Posts tagged as: minister

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Photo: Daily News

Capital Development Authority building.

By Alvar Mwakyusa

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), stressing that the purpose for its establishment in 1973 had long gone.

“CDA was formed to serve its purpose at that time. Things have changed and we need to move with time. Its dissolution is a significant step towards development,” the senior citizen remarked in response to an inquiry by ‘Daily News’ on the disbandment.

Mr Msekwa hailed President John Magufuli for the bold move to disband the authority, remarking further that; “every generation must write its own book.”

In a previous interview with this paper last year, the former Speaker revealed how he and other leaders at that time played an instrumental role in establishing CDA, to foster the transfer of the capital city from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

“I remember attending a meeting chaired by the then President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, which agreed on forming an entity that would spearhead the transfer and it came out to be CDA,” he said then, during the interview at his home.

And, in another interview towards the end of last year, former Prime Minister Cleopa Msuya recalled how the government was determined to shift its seat to the central region.

“The late George Kahama was the first Director General of CDA and he is the one who developed the master plan for Dodoma,” the former PM explained.

In a related development, the chair of a taskforce formed by Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Jordan Rugimbana to work on grievances of residents against the now defunct CDA, Mr Aron Kinunda, echoed the views by Mr Msekwa, noting that the objectives for its formation had been met.

“The dissolution of CDA, by President Magufuli, is a good step for the development of Dodoma; it is now apparent that land conflicts arising from differing legislations covering CDA on one hand and Dodoma Municipal Council on the other, will be no more,” he explained.

According to Mr Kinunda, residents in the designated capital received the news with a sigh of relief, since the authority had turned out to be “a menace to the society.”

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 »

Ethiopia: Committee Urges Ministry to Strengthen Green Development

By Tewodros Kassa

The Ministry of Water Irrigation and Electricity presented its Nine-month performance report to the Natural Resource Development and Environmental Protection Affairs Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representatives yesterday.

Presenting the report, Minister Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele said that the ministry is doing its level best in generating power from renewable energy sources.

Rural electrification program benefiting 60-70 million peoples is the focus area of the ministry for the next three years, he added.

Several water and wind power projects are nearing completion, in which most of them have achieved over 50 per cent completion, he said and adding, the GERD overall performance has reached 58.4 per cent.

He said that the ministry has set to generate 11,223.65 Giga watt hour energy in the reported period and generated 10,334.54 GW Hour energy (92 per cent).

The minister further said that it has earned more than 49 million USD from power export to Sudan and Djibouti.

According to him, financial shortage, trained human power turn out as well as false reports and contractors’ technical, material and financial limitations were the major hurdles for the effective implementations of projects.

After hearing the report, the Committee Deputy Chairperson Jembernesh Kinfe urged the Ministry to strengthen green economy development and supervision and support towards the execution of mega projects.

She emphasized that the ministry should succeed efforts regarding mobilizing the country’s economic development, since carries out the leading mega projects; like power supply and huge irrigation projects.

Ten towns out of the 15 towns coordinated drinking water projects have been completed while remaining ones are nearing completion, she said and added, all stakeholders should work closely for completion of the project.

She underlined that the ministry should intensify activities towards rural electrification and meet power demand of various industries across the nation.

According to her, upgrading substations and transformers capacity, solving power disruptions and accomplishing mega projects on time should be the focus areas of the ministry.

Ethiopia

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 »

Africa: Using Agriculture and Agribusiness to Bring About Industrialisation in Africa

opinionBy Akinwumi Adesina

No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies.

But the performance of the sector has historically been low. Cereal yields are significantly below the global average. Modern farm inputs, including improved seeds, mechanisation and irrigation, are severely limited.

In the past, agriculture was seen as the domain of the humanitarian development sector, as a way to manage poverty. It was not seen as a business sector for wealth creation. Yet Africa has huge potential in agriculture – and with it huge investment potential. Some 65% of all the uncultivated arable land left in the world lies in Africa. When Africa manages to feed itself, as – within a generation – it will, also be able to feed the 9 billion people who will inhabit the planet in 2050.

