Category archives for: Tanzania

World Mourns Elephant Warrior Wayne Lotter

By Elvis Ondieki

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe are in mourning after a man who has been fighting poaching in Tanzania, amid death threats, was shot dead in Dar-es-Salaam.

Mr Wayne Lotter, a former vice president of the International Ranger Foundation and a co-founder of an organisation that has been combating poaching in Tanzania for the last eight years, was killed when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle as he was being driven from an airport to his hotel.


London-based newspaper The Guardian reported online that one gunman opened the car door and shot Mr Lotter.

Pams Foundation, an anti-poaching organisation Mr Lotter has been running in Tanzania since 2009, said in a Facebook post on Thursday evening that the killing happened on Wednesday night in Dar-es-Salaam’s Masaki District.

It added that Tanzanian police had launched an investigation into the death.

Mr Lotter, The Guardian reported, had received numerous death threats before, following the success of his anti-poaching programme that has seen more than 2,000 poachers and ivory traffickers arrested since 2012 with an 80 per cent conviction rate.

One of the major achievements was the February 2016 arrest of Yang Feng Glan who had been christened “Queen of Ivory”.


The conservationist has been in Kenya previously in his mission to protect animals.

One of his notable visits was in April 2016 when he was among the attendants of a three-day Giants Club Summit.

Leaders from Kenya, Botswana, Gabon and Uganda were present.

Voice of America quoted Mr Lotter saying that the event provided “an opportunity to come and network with other people, share best practices and learn that there’s some good people here, and we can also share some of our experiences”.

Pams Foundation said in its tribute that Mr Lotter started his service to wildlife in South Africa, his country of birth, as a ranger before he moved to Tanzania to step up his conservation efforts through the foundation that he co-founded with Krissie Clark.


“Wayne cared deeply about the people and animals that populate this world,” said the foundation.

“He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.”

The foundation also gave a glimpse into the work ethic of Mr Lotter, saying he was operating on a policy of empowering Tanzanians to fight poaching.

“Wayne believed communities were the best protectors of the continent’s animals. Through his work with Pams he helped train thousands of village game scouts in every corner of the country.

“His ground-breaking work in developing an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching helped successfully reverse the rampant rates of poaching facing Tanzania.

“Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile,” said Pams Foundation.


Joining in the wagon of tributes was conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, an Ambassador for the Thin Green Line Foundation that supports Rangers training.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Wayne’s anti-poaching efforts made a big difference in the fight to save Tanzania’s elephants from the illegal ivory trade. Moreover, his courage in the face of stiff opposition and personal threats, and his determination to keep on fighting have inspired many and encouraged them also to keep fighting for wildlife,” she said in an obituary published on Facebook by the International Rangers Foundation.

“If this cowardly shooting was an attempt to bring the work of the Pams Foundation to an end it will fail. Those who have been inspired by Wayne will fight on. But he will be sadly missed by so many,” added Dr Goodall.

Tazara, Zambia Railways Sign Deal to Ply On Each Other’s Line

By By Alfred Zacharia

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) is currently undergoing a massive transformation process as it seeks to tweak its operational efficiency, the company has said.

Tazara managing director Bruno Ching’andu said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the railway line has inked an Open Access Agreement (OAA) with the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) that will see the former extending its operations beyond Kapiri Mposhi.

Under the OAA, Tazara and ZRL will now be able to run locomotives and wagons alike onto each other’s line.

“It will enable us to extend our operational destinations to Lusaka, Livingstone and Ndola in Zambia while ZRL can run all the way to Dar es Salaam. This will help us to attain our target of transporting about 350,000 metric tonnes of cargo in the financial year 2017/18,” he said.

Currently, Tazara transports about 15,000 metric tonnes of cargo per month, suggesting that it hauls up to 180,000 tonnes per year.

“We are now determined to ensure that Tazara becomes a profitable company once again so that it can stop depending on government subsidies. This is just one of the immediate term strategies taken by the management to tweak the company’s performance as we await a long-term solution,” he said.

According to Mr Ching’adu, the government of Tanzania is also taking various measures to improve the company’s operations. It is currently in the process to planting cargo scanners for railway operators at the Dar es Salaam port. “With the scanners, railway operators will no longer use trucks to load cargo from the port since trains will then be able to go all the way to the loading area at the port,” he said.

