Posts tagged as: community

Tanzania Reopens Borders to Kenyan Milk, Milk Products

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — Kenya and Tanzania have now lifted bans placed on products imported from both countries bringing an end to a stand-off between the two countries that was threatening to derail the East African Community cross-border trading.

According to a joint statement read by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga, Kenya will allow free movement of wheat flour and Liquefied Petroleum gas from Tanzania with immediate effect.

He stated that likewise, Tanzania will lift the ban placed on milk, milk products and cigarettes from Kenya.

“The United Republic of Tanzania will lift restrictions on milk and milk products and cigarettes manufactured in Kenya with immediate effect. The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” he said.

He says the decision was arrived at following a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed further stated that a Standing Joint Technical Committee will be formed between the two countries to deal with any other outstanding issue.

“The Committee will be chaired by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs and will comprise of the Ministries of EAC, Trade, Finance, Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Tourism and will incorporate other key government agencies as the need arises,” she said.

The tit-for-tat came about when Kenya submitted that the products from Tanzania did not meet the quality and safety standards as per the EAC standards.

On April 24, Kenya’s Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau announced the ban on gas imports through Tanzania, a move meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants that posed safety and security risks.

Besides imposing a ban on importation of cooking gas through the two countries’ borders, Kenya had imposed a ban on importation of wheat.

Kenya

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TFDA’s Clients Charter Out, Offers Free Phone Service

By Katare Mbashiru

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has launched its Clients’ Service Charter, 2016 (Third edition) which, among other things, has reduced the number of days for registration of imported medicinal products from 360 in 2006 to 240.

As part of initiatives for improving the standard of service delivery, the charter has also reduced the number of days for registration of low risk food products to 40 from 240 in 2006, and, the registration of high risk food products will now take 50 days.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, will take a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

Speaking during the official launching of the charter in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TFDA Director General (DG) Hiiti Sillo said the timeframe for service delivery would be reduced depending on the availability of resources.

“It should be noted that nowadays, much emphasis is placed on efficiency, and so, the number of days may drop to fewer than the ones outlined in the charter,” he said.

According to the DG, the purpose of the charter is to openly show the responsibilities of TFDA to comply with the required quality standards in serving clients.

This, he pointed out, was in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction 2015 and the National Trade Policy 2003 on promotion of the private sector as the engine of the economy as well as being flexible to address the new changes.

According to Mr Sillo, the charter further aims at providing information to clients about TFDA services and strengthens the relationship between the authority and clients in various areas.

Among other benefits, the new charter will help people to know the types of services TFDA offered, and the quality of specific services. The minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, commended TFDA for reviewing the charter in its quest for enhancing services.

In the speech read on her behalf by the Acting Director of Curative Services in the ministry, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the minister said the clients’ charter was a common thing in many countries around the world, as a tool for improving services in various government institutions.

She remarked: “As a country, we need to cherish this as part of the government’s quest to provide services for all in a professional, responsible and transparent manner.” The charter’s launch coincided the Public Service Week which kicked off yesterday.

In another development, TFDA launched the Toll Free Service number where clients can now call to the food and drugs watchdog free of charge to raise their concerns and get feedback by dialling 0800110084.

A Full in Tray Awaits Presidents At EAC Summit

A tight agenda awaits the East Africa Community Heads of State Summit when it meets in Dar es Salaam this week, for a meeting that has been postponed three times.

This is amid speculation of a falling out between some of the leaders on the direction the bloc should take.

That the Summit will not be postponed this time is assured. The EAC Secretariat has sent out an invitation to all the delegates to attend the meeting on May 20. It will be preceded by meetings of technocrats responsible for various sectors over three days before the Council of Ministers meets a day before the Summit to prepare resolutions for the heads of state to consider.

Top on the agenda is giving direction to the Community after what has been a year of sluggish implementation of projects. The presidents are expected to track the progress of integrating South Sudan and decide whether it will be fully integrated into the EAC as from July. Already South Sudan has nominated its members for the East African Legislative Assembly and the East Africa Court of Justice as required under the process.

