Posts tagged as: country

IMF Warns Govt’s Revenue Targets Projections Too Optimistic

Dar es Salaam — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Tanzania over what it termed over-optimistic revenue projections, which may force the country to delay the construction of some of its major infrastructural projects.

IMF deputy managing director Tao Zhang said Tanzania’s budget execution in 2016/17 faced challenges, mainly due to external financing shortfalls that led to low execution of capital spending and a tight liquidity situation.

He said the 2017/18 budget reaffirmed the authorities’ objective of scaling up public investment, while preserving fiscal sustainability.

“However, potentially over-optimistic revenue projections call for its prudent implementation, including delaying some large projects until availability of revenue is confirmed during the mid-year budget review,” Mr Tao says in a statement issued by IMF.

Mr Tao was speaking after the executive board of the IMF completed the sixth review of Tanzania’s economic performance under a programme supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) on June 23.

The board approved the authorities’ request for a six-month extension of the current PSI arrangement and granted a waiver for the nonobservance of the end-December 2016 assessment criterion on tax revenue because the slippage was minor.

Tanzania plans to increase spending in its budget for the fiscal year ending June 2018 by 7.3 per cent to Sh31.7 trillion with a key focus on infrastructure.

Like neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania wants to take advantage of its long coastline and upgrade outdated railways, ports and roads to serve growing economies in land-locked parts of Africa, according to Reuters.

In the coming fiscal year, Tanzania plans to borrow Sh6.17 trillion from domestic sources and expects Sh3.97 trillion from external concessional loans and grants. It is also seeking an additional Sh1.59 trillion shillings from external sources.

Tanzania

Two Local Leaders Shot in Kibiti Confirmed Dead

Kibiti health care center medical officer in charge Dr Sadoki Bandiko has confirmed that two civic leaders, who were… Read more »

Digital Money Accounts Boost Diaspora Remittances

Photo: Daily News

Worldremit mobile money platform.

By Masembe Tambwe

Tanzanians living in the Diaspora have hit a milestone of 10,000 unique monthly transactions using WorldRemit, a digital money transfer service.

In an exclusive communication via email, the WorldRemit founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ismail Ahmed said that there has been a 150 per cent year on year growth in Tanzania last year, driven primarily by the rapid expansion of mobile money accounts as the preferred receive method.

“Our Mobile Money partnerships combined with existing services for bank deposits and cash pick-up will give more choice to Tanzanians, further supporting the transition from costly offline remittances via high street agents to faster, cheaper and safer online transfer methods,” Mr Ahmed said.

Remittances play an important role in the economy of Tanzania where in 2015 the country received a total of 390 million US dollars according to the World Bank, almost ten times the amount received in 2010.

WorldRemit customers can send money to Tanzania via Mobile Money to TigoPesa, Vodacom M-Pesa and Zantel EzyPesa Mobile Money accounts, as well as bank deposit and cash pick up.

The money transfer service early this week added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to send money internationally and reach millions using mobile money accounts.

Pioneering a mobile-first approach to the $600bn a year remittance industry, the move sees WorldRemit bringing together the leading players in mobile payments from Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launching the global rollout of the service at MoneyConf 2017, WorldRemit will enable Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to +112 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network.

The integration will make WorldRemit the only remittance provider offering international payments through Android Pay around the globe. By connecting directly with Android Pay, WorldRemit customers can transfer money instantly across continents in just five taps – without entering credit card or 3DS details.

Tanzania

335 Tax Defaulters’ Properties to be Auctioned

Tanesco is among the 335 companies and individuals, whose properties will be auctioned in July at the Dar es Salaam… Read more »

Political Parties Challenged to Embrace Gender Equality

By Janeth Mesomapya

Dar es Salaam — Women participation in politics is said to remain low because it isn’t a priority within political parties. Political Science Professor Ruth Meena voiced this during a panel discussion at this year’s Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Wednesday.

She said that the gender gap in politics is fueled by the fact that gender equality is not a priority, even in nominating candidates during the elections. “The constitution should compel political parties to align with international policies in order to enhance gender equality and bridge the gap,” she said.