According to the ZRL chief executive officer Mr Christopher Musonda, the move has come at a time when the Government of Zambia was in the process of effecting a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will compel all bulk cargo exceeding a certain tonnage to move from road to rail.

He said the strategy – which is technically known as ‘the transport quota system’ – aims moving 30 per of the bulk cargo from being transported by roads to rails.

“With the signing today, I believe that this open access train operations deal will offer confidence to our customers and give them a seamless, one-stop carrier,” he said.

Once proved successful, the means of operations will extend further to the Democratic Republic of Congo.


The Tazara Railway links Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. The single-track railway is 1,860 km long. The governments of Tanzania, Zambia and China built the railway to eliminate landlocked Zambia’s economic dependence on Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white-minority governments. The railway provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s Copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories. The project was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed and supported by China.


World Mourns Elephant Warrior Wayne Lotter

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe are in mourning after a man who has been fighting poaching in Tanzania, amid death… Read more »

Demolition Victims Told to Remove Graves

By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) has directed residents living along Morogoro Road, whose houses have been earmarked for demolition, to remove the graves of their loved ones which are in their compounds.

Tanroads has earmarked some of the houses for demolition to pave the way for a project to expand Morogoro Road to eight lanes from the current four.

Head of Tanroads in Kimara Region, Mr Johnson Letechura, told The Citizen that the agency has instructed the residents to shift the remains of their relatives, including those buried at the Kiluvya cemetery.

“There are some residents who have already started removing the remains of their loved ones for reburial elsewhere,” said he.

According to Mr Letechura, those who will not heed the call will see the remains of their relatives being removed in the manner stipulated in the Municipal Cemetery Act.

However, some residents continued to protest against the demolition.

A resident of Kibamba-CCM, Ms Winfrida Mbonde, said her father built the house in 1980. She insisted that by then the law extending the road reserve from the 60-metre limit to 121.5 metres was yet to be enacted.

“It is unfair that we have been ordered to vacate from our houses to pave the way for demolition without being compensated,” said Mr Mbonde.

Demolition continued yesterday at Kimara Stop-over on the outskirts of the city. Emotions were high as some house owners wept uncontrollably as Tanroads bulldozers pulled down their houses.


World Mourns Elephant Warrior Wayne Lotter

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe are in mourning after a man who has been fighting poaching in Tanzania, amid death… Read more »

Joy As Karatu School Accident Survivors Touch Down At Kilimanjaro Airport

By Syriacus Buguzi

Samaritan Purse Aircraft carrying three survivors of the Karatu School bus accident touched down at Kilimanjaro International Airport(KIA) at 9:30 am East Africa Local time.

This was after an 18-hour flight from Charlotte, United States, where they had been flown for treatment after they sustained injuries in an accident that killed 29 pupils, two of their teachers, and driver in May.

They were accompanied by their parents and health workers who were by the children’s side to the US for treatment.

For the past three months, they have been receiving treatment in the US hospital.

There was a grand reception at KIA where regional leaders, residents and families gathered to receive the children. SingidaSouth MP LazaroNyalandu coordinated the reception alongside other regional authorities.


World Mourns Elephant Warrior Wayne Lotter

Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe are in mourning after a man who has been fighting poaching in Tanzania, amid death… Read more »

Diamond Platinumz Caught in Claims of Fathering Model’s Baby


Is Diamond the father of Hamisa’s child?

By Mwende Kasujja

Tanzanian model Hamisa Mobetto excited the grapevine after revealing her baby’s name.

Well, guess what? The baby’s surname is similar to that of Tanzanian musician Diamond Platinumz.

Hamisa on Friday shared on Instagram her son’s name as Abdul Naseeb, Diamond’s surname, fuelling speculation on the identity of the child’s father.

The model also renamed the baby’s Instagram account and added a description that the boy is a lion.

Diamond often uses the name Simba on stage.

Hamisa is already the mother of a baby girl. But unlike her first born’s Instagram account that names her baby daddy Francis Sizo aka Majay, Hamisa’s second born son’s page only captures her name as the mother and the Naseeb surname.

Diamond, in a past interview, insisted that his relationship with Hamisa was professional during the shooting of the Salome video. He denied claims that the two are an item and even suggested he is unaware of her pregnancy.

He held the interview to deny reports that his alleged relationship with Hamisa was ruining matters with his baby mama Zari Hassan.