The presidents should give direction on whether South Sudan should appoint various commissioners to the various commissions of the EAC and on nomination of a representative for an executive position at the EAC Secretariat.

Another key issue is agreeing on a new funding model for the bloc’s budget. EAC ministers except Burundi have agreed to maintain the existing equal contributions with sanctions for default. The alternative is a hybrid financing mechanism, with a certain percentage of equal contributions and a separate proportion based on equity, solidarity and equality.

Also on the table is the phasing out of importation of used textiles and footwear, which was to be undertaken over three years starting in 2016.

The presidents are also expected to pass into law Bills passed by EALA, which include the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Bill 2016, the EAC Appropriation Bill 2016 and the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016.

The heads of state are also expected to discuss the report on the Status of Implementation of the EAC Common Market where one of the pending matters is mutual recognition of business certificates from each other and elimination of double taxation for companies operating across borders.

At the recent EAC Council of ministers meeting, the EAC ministers requested Tanzania to expedite the process of reviewing its legal framework and finalise internal consultations on harmonisation of work permit fees by September.

The request followed a recent move by the Tanzanian government to reduce residence permit fees to $500 from $2,000 for EAC citizens seeking to stay and work in Tanzania. Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have waived work permit fees but Tanzania and Burundi are yet to ratify the deal.

The other key issue to be discussed is the report of the Joint Security Assessment Mission to the Republic of Burundi.

The Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe, which has split EAC members down the middle, is not expected to feature prominently on the agenda, with Tanzania insisting the impact of the agreement be fully assessed.

East Africa

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Ethiopia: The World Needs Tedros Adhanom As Director General of WHO

“Our world has changed. Today, we face unprecedented health threats – from pandemics, to antibiotic-resistant infections, to climate change. We need a strong and effective World Health Organization to meet these challenges, ” Candidate for WHO Chief Dr.Tedros Adhanom

“A visionary leader, he guided Ethiopia and numerous global health organizations to achieve game-changing results and increase their_impact. An experienced reformer, he transformed Ethiopia’s health system to expand quality care and access to tens of millions of Ethiopians, and helped key global actors like The Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. And, a skilled diplomat, his collaborative, context-specific, and solutions-oriented approach to global health and international relations is respected worldwide.”

As WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros’ vision, collaborative approach and proven effectiveness will help WHO better protect the health of all people.

Ethiopia

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

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CRDB Share Gains As Board Proposes Sh26bn Dividend

By Muyonga Jumanne

Dar es Salaam — Some 1,500 CRDB Bank shareholders will meet in Arusha at the weekend to endorse a Sh10 per share dividend proposed by the board.

The bank’s share gained by Sh5 at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) during the past two days to trade at Sh190.

The Sh10/share translates into a total dividend of Sh26 billion to be deducted from the bank’s last year net profit of Sh75 billion, managing director Charles Kimei said here yesterday.

He said the management and other banking minds would explain in detail, the challenges that banks faced in 2016 and the way forward.

“Stakeholders need to hear from people who are well versed in banking issues. During the AGM [annual general meeting], we will also discuss the banking sector as a whole and not just CRDB,” said Dr Kimei.

The AGM will be preceded by a seminar to equip shareholders with issues pertaining to ownership and stock market investment.

He said various topics would be presented at the seminar.

Forty-three per cent of CRDB’s shares are owned by thousands of investors who own less than one per cent each.

During the AGM, shareholders will also elect a new board member to replace former Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye who is retiring.

CRDB Bank Plc was incorporated in 1996 and was listed on DSE on June 17 2009. It has established two wholly owned subsidiaries in Tanzania in 2007 in Burundi in 2012.

Tanzania

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Water Projects Poorly Run – Govt

Morogoro — A senior government official has said poor management of rural water projects.

An assistant director in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Mr Jackson Mutazamba, told district executive directors (DEDs) meeting here yesterday that water provision and governance were important.

“Coverage of water projects in the country as of March this year was 72 per cent. However, some projects are not functioning due to poor governance,” he said adding that effective management of the ventures is an essential component in creating sustainable water supply particularly in the rural areas.