However, Africa is wasting vast amounts of money and resources by underrating its agriculture sector. For example, it spends $35 billion in foreign currency annually importing food, a figure that is set to rise to over $100 billion per year by 2030.

In so doing, Africa is choking its own economic future. It is importing the food that it should be growing itself. It is exporting, often to developed countries, the jobs it needs to keep and nurture. It also has to pay inflated prices resulting from global commodity supply fluctuations.

The food and agribusiness sector is projected to grow from $330 billion today to $1 trillion by 2030, and remember that there will also be 2 billion people looking for food and clothing. African enterprises and investors need to convert this opportunity and unlock this potential for Africa and Africans.

Africa must start by treating agriculture as a business. It must learn fast from experiences elsewhere, for example in south east Asia, where agriculture has been the foundation for fast-paced economic growth, built on a strong food processing and agro-industrial manufacturing base.

This is the transformation formula: agriculture allied with industry, manufacturing and processing capability equals strong and sustainable economic development, which creates wealth throughout the economy.

Africa must not miss opportunities for such linkages whenever and wherever they occur. We must reduce food system losses all along the food chain, from the farm, storage, transport, processing and retail marketing.

To drive agro-industrialization, we must be able to finance the sector. Doing so will help unlock the potential of agriculture as a business on the continent. Under its Feed Africa strategy, the African Development Bank will invest $24 billion in agriculture and agribusiness over the next ten years. This is a 400% increase in financing, from the current levels of $600 million per year.

A key component will be providing $700 million to a flagship program known as “Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation” for the scaling up of agricultural technologies to reach millions of farmers in Africa in the next ten years.

Finance and farming have not always been easy partners in Africa. Another pillar of the Bank’s strategy is to accelerate commercial financing for agriculture. Despite its importance, the agriculture sector receives less than 3% of the overall industry financing provided by the banking sector.

Risk sharing instruments may resolve this, by sharing the risk of lending by commercial banks to the agriculture sector. Development finance institutions and multilateral development banks should be setting up national risk-sharing facilities in every African country to leverage agricultural finance. And the African Development Bank is setting the pace based on a very successful risk sharing scheme that I promoted while Agriculture Minister in Nigeria.

Rural infrastructure development is critical for the transformation of the agriculture sector, including electricity, water, roads and rail to transport finished agricultural and processed foods.

The lack of this infrastructure drives up the cost of doing business and has discouraged food manufacturing companies from getting established in rural areas. Governments should provide fiscal and infrastructure incentives for food manufacturing companies to move into rural areas, closer to zones of production than consumption.

This can be achieved by developing agro-industrial zones and staple crop processing zones in rural areas. These zones, supported with consolidated infrastructure, including roads, water, electricity and perhaps suitable accommodation, will drive down the cost of doing business for private food and agribusiness firms.

They will create new markets for farmers, boosting economic opportunities in rural areas, stimulating jobs and attracting higher domestic and foreign investments into the rural areas. This will drive down the cost of doing business, as well as significantly reduce the high level of African post-harvest losses. As agricultural income rises, neglected rural areas will become zones of economic prosperity.

Our goal is simple: to support massive agro-industrial development all across Africa. When that happens, Africa will have taken its rightful place as a global powerhouse in food production. It could well also be feeding the world. At this point the economic transformation that we are all working for will be complete.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is President of the African Development Bank.

Ghana: Fishermen Apologize to Minister

press release

The Greater Accra branch of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council has apologized to the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development for the behavior shown by their fellow fishermen during the inauguration of the Fisheries Watch Volunteers at Ada.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, yesterday, the Secretary of the Council, Nene Tetteh Siaw IV of New Ningo, described as appalling the attitude portrayed by some fisher folks at the event, adding that they could have used a different medium to address their displeasure.

A statement read by Nene Siaw indicated that the fishing sector employed over 2.7million people who represented 10 per cent of the country’s population and that it was worrying that some fishing activities posed danger to the sea.

It observed that some fishermen used light, DDT and carbide as bait to catch fish from