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Milk Exports to Tanzania Slide 80% as Trade Row Festers

By Gerald Andae

Protracted trade dispute between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam has hit the dairy sector hard with the value of exports to Tanzania dropping by 80 per cent between 2014 and last year.

Data from the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) indicates exports to Tanzania dropped to Sh130 million last year from Sh648 million the pevious year. The regulator attributes the reduction to trade restrictions by Tanzania on Kenyan products.

Tanzania is one of the key markets for local milk products but the country has imposed tariffs that make it hard for Kenyan milk to access the market. Dar es Salaam levies Sh10.25 for every kilo of milk exported.

“These tariffs need to be abolished because they are taking a toll on the products that we export to Tanzania. This is not in the spirit of the East African protocol that allows goods from regional states to access any of the market without restrictions,” said KDB managing director Margaret Kibogy.

The MD noted that Tanzanian milk products do not attract levies when entering the Kenyan market, adding that Tanzania should reciprocate the gesture.

KDB said trade between the two countries kicked off well this year but the ongoing standoff, if not resolved soon, will drastically eat into export earnings.

In the first half of the year, dairy exports to Tanzania earned Sh141 million, surpassing what was recorded in the 12 months of 2016.

This week, Tanzanian officials put off a meeting intended to iron out issues fuelling trade dispute with Kenya.

Representatives of the two countries, including officials from cross-border trade agencies, were expected to meet from Wednesday in Tanzania, according to an agreement reached on August 3.


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Challenges of Teacher Education

opinionBy Mary A. Mosha

Tanzania’s famous founding president Julius Nyerere was a teacher. But despite the government’s commitment to education in its development agenda, many young people shun the teaching profession. Salaries are low, classes big and teaching has little prestige among the professions.

The concept of education

Education as concept can be used to convey two different though complementary meanings. In one sense it is used to refer to the extent, measure or level of cumulative attainment by an individual of a distinctive quality of information, knowledge and/or understanding that places the individual above the average person. In another sense, education is seen as a dynamic, on-going process that involves a person in several things at the same time: acquiring and assimilating information from source, physically and mentally processing the information acquired and transmitting the processed information to others or applying the acquired skills to different situations in an attempt to solve different problems and challenges of existence (Nyirenda & Ishumi, 2008).

Education in Tanzania

The formal education and training system in Tanzania comprises two years of preprimary education, seven years of primary education, four years of junior secondary, two years of senior secondary and three or more years of tertiary education. On the whole, the education system can be divided into three levels: Basic, secondary and tertiary. The basic level education consists of pre-primary, primary, and non-formal adult education. The secondary education level includes the ordinary and advanced levels of schooling, while tertiary level programs are offered by higher institutions, including universities and teacher training colleges

Ministry of education

The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has general responsibility for education. Amongst other aspects, the ministry is charged with quality assurance, research, monitoring and evaluation of primary and secondary education. In addition to the ministry, various other parties are involved in the governance and monitoring of education services, such as the prime minister’s office, the regional administration and local government, various NGOs and individuals coordinated by the central government.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that 400,000 youth complete primary education each year. Out of those only 10% get the opportunity to continue with secondary education in both government and private schools: 42,157 complete secondary education each year. Only 10,000 youths secure places in higher institutions of learning including universities each year (Ministry of Labour and Youth Development, 1996). In Tanzania schools, colleges and private sectors institutions provide opportunities to youth. In this way, some of the youth who miss the opportunity to join higher education can join private and government teacher training colleges (TTCs).

Teacher training

Teacher training in Tanzania is currently offered in three levels, which are grade A, diploma and degree level. Grade A student teachers are trained at teacher training colleges to equip them with knowledge, pedagogical skills and methods to teach at primary schools. The training lasts two years that include teaching practice. If the student teachers complete their training successfully they graduate as professional teachers and are employed by the government to teach in primary schools. However, there are some cases particularly in rural areas where these teachers teach in secondary schools because of shortage of teachers especially in science subjects. Diploma student teachers are trained to teach at secondary schools. Training also lasts two years. Degree level teacher students are trained at the universities for three years to teach at secondary schools and teacher training colleges.

In many countries, including Tanzania, teachers get no further additional professional support for a long time, leading to ineffective teaching, hence, poor performance in schools (Mbunda , 1998). Pointing out the importance of life-long learning for teachers Mbunda states that:

“Pre-service training alone is not enough whether one acquires a teacher certificate or a first degree for the basic reasons that;

A single teacher training course is not sufficient to keep one intellectually alive;

Curriculum always changes and knowledge and teaching technology develop and;

Education is a life-long and continuous process”.

