees have fled conflict in South Sudan, seeking sanctuary from violence, hatred and hunger.

Uganda’s example of helping vulnerable people cope with displacement is an example for the whole region and the world. However, no country can deal with such a high number of refugees on its own. The EU funding announced today will help our humanitarian partners working in Uganda bring some relief to those who have lost everything,” said Christos

Stylianides, the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. Some €65m of the funding are aimed to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs in the areas of food assistance, protection, shelter, provision of water and sanitation, resilience-building and education.

The remaining €20m in development aid will be channelled through the EU Trust Fund for Africa to increase both the self-reliance of refugees and the socio-economic development of their hosting communities in Northern Uganda, further integrating refugees into the local economy in the medium to long-term.

Uganda is now the top refugee hosting country in Africa. The number of refugees from South Sudan alone is currently over 950,000. The country is also home to over 220,000 Congolese and over 37,000 Burundian refugees, as well as thousands from other countries in the region, such as Somalia.

East Africa

Girls Get Free Sanitary Pads to Boost School Attendance

Every schoolgirl is Kenya is entitled to “free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels” and a safe place to dispose of… Read more »

World Bank Tips Magufuli on How to Win War Against Corruption

Photo: The Citizen

Bella Bird who is in charge of World Bank issues in Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia said reforms are needed to entrench the crackdown against corruption and ensure the war on the vice galvanizes everyone if it is to bear long term benefits.

By Rosemary Mirondo

Dar es Salaam — The government should institutionalise the war on corruption to sustain the current tempo exhibited by President John Magufuli over a longer period, a senior World Bank officials has said.

Ms Bella Bird who is in charge of WB issues in Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia said reforms are needed to entrench the crackdown against corruption and ensure the war on the vice galvanizes everyone if it is to bear long term benefits.

She was speaking yesterday during the opening of an international high level meeting on anti-corruption reforms in Tanzania held in Dar es Salaam, jointly funded by the WB and the government.

Vice President Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau Director General Valentino Mlowola were among those in attendance at the two-day forum to discuss the country’s strategy against the vice.

Ms Bird said President Magufuli has shown an unprecedented determination to fight the vice and has won the heart of many in the country, around the region and internationally. She further noted that the challenge now was to draw a concrete roadmap around such leadership for sustainable results.

“At the World Bank, we are convinced that success in the fight against corruption in Tanzania is essential to the country’s progress in eliminating extreme poverty and generating inclusive growth,” she said during the opening ceremony.

According to the official, both punitive and preventive approaches would be important to move forward. The involvement of the private sector, media, Parliament, business and community groups as well as the ordinary citizens would bring synergy and broader focus.

She underscored the importance of fighting corruption from the top, as is the current case being led by the President since coming to power in 2015. “Values of integrity need to be instilled and rewarded in public service, from senior to the most junior levels. Clear rules need to be established and oversight mechanism need to function so that officials know the rules to follow and are aware of the penalties that will follow if the rules are broken,” Ms Bird said.

It was noted that measures to prevent corruption rather than driving prosecutions alone was desirable. “Stand alone activities cane end up displacing corruption and not reducing it,” the Workd Bank official said, noting that reducing corruption in the health sector, for example, may require greater clarity in the funding of hospitals, a more professionally managed and staffed ministry and improved systems for reporting problems. Tanzania, she suggested, should aim to move to the level where both the public and private players operate with integrity and in accordance with formal rules. Ms Bird promised to work with the government in the journey to establishing a corruption-free society.

In her address, the Minister of State, President’s Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance) Ms Angela Kairuki, said the government was investigating its key institutions that are often being criticised for being corrupt and thereby increasing the cost of doing business in the country and creating inefficiency and wastage of resources.

She named the institutions as Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Police Force nd the Judiciary.

“We will not tolerate any forms of corruption that have been hindering the government from achieving its targets, we aim to reach zero corruption soon,” she stressed.

She said the government was shifting into a middle income country and semi industrialized economy with high quality and a sustainable live hoods, peace, stability and unity, good governance and rule of law that can only be achieved if corruption is eliminated. On his part, Mr Mlowola said that they have been able to bring many people to task due to cooperation from the public and called on them to continue exposing them to help the government end corruption in the country.

He said the magnitude of corruption in Tanzania came to an alarming proportion during the post economic liberation era, following privatization of public corporations.

He said that they were currently underway to review the anti-corruption law due to the prevailing conditions. He said that the current government has zero tolerance to corruption stance and that was why it has come up with special Anti-corruption Dvision at the High Court, with so far 15 high profile corruption cases involving prominent people on course.

Noting that the government had also cut out wasteful expenditure and clamped down ghost workers which has raised revenue collection from Sh850 billion to Sh1.2 trillion.

According to him, the government has developed the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP) which aims to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability in public and private sectors. Further he said it aims to bring effective enforcement of anti-corruption measures as well as build capacity of watchdogs and oversight institutions.

However he noted that the public continue to see corruption as way of life because the PCCA Act appear to be lenient and the preference of fines over imprisonment waters down the legal sanctions to punish the offenders.

“This discourages the public but also encourages the offenders,” he said. He said asset tracing and recovery under the PCCA is still conviction based and complicates and impedes efficiency of asset recovery in corruption cases.

He said they will continue to devise new strategies to scale up prevention measures and be more proactive as well as wmploy modern techniques in investigation especially in grand corruption cases and deal with petty corruption to ensure public receives services accordingly.

Ms Samia said the government plans to promote integrity, transparency and accountability among government institutions.

She said the government will deal with corruption from the root because tackling corruption is at most in government’s priority.