Former Parliament Speaker Ms Anna Makinda said young girls should be taught to be bold from the family level to be able to stand against any sort of gender discrimination. “Let’s build a society where women are confident of who they are and participate all socio-economic activities,” she added.

Tanzania

Magufuli Orders Seizure of Undeveloped Farms

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has directed the confiscation of all undeveloped farms in the country and ordered that… Read more »

Mary Wambui Calls Time On Elective Politics

By Joseph Wangui

Othaya MP Mary Wambui has quit elective politics after losing in the Jubilee Party primaries.

Ms Wambui on Wednesday said she had decided not to ditch the party to defend her seat as an independent candidate like a host of incumbent MPs in Nyeri have done.

SH15 MILLION

The first-term MP said she would focus her energy and influence on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election campaigns.

Speaking in Othaya town after issuing bursary cheques worth Sh15 million to 1,000 students from low-income backgrounds, the MP said her desire was to see residents get education and development.

She lost in the nominations to Gichuki Mugambi, who garnered 20,228 votes against her 12,524.

Ms Wambui called on voters to turn out in large numbers during the August elections and vote for Mr Kenyatta, saying he had performed well.

PROJECTS

“Giving President Kenyatta a second term in office will enable the country to continue witnessing more growth and development. Tens of projects have been put up to improve the economy,” she said.

She condemned the opposition coalition Nasa, describing as “selfish” the five-man team led by Raila Odinga.

“The Nasa coalition is an outfit that is out to divide Kenyans. They are more concerned about themselves and their families than Kenyans,” she said.

She was referring to the nomination of Nasa co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka’s son, Kennedy, to the East African Legislative Assembly.

She further took a swipe at Nasa’s pledges to Kenyans ahead of the General Election, calling them “unrealistic”.

RIVALS

She took over the parliamentary seat from retired President Mwai Kibaki, who had represented the constituency in the National Assembly for 34 years.

In the last elections, Mr Kibaki opposed Ms Wambui’s candidature and supported Mr Mugambi of the Sabasaba Asili Party.

Mr Mugambi will face Nairobi based-lawyer Peter King’ara of the Democratic Party and Zack Ireri of Maendeleo Chap Chap in the race to succeed Ms Wambui.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

By Bernard Lugongo

Dodoma — The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the country’s industrialisation drive further.

The ministry, yesterday, asked Parliament to endorse a proposed budget of 122 billion/- for the next financial year, out of which 80bn/- will be set for development projects and the remaining 42bn/- for recurrent budget. In the current financial year, the development budget stands at 40bn/- and 41.8bn/- was for recurrent budget.

Comparatively, the recurrent budget for 2016/17 and that of 2017/18 has remained almost the same with a slight increase of 0.2bn/- , but there was a significant increase of 40bn/- in development funding.

When tabling the budget, the Minister for the docket, Mr Charles Mwijage, pointed out that the budget allocation indicates the government’s commitment to realise industrialisation vision come 2025.

Some of the development projects to be undertaken during the coming year as endeavours to build an industrial-economy base, establishment of special economic zones, developing the industrial area in Kibaha (TAMCO), developing researches for the development of industries, and to increase capital in the National Entrepreneurship Development Fund (NEDF).

He said that 200m/- from the development budget will be spent for developing flagship projects, such as in coordinating and monitoring works for the Liganga and Mchuchuma coal projects in Njombe Region.

Furthermore, about 2bn/-, equivalent to 2.8 per cent, of the development budget, will be used for financing building of a base of industrial economy, including Soda Ash project at Engaruka Valley and revival of General Tyres industry in Arusha.

Giving statistics of the industries established so far, Mr Mwijage said the country has 49,243 factories whereby 85 per cent of them are very small industries, small industries account for 14 per cent, middle industries (0.35 per cent) and big factories (0.5 percent).

“These figures give a picture that industrial development in Tanzania, like it is the case in other countries, comes as a result of putting more strength on small and very small industries as well as middle -level factories,” he argued.

Since the Fifth Phase Government took power, over 390 big industries worth 5tri/- were registered by last March and are expected to provide at least 38,862 job opportunities to Tanzanians.