Teacher professional development

Teacher development is the process and activities designed to promote professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of teachers for the purpose of improving pupils’ learning (Guskey, 2000). The purpose of professional development in education is to build and transform strong knowledge through teachers with the ambition to achieve excellence in education (Compoy, 1997). Gaible and Burns (2005) assert that in order to be effective, teachers’ professional development should address the core areas of teaching content, curriculum, assessment and instruction.

According to Education and Policy Training in Tanzania (1995), teacher professional development constitutes an important element for quality and efficiency in education. Teachers need to be exposed regularly to new methodologies and approaches of teaching. The teaching effectiveness of every serving teacher will thus need to be developed through planned and known schedules of in-service training programmes. Therefore, in-service training and re-training shall be compulsory in order to ensure teacher quality and professionalism.

The effectiveness of the teacher depends on her competence (academically and pedagogically) and efficiency (ability, work load, and commitment), teaching and learning resources and methods; support from education managers and supervisors (Rogan 2004; Van den Akker & Thijs 2002; Mosha 2004). Teacher professional development provides opportunities for teachers to explore new roles, develop new instructional techniques, refine their practice and broaden themselves both as educators and as individuals.

Factors influencing teacher professional development

Villegas-Reimers (2003) identifies conceptual, contextual and methodological factors on how change, teaching, and teacher development are perceived. Contextual factors refer to the role of the school leadership, organizational culture, external agencies and the extent to which site-based initiatives are supported. Methodological factors relate to processes or procedures that have been designed to support teacher professional development. It would seem that from the perspective of an interactive system model, teacher professional development is a function of the interaction between and among five key players or stakeholders. These are the ministry responsible for teacher education, universities, schools, the community and the teachers themselves. In the context of Tanzania the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is responsible for providing policy and financial support for teacher professional development. Universities and teacher colleges are responsible for providing training, conducting policy oriented research and providing relevant literature and materials to support teachers in schools.

The teacher’s perception of the professional development is the most important of all factors. It is an intrinsic motivation, an internal force. The teacher has to see and accept the need to grow professionally. A teacher who perceives professional development positively is eager to attain new knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and dispositions. Within such dispositions there is pride, self-esteem, team spirit, commitment, drive, adventure, creativity and vision. All these attributes have to be owned by the teacher (Mosha 2006). Teacher’s perception depends on self-evaluation, the influence and support of school leadership and school culture (Komba & Nkumbi, 2008).

In Tanzania, there are various opportunities that youth can take advantage of such as leadership, job skills, vocational training and health. For instance, there are programs like The Life Choices targeting youth aged 10-19 with the core message of sexual abstinence and being faithful to prevent HIV infection. This programme is realistic because it does not only offer youth health education but also skills training, parental/teacher/community support, recreational activities, sports and youth camps.

Youth opportunities are also available in the teaching profession. The minimum admission requirement for the teacher education certificate course is Division III of the Certificate of Secondary Education Examination while for a diploma teacher certificate one requires Division III in the Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ETP, 1995: 48). Following liberalisation policies in 1994, individuals and private agencies were encouraged to invest in education to complement government efforts. A number of private education institutions and colleges have been established in the country at all levels of the education system, but with limited enrolment capacity.

There are various challenges that hinder young people from joining the teaching profession in Tanzania. First, teaching is perceived negatively by young people because of low salaries in comparison to other professions like law and medicine. In addition, teachers are not respected in the society as before (Mosha, 2016). Complaints from the teachers about poor teaching and learning environment, shortage of resources and large class sizes do not attract young people to the profession. Second, the teaching profession is not a choice for many youth but they join it because they have no alternative. Third, youth perceive teaching profession as the profession joined by those who did not perform well in the national examinations.

It can be concluded that education is a key component of the government of Tanzania’s development agenda but has not attracted young people to join the teaching profession because it is always perceived negatively compared to other professions.

* MARY A. MOSHA teaches at in the Faculty of Education, University of Bagamoyo.


Compoy, R. W. (1997). Creating effective instruction models in professional development in school. Professional Education Journal, 19(2) pp 32-42.

Educational system in Tanzania: Challenges and prospective. Retrieved on 5th 2017 from

Gaible, E. & Burns, (2005). Using technology to train teachers: Appropriate use of ICT for teacher professional development in developing countries. Washington: The World Bank.