EAC Warned on U.S.’s Threat Over Used Clothes Ban

Photo: Michael Kakumirizi/Daily Monitor

Heaps of second-hand clothes stacked together at a Ugandan Market (file photo).

By Samuel Kamndaya

Dodoma — Two days after the US Trade Representative announced that Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda risk losing access to the American market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) following plans by the East African member states to ban imports of second-hand clothes and shoes, a former Cabinet minister has asked the government to take the issue seriously.

The US Trade Representative announced on Tuesday the initiation of an out-of-cycle review of the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to receive benefits under the act after concerns that the planned ban will impose significant economic hardship on the US used clothing industry.

The launch of the review is in response to a petition filed by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (Smart), which asserts that a March 2016 decision by the East African Community, which includes Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear is imposing significant economic hardship on the US used clothing industry.

Having read the article in The Citizen on Thursday, Dr Diodorus Kamala (CCM – Nkenge), said the government needs to take the issue seriously and come up with necessary plan of action.

“There is a story in The Citizen today which shows how serious this issue might be. The government needs to come up with relevant measures to protect the economy from the negative outcomes of what might be reached under Agoa,” he told the House yesterday during a debate on the 2017 Finance Bill.

Dr Kamala, who was minister for East African Cooperation during in the Jakaya Kiwete government, said EAC members have shown “serious” inconsistencies in the implementation of the region’s Common External Tariff (CET).

It is now viewed that each member country is going its own way, contrary to the CET that requires Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan to have a common position with regard to import duties for goods originating from outside the region.

Dr Kamala, who is an economist, said for instance, Tanzania is currently promoting the manufacturing of gas cylinders locally and has therefore raised import duty on the products. Yet, some countries in the trading bloc are zero rating import duty on such products.

“It means, if Tanzania manufacturers these products in excess, we will have nowhere to sell them within the region since others will be importing the products outside the region at cheaper prices,” he said.

noting that similar decisions are also true for the iron and steel, textiles, leather and garment industries among others.

East Africa

Armed South Sudanese Abduct 13 Refugees, Steal 180 Cows

Gunmen suspected to be members of the South Sudan Liberation Army (SPLA) on Tuesday raided Bari Village in Metu… Read more »

Magufuli Closes Debate On Teen Mothers

Photo: Daily News

A pregnant school girl (file photo).

Dar es Salaam — The debate is closed. Schoolgirls who become pregnant will not be allowed back into public schools after giving birth, President John Magufuli said on Thursday.

Opening the 64-kilometre Msata-Bagamoyo road during the final leg of his three-day tour of Coast Region, Dr Magufuli said the idea of allowing teen mothers back to school was a foreign concept “championed by NGOs and other people who do not wish the country well”.

“There are many alternatives for teen mothers in life. They can join vocational training colleges or seek loans and become small entrepreneurs,” he said amid cheers.

The government has been under pressure in recent months from some MPs and activists to let teen mothers to resume their studies after giving birth.

During debate on the 2017/18 budget estimates of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training in Parliament last month, the Social Services Committee and the Opposition urged the government to allow teen mothers back to school. Reading the committee’s speech, Mr Hussein Bashe (Nzega Urban-CCM) said allowing young mothers resume formal education would break the poverty cycle.

“Expelling pregnant schoolgirls has condemned many of them and their families to poverty,” he said. The issue divided legislators, with one side passionately supporting the proposal and the other fiercely opposing it.

Former First Lady Salma Kikwete, now a nominated MP, was particularly vocal in shooting down the suggestion.

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Yesterday, President Magufuli praised Mrs Kikwete, who among dignitaries who attended the function in Bagamoyo.”I would like to pay tribute to Mama Salma Kikwete for steadfastly opposing the proposal. She did well in Parliament to oppose the idea of letting teen mothers to continue with their studies. Thank you and continue with that stance”. Dr Magufuli said those who wanted young girls to resume their studies after giving birth should build their own schools.”Let those NGOs that are making noise build schools for teen mothers. If we allow young mothers back into public schools we will one day have Standard One pupils rushing back home to breastfeed their babies. This way, we will destroy this nation,” he said, adding that allowing teen mothers back to school would encourage more girls to engage in premarital sexThe current education policy allows schoolgirls to sit the Form Four and Form Six examinations as private candidates. However, there is no such arrangement for girls dropping out of primary school.President Magufuli further said that men and boys impregnating schoolgirls should serve prison sentences as stipulated by the law.An average of 3,700 schoolgirls in primary and secondary school drop out each year due to various reasons, including pregnancy, according to official statistics.According to the Basic Education Statistics Report 2016, at least 3,439 secondary school students dropped out in 2015, while the number primary school dropouts was 251.The acting director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Ms Anna Henga, told The Citizen yesterday LHRC’s position on girls’ right to education remained unchanged. “The better option is to create an environment that will prevent schoolgirls from becoming pregnant. However, if this fails the solution is not to expel them from school… this amounts to denying them their right to education,” she said.Earlier this month, an official with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in Tanzania defended teenage girls who became pregnant while still in school, saying Tanzania stood to gain by ensuring that teen mothers continued with their studies after giving birth.Unicef education chief in Tanzania Cecillia Baldesh told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that every adolescent girl had the right to an education as a way of realising their full potential.A study titled “Adolescents in Tanzania”, which was commissioned by Unicef, cites Tanzania as having one of the highest adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the world.”Adolescent mothers with less education also have less opportunity and capacity to contribute to economic growth and development. Women that begin childbearing as adolescents, and their children, are therefore more likely to be among the poorest in Tanzanian society,” the study says.President Magufuli’s stance on teen mothers may hamper efforts by development campaigners, who support Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and which promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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