These industries are at different stages of implementation, while some of them are at the final stages, ready for production. The Parliamentary Committee on Industries, Trade and Environment asked for timely disbursement of funds to the ministry so that it could undertake development projects within the planned timeframe.

Meanwhile, the Committee appealed to the government to lift the ban on coal importation into the country.

The Committee Chairperson, Mr Stanslaus Nyongo (Maswa East-CCM), told Parliament that the current local production of coal does not meet the required demand, especially that of cement manufacturers.

According to Mr Nyongo, as the government gears up to boost local production of coal by attracting major investments in the area, it should allow manufacturers to import the commodity. “Apart from low production of coal, manufacturers are facing a major challenge in transporting the commodity from Ruvuma to their plants.

The roads around the coal mine areas are in bad state and are impassable during rainy season. The nearby railway line can’t handle heavy load. Currently, coal amounts to 70 per cent of entire production cost of cement,” he said.

When contributing to the proposed budget, some MPs expressed anger over privatised industries whose owners have failed to develop them and as a result they collapsed.

The Mtama lawmaker, Mr Nape Nnauye (CCM), and Special Seats MP Mwanne Mchemba (CCM) unanimously proposed that the government should immediately repossess those collapsed industries from investors and give them to others.

Dar es Salaam, Arusha Rule the Roost As Fakes Rock Insurance Sector

By Hazla Omar

Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country’s two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.

A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country’s roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.

TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.

“Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles,” pointed Dr Saqware.

With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.

According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.

Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country’s total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.

To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.

TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or ‘TIRA-MIS’ which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.

According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.

Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.

Using the ‘TIRA-MIS’ portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link ‘Validate Motor Insurance Sticker’ or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective ‘Motor Insurance Sticker Number.’

The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link ‘mis.tira.go.tz’ and following instructions.

Cop Killers Must Be Tracked

The nation suffered another dismaying setback early this week when unknown assailants attacked and killed yet another police officer, Mr Deus Malenge, who was the Officer in-Charge of District (OCD) for Uvinza in Kigoma Region.

The officer, who was on his annual leave, had just driven back home in his car during a dark night from an outing at Kinyerezi on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam when he met his untimely death.

The hoodlums were lurking in dark shadows awaiting his arrival. The murderers used heavy objects which included axes and pieces of metal bars to bludgeon their victim. Indeed, the Police Force must be wondering who is attacking and killing its members devil-may-care style.

Armed bandits kill police officers nearly every month in this country. Most of the killings occur in Coast Region and the city of Dar es Salaam. Some killings have occurred in Tanga Region.

Perhaps the most daring attack mounted by criminals occurred in July, last year, when the bandits raided Sitakishari Police Station, and killed several police officers and a civilian.

The cut-throats also carted away several firearms, some of which are yet to be recovered. Those who trifle with the Police Force must pay a price. The motive behind the Kinyerezi killing remains a mystery.

Nevertheless, the Police Force must track the hoodlums and apprehend them. They must be arraigned. If they are found guilty for their nefarious felony they must face the full wrath of the law.

It is incredible that anyone in their right mind should commit such a heinous crime. This country is also home to armed robbers who, in some cases, kill their victims. These miscreants strike even in broad daylight.

This social evil, it appears, has become an incurable cancer in this country. The saddest part of this unfortunate scenario is that not only do these psychopaths deprive their victims of their hardearned prosperity; they also maim or kill people.

The current crop of armed robbers is, to say the least, ruthless, merciless, and evil. Before these times, these evil forces in this country carried out their nefarious and diabolical activities at midnight. What shocks this nation is what appears to be a large number of illegal firearms in highly dangerous hands.

These include AK47s, and high velocity pistols. Some of the guns have been stolen from police officers from military armories in neighbouring countries.

What the Police Force should do is mobilize good Samaritans to show its agents where illegal gun holders are located and, if possible, where they hide their arms. Bandits and other gun totters live in homes where it is difficult to hide their activities.

Tanzania

Increased Budget Allocation to Push Govt Industrial Drive

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has doubled development budget in the 2017/18 financial year, pushing the… Read more »

East Africa: East Africa On High Alert As Ebola Hits DRC

By Ivan R. Mugisha and Stellar Murumba

Eastern African countries are on high alert following the confirmation of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The move comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an Ebola outbreak in DRC on Friday, following one positive test in a specialised laboratory in Kinshasa, the country’s capital.