Guskey, T. R. (2000). Evaluating professional development. California: Thousand Oak, Corwin Press Inc.

Komba, W. L & Nkumbi, E. (2008). Teacher professional development in Tanzania: Perceptions and practices. Journal of International Cooperation in Education, Vol.11 No.3 (2008) pp.67-83.

Mbunda, F. L (1998). Management workshop for Teachers’ Resource Centres. Dar es Salaam: Institute of Kiswahili Research.

Ministry of Labour and Youth Development (1996). National, Youth Development Policy. Dar es Salaam.

Mosha, H. J. (2004). New Direction in teacher education for quality improvement in Africa. Papers in Education and Development, 24, 45-68.

Mosha, H. J. (2006). Capacity of school management for teacher professional development in

Tanzania. Delivered at a workshop on the role of universities in promoting basic education in Tanzania, held at the Millennium Towers Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 19.

Mosha, M. (2016). Secondary school students’ attitudes towards teaching profession: A case of Tanzania. Research Journal of Educational Studies and Review Vol. 2 (5), pp. 71-77.

Nyirenda, S, D. & Ishumi, A.B.G (2008). Philosophy of Education: An introductory to concepts, principles and practice. Dar es Salaam: Dar es Salaam University Press.

Rogan, J. (2004). Professional development: Implications for developing countries. In K. O-saki, K. Hosea & W. Ottevanger, Reforming science and mathematics education in sub-Saharan Africa: Obstacles and opportunities (pp.155-170). Amsterdam: Vrije Universteit Amsterdam.

Salesian Missions (2017). Giving hope to millions of youth around the world Globe. New York: New Rochelle.

United Republic of Tanzania (1995). Educational training policy. Dar es Salaam: Adult Education Press.

Villegas-Reimers, E. (2003). Teacher professional development: An international review of literature. UNESCO: International Institute for Educational Planning. Retrieved on June 2017 from

Rapper Chidi Benz in Trouble Again

Photo: The Citizen

Chidi Benz.

Just when you thought his troubles were over, rapper Chidi Benzi is in fresh trouble after it was reported that he has been put on probation alongside five others by Ilala Court.

This was after it was revealed that despite having been set free two years ago, the singer who has been at a rehab was still involved in substance abuse contrary to terms agreed.

According to Bongo 5 Chidi Benz and his co-accused Hadia Abeid, Said Ally, Athuman Elias and Hassan Mohamed was brought before resident magistrate Ritha Tarimo.

This must be a worrying announcement for his fans who thought he was finally out of deep end and that they would soon see him at performances.

In February during a crackdown on drug trafficking and abuse several artists were netted and some still have cases to answer in different courts.


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Is Music Production a Talent or Career?

The music industry is fast growing in Tanzania and Africa in general thanks to the availability of technology that now makes it possible for musicians to acquire studio equipment.

With these state of the art equipment producers have become an integral part of music that are indispensable, for they own the catchy beats and melodies that blare out of speakers.

Rarely unseen but they are the ones that hold the key to the success of today’s musicians and without such talented producers such as Master Jay and P-Funk maybe we wouldn’t be speaking of Bongo Flava today.

Later day producers such as Tud Thomas, Laizer, Nahreel, Marco Chali and others have succeeded due to the ground work laid by their predecessors.

But then even as some of these talented producers gave us what we see today as Tanzania’s music, there are some who have made it out of sheer luck.

But who is a music producer then?

A music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer’s music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album.

Has an overall vision for the music, the sound and the goals of the project, and brings a unique perspective to inspire, assist and sometimes provoke the artiste’ creativity.

The producer makes the record more than the sum of its parts one could almost say is trying to create musical alchemy.

Every producer brings different skills and a different approach, and this can make what they do difficult to summarize.

In Tanzania, music producers have been proliferating as the number of artists increases daily.

Are all producers’ professionals?

It is a million dollar question that does not seem to have a definite answer especially in the Bongo Flava arena.

At Pango Records in Mwanza the producer in charge, H-Pol, admits that despite the big names in the trade most of them have got there out of curiosity and not through professional training.

He cites FishCrab Records’ Lamar who is among the few professionally trained producers who took time off his busy schedule to go abroad to study music production.

“In most cases, music preparation and production is a ‘talent’. Out of ten producers, you will find that either seven or eight began at an early age while in churches or elsewhere,” says H-Pol.