He said effective water management in many projects are hampered by an unclear allocation of roles and responsibilities, territorial fragmentation and limited capacity at the local level.

“DEDs from all councils in the country have gatheres to chart ways on how to improve the management of water projects to alleviate the water shortages in the country.”

He said they would have to ensure people in the respective areas to form water management committees which will be entrusted with the responsibility of handling and maintaining the projects. The government seeks to improve water access by 75 and 95 per cent in rural and urban areas respectively by 2020.

Tanzania

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CRDB Bullish On Growth Despite Challenges

By Abduel Elinaza

CRDB Bank remains optimistic of posting strong results this year despite policy changes that increased challenges in operations, its Managing Director, Charles Kimei has said.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday ahead of the bank’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for this week, Dr Kimei said the ongoing policy orientation, including macroeconomic and structural policies, as well as changes in regulatory framework were likely to result in increasing loan repayment default rate among borrowers.

The bank, with a subsidiary in Burundi, reported a Group pretax profit slow down to 118.2bn/- from 187.7bn/- attained in the previous year. The Tanzania operation alone posted a pre-tax profit of 111.9bn/- compared to 178.2bn/- recorded last year.

“It is against this context that we will exercise a cautious approach in implementing the bank’s strategy for 2017,” Dr Kimei said.

The Bank would focus on consolidation and effective cost management–implying taking a low gear in network expansion and improving asset utilization to generate quality income andimprove returns to shareholders.

The bank would also continue to focus on risk and regulatory compliance to optimize the business and improve beyond financial performance, he said.

“The challenges faced in 2016 are not expected to ease in 2017; however, most of the required adjustments to cope with new macroeconomic conditions have been made.

Tanzania

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

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Mufti Mubajje Urges Govt Not to Abuse Torture Act

By Abubaker Mayemba

Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje says government should respect the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act and avoid turning it into a paper tiger.

Addressing journalists yesterday at the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) offices in Mengo, Mufti Mubajje said the laws should be implemented without fear or favour and those involved should face the law.

He said police officers implicated in torturing suspects should be expeditiously charged as required by the act, and not be hidden by police under the guise of the Professional Standards Unit.

Section 4 of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012, provides that if one is found guilty of torture, he/she is liable to 15 years in jail or pay 360 currency points or both. According Article 24 of the 1995 Constitution, no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

“Whereas we support the efforts of the security agencies to arrest suspects in fighting criminal activities in the country, it should not be interpreted that security agencies are unconditionally licenced to indulge in acts of torture against the arrested suspects. This is a violation of the aforementioned act and the supreme law of the land,” said Mubajje.

“We wish to deplore and condemn the rising state of insecurity and the equally shocking acts of torture prevailing in the country. Let the case of Geoffrey Byamukama, the Mayor of Kamwenge, and other suspects who have appeared with evident torture marks be the last victims of torture in Uganda.”

Thirteen suspects linked with the assassination of Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi were recently arraigned before court with gaping wounds and some were limping.

So far, police have arrested four officers, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fred Tumuhirwe, ASP Patrick Munanura, Sgt Tumukunde and Constable Ronnie Byenkya for the torture of Byamukama who was also linked to Kaweesi’s assassination.

Mufti Mubajje advised security agencies to desist from inflicting bodily harm since they are sufficiently trained to extract information from suspects without unnecessarily violating their human rights.

On the current volatile security situation, Mubajje said religious leaders are worried about the high crime rates in the country especially in the districts of Masaka, Bukomansimbi and Lwengo. He said that if not controlled, the vice of criminals dumping threatening letters could spread to other parts of the country.

“We, therefore, call upon all the security agencies tasked with fighting crime to increase cooperation and information sharing among them and the public,” Mubajje said.

He further appealed to religious leaders to avoid apportioning blame to one religion or another as it incites hatred.

Uganda

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

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South Africa: Medics Protest As KZN Health Care System Collapses

“Management in the Department of Health is incompetent, especially at the hospital level”

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) and public interest law firm SECTION27 are warning that the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) health system is in dire straits.