Nine suspected cases including three deaths have been reported in DRC since April 22, while six patients are currently hospitalised.

Rwanda and DRC have set up a joint monitoring team that includes doctors and Ebola experts from the WHO and medical charity Doctors Without Borders (known by its French acronym MSF).

Rwanda has also reinstated Ebola screening at its points of entry especially at the two border posts it shares with DRC – Gisenyi-Goma and Cyangugu-Bukavu.

“We are following the situation in DRC closely and we are more than ready to protect our population,” Malick Kayumba, Rwanda’s Health ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“Rwandans and everyone in Rwanda should avoid travelling to the DRC, especially to that area where Ebola has been confirmed until the situation is clear,” he added.

Mr Kayumba said the outbreak is currently confined in a remote area in North DRC and is unlikely to spread widely in the region.

“But we shall continue to share information with Rwandans and ensure that they are safe and know how to protect themselves,” he said.

Surveillance of travellers

In Kenya, holding rooms at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi have been re-activated to isolate suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases while awaiting possible transfer to health facilities.

“We have strengthened screening and surveillance of travellers from and through DRC at all points of entry,” said director of medical services Jackson Kioko in a statement on Tuesday.

“We wish to assure Kenyans that there is no suspected case of Ebola virus in the country and they should remain vigilant, look out for any such illnesses and report to the nearest health facility without delay for immediate verification and investigation.”

The cluster of undiagnosed illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province – North of the DRC, bordering Central African Republic was first reported on April 22.

Following the reports, Rwanda’s Health minister Diane Gashumba directed all hospital directors to be on high alert and to activate their rapid response teams.

All persons with travel history from or through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Rwanda are required to provide a minimum package of information to guide investigations surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

This includes, but is not limited to; personal details, exact location of origin or transit, history of contact with potential Ebola virus disease cases, presence of any suggestive signs and symptoms of the disease.

Similar instructions have also been given in Kenya.

Declaration of contact while in Kenya will also be collected to aid personal risk assessment and daily follow-up for 21 days if they (travellers) will still be residents.

DRC has reported eight Ebola outbreaks since 1976 with the last one occurring in 2014 that was quickly contained and killed 49 people.

Presidential Candidate Vows to Soldier on Despite Nude Photo Scandal

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African

Diane Shima Rwigara addresses a press conference, announcing her candidature for the Rwanda presidency.

Ever since Diane Shima Rwigara came out to express her political views — and later declared her intention to run for president of Rwanda in the August 4 elections — the 35-year-old has attracted praise and criticism in equal measure.

One week after nude photographs — which she has disowned — were circulated on social media a day after she announced her presidential bid, Ms Rwigara says she will not be deterred: “I will not stop. I am going to continue with my preparations. The incident made me stronger, more resilient and determined to continue with this cause,” she told The EastAfrican.

The photographs were released through an email titled “the shameless acts of Diane Shima Rwigara who wants to contest for presidency”, with the sender adding “look at our presidential candidate”. The sender identified himself/herself as Emmy Twahirwa and claimed to be a journalist.

Robert Mugabe, a journalist who has reportedly been associated with Ms Rwigara, later stated on Facebook that the photos were doctored and were the work of her detractors.

Following that, Ms Rwigara took a few days off the public scene and later told The EastAfrican that the photographs were manipulated.

The incident elicited sympathy for the US-educated activist-turned politician, with many condemning the act of shaming her and others called for investigation.

Bold

No government agency has commented on the nudes scandal nor has any official come out to publicly condemn the sharing of the photos or denounce the presidential hopeful over her supposed “questionable integrity”.

But Ms Rwigara, who on Wednesday May 10 went to the National Electoral Commission to present the list of people who will sign for her and pick documents needed for the purpose, attracted wide coverage.

As an independent candidate, she must raise 600 signatures, at least 20 from each of the 30 districts. She believes that once she makes it to the ballot, she would make a good case and race against President Paul Kagame, who is widely expected to win the August 4 polls with a landslide.