Shukuru Frank aka Maximizer is a producer who plies his trade in both Mwanza and Dar es Salaam, to him, production is an art that might be termed as a talent and as well as a career that runs in blood.

According to Maximizer it is all about creativity and how you keep up-to-date with the trends of the industry that will keep people knocking on your doors.

“Here it does not matter of whether you are trained to play with the music instruments or not, the big deal is to be unique and come up with amazing beats that get people off their feet,” says Maximizer.

Maximizer is quick to warn that just like any other career, nusic production is not a walk in the park as it requires passion and hard work above everything else and that is what makes some producers stand out of the crowd.

“Before I became a producer I studied at Bagamoyo School of Arts (Tasuba) and that was when I realised that without passion you cannot make it in this trade,” he says Maximizer.

He believes that every producer in Tanzania has his own style on how he or she blends the music, either be on the already composed FL Studio or Cubase for the vocals insertion.

“When a new artiste comes in, the first thing we do is to listen to his or her tone and pitch before anything else can take place. This makes it easier to trace the original pitch and the speed to apply before mixing process,” says Maximizer.

Can a producer help an artist grow?

According to Zephania Wangwi, a student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Audio Technology with specializations in computer science and physics at American University, most musicians spend too long doing things that are not working without realizing it and that adds up to their frustration and therefore limiting their progress.

“When these artists go for recording, it takes a bit time to regulate their voicals and keys on the musical instrumental and even in the computer, here a variation of touch by the producers is now welcome,” he says.

How is the trend internationally?

Some producers seem to have an almost magical touch, a secret formula that guarantees almost anyone who works with them success.

In the US,Phil Spector, with his trademark ‘wall of sound’ was an early example, whereas in the 80s ‘Stock Aiteken and Waterman’ developed and instantly recognizable template for their artistes.

Of course a distinctive sound is only a good thing if the producer’s style suits the material.

Paul McCartney was famously outraged at what Spector did with “Let It Be”. Dr. Dre is a more recent example of a “golden ticket” producer, almost single-handedly responsible for the output of a vast strip of the biggest rap and R&B artistes in recent years.

Only a few producers in Tanzania have been trained on how to play the piano, guitar, saxophone and other music instruments this in a way affects their progress.

Govt Seizes Ex-PM’s Farm in Crackdown On ‘Idle’ Land

By Kizito Makoye

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania’s former prime minister Frederick Sumaye has accused the government of unfairly taking almost 800 acres of farmland he and his wife owned, as it presses ahead with a campaign to seize idle agricultural land for redistribution to poor farmers.

The east African nation has become increasingly concerned about land speculation by investors and the conflict it creates with local residents.

“I have received a letter informing me that my 326 acre farm has been taken away by the president and I am not allowed to set my foot there,” Sumaye wrote on his Facebook page this week.

“What has surprised me is that the farm has… electricity, crops of different kinds, 200 heads of animals, deep wells and different equipment but they have taken it on the pretext I have failed to develop it.”

Sumaye, who was prime minister between 1995 and 2005 and defected to the opposition in 2015, told a news conference that the decision to revoke his title deed was political.

Sumaye’s wife, Esther, also lost 473 acres of land when the government reclaimed 14 large farms totalling 15,567 acres of land in Tanzania’s central Morogoro region this week, Tanzania’s lands minister William Lukuvi said.

It is the second time Sumaye’s title deed has been revoked. He lost a 13-hectare (33-acre) farm in 2016 on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city.

The government said the decision was in line with its policy of reclaiming parcels of land exceeding 20 hectares (50 acres) that are not being farmed.

“We do not target any individuals,” Lukuvi said at a ceremony to hand landless farmers more than 2,000 title deeds to plots that were taken from investors this year.

“The government routinely identifies and revokes title deeds of farms belonging to anyone who has failed to develop their land, irrespective (of) their (political) affiliation.”

Agriculture is the backbone of Tanzania’s economy, employing more than 60 percent of the workforce.

Since his 2015 election, Magufuli has taken steps to monitor and improve government control over the country’s land sector in an effort to tackle inefficiencies and corruption.

The government had given Sumaye 30 days notice to explain why he had not developed his farm, Frolence Kyombo, a local government official, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The reasons he gave were too weak to convince the government to reverse its decision,” he said.

Reporting by Kizito Makoye. Editing by Katy Migiro and Lyndsay Griffiths.


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