On 5 May, over a thousand health workers marched in Durban to highlight the crisis. A memo, addressed to MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo, titled “Collapse of Health Services in KZN”. lists 16 problems, such as a shortage of staff, caused by “unfunded, frozen and abolished posts”, a lack of posts for medical school graduates doing their community service, an overtime policy that SAMA and unions have not agreed to, failures with equipment procurement, shortages of supplies, problems with medical records, and poor management.

The memo raised concerns about a lack of essential medicines and “consumables such as soap, gloves, needles”. It said: “Right now, those of us who work at grassroots level feel those above have callously placed a ‘do not resuscitate order’ on the health system in the province.”

At the march, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa, chairman of the SAMA KZN coastal branch, which led the march, said that the department had overspent in the 2015/2016 financial year, leaving it short of funds in the current year.

Mzukwa told GroundUp the issues stem from a combination of budget cuts and management issues. “The department exceeded the budget by more than one billion rands,” he said. “Management in the Department of Health is incompetent, especially at the hospital level.”

A nurse at Mbalenhle clinic in Pietermaritzburg, who did not want to be named, said that the oncology and urology departments were collapsing. “Patients that could be saved are dying. We cannot do anything about it because we are always waiting for equipment to be fixed,” she explained.

On Monday, SECTION27 said it had “received reports that Inkosi Albert Luthuli and Addington Hospitals are no longer able to effectively treat cancer patients due to equipment breakdowns and a shortage of specialists. Air-conditioning machines are not being repaired resulting in surgeries being cancelled or hospital infections. The Health Professions Council of South Africa has warned several departments that they will lose their accreditation to train specialists in the current situation. The consequences of the crisis extend even to needless patient deaths.”

Communications Officer at the Department of Health KZN Agiza Hlongwane said that the concerns raised by SAMA are being discussed, with a solution still underway.

Halotel Principals in Hot Soup

By Faustine Kapama

The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday sentenced Viettel Tanzania Limited, its Managing Director, Do Manh Hong (44) and seven other foreigners to pay a total of 689m/- for occasioning loss to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

This sum includes 459m/- of actual losses occasioned for fraudulent use of communication network and the rest relates to fines imposed after Principal Resident Magistrate Wilbard Mashauri convicted the accused persons on their own plea of guilty to several counts for which they stood charged.

Viettel Tanzania Limited, trading as Halotel, which is a mobile communications company providing voice, messaging, data and converged services in Tanzania had to save the day to rescue its managing director after undertaking to pay a total of 479m/- out of the total amount imposed.

The remaining amount of 210m/- will have to be borne out by other convicts. They are Dilshad Ahmed (36), Rohail Yaqoob (47), Khalid Mahmood (59), Ashfaq Ahmed (38), Muhamad Aneess (48), Imtiaz Ammar (33), who are Pakistan nationals, and a Sri-Lankan, Ramesh Kandasamy (36).

Delivering the sentence, the magistrate sent a strong message to foreign investors against engaging in malpractices in the communications industry.

Instead of investing for the betterment of the nation, they decided to sabotage the country’s economy. He warned that nothing of the sort would be entertained.

The magistrate ordered each accused person to pay a fine of 5m/- for each of seven counts of importation and installation of electronic communication equipment without a licence, use of unapproved electronic equipment and operating electronic communications without a licence.

There was another charge against Viettel Tanzania Limited, namely, that of its Managing Director’s failure to verify some information.

Apart from paying such fine, all the convicts were ordered to pay the losses occasioned to TCRA. Earlier, upon been convicted, Senior State Attorneys Jehovanase Zacharia, for the prosecution, had asked the court to provide severe sentences to the accused persons in order to deter other foreigners, who would be tempted to commit such crimes.

However, defence counsel Fatuma Seif and Samwel Shadrack, requested the court to provide lenient sentences to their clients because they were first offenders to face conviction in a criminal offence and that they had dependent families.

It was alleged that on diverse dates between November 2016 and February 2017 in the city, the accused persons unlawfully created a system designated to fraudulently use or obtain network service with intent to avoid rates payable for receiving or transmitting international incoming traffic.

Tanzania

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

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