More on This

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Ms Rwigara, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the California State University, Sacramento and a master’s degree in accounting from California State University, San Francisco, has surprised many with her boldness.On February 23, she held a press conference where she described herself as a “concerned Rwandan and activist” but denied intending to engage in politics. She highlighted several issues the country was facing that she said needed to be addressed urgently. Among these, she said, were the growing levels of poverty and hunger, which she said the government did not want to recognise, let alone address.”I am neither a politician nor a member of any political party,” Ms Rwigara told The EastAfrican shortly after the press conference, adding that she decided to speak out about the issues “because no one else appeared willing to speak about them.”On May 3, she called another press conference, during which she announced her intention to pit candidature against President Kagame.No freedom of press“The reason I am contesting is because our country has a stained past. The RPF government has achieved a number of things, attempted to deliver on others but completely failed on several aspects. Rwandans still face many challenges including poverty, hunger and injustices in all sections of the society,” she said.Ms Rwigara also said there was no freedom of press and expression in Rwanda, pointing out that none of the media were critical while those who tried to criticise the government often ended up in trouble, pointing out that she was ready to raise those concerns on behalf of the people.”We have cases of insecurity as people disappear without trace, some are killed while others flee the country. Most Rwandans know these but won’t speak out because of fear,” she said.Indeed, her move caught many off-guard, in a country where many people prefer silence rather than point out issues affecting them. A lot of talk followed her press conference, with many wondering where she got the guts to run for the country’s highest office.Several other prospective candidates have announced similar intentions for the top job in Rwanda, among them Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, former journalist Philippe Mpayimana and Gilbert Mwenedata, who will contest as independent candidates.InjusticesThe daughter of Assinapol Rwigara, a prominent businessman and RPF member, who died in February 2015 in an accident, Ms Rwigara maintains that her political ambitions were her personal decision and should not be in any way connected to her family.The embattled family has been in the limelight since the passing on of the tycoon after it contested the police version of the circumstances under which Mr Rwigara died. They went as far as petitioning President Kagame to call for an inquiry into the death.Since then, the family found itself in trouble when Kigali city authorities demolished a hotel of the deceased businessman because “it did not have the necessary permits”. Several of Mr Rwigara’s properties were also repossessed by the City of Kigali administration.Ms Rwigara maintains that she is not driven by anger or disgruntled by events surrounding her family, but says the manner in which her father died are some of the injustices she is willing to fight to correct.Her bid has not been helped by support from ‘renowned enemies’ of Kigali, including members of the Rwanda National Congress, an exiled group which Rwanda refers to as a criminal organisation, and of which one of her exiled uncles Benjamin Rutabana is a member.Ms Rwigara denies being a member of the group or any other political party, existing inside or outside the country.

Jinja Stuck With Shs 1.3bn Street Lights Bill

Jinja municipality is stuck with an accumulated power bill worth Shs 1.3 billion.

Rajab Kitto, the spokesman, Jinja municipality, says the bill has been accumulating over the last five years.

Local authorities are mandated to clear power bills using collections from local revenue. He says the failure to clear the power bill, prompted Umeme to disconnect street lights plunging the municipality into total darkness.

According to Kitto, they are unable to raise sufficient local revenue to clear the bill.

“Of course you are aware that Umeme cut off its power and demands us a lot of money, which is about 1.3 billion. Unless people pay, there is no way we are going to pay that money. We are not in position to pay”, he said.

Majid Batambuze, the mayor Jinja municipality and chairperson Urban Authorities Association, says municipalities unable to sustain street lighting because of the heavy power bills. He wants government to direct power suppliers to incur the cost of streetlights across the country.

“These urban councils collect less revenue and yet they have a lot of other costs to meet. Street lighting is a very expensive venture. If the government can direct the power suppliers to incur the cost of the street lighting before being contracted, then the problem would be solved,” he said.

He however, says most urban council leaders are opting from solar powered streetlights, which don’t have monthly bills.

Uganda

Are Police Harbouring Criminal Syndicate Within the Force?

Some weeks ago, President Museveni made a candid statement about the police, which I believe most Ugandans applauded.… Read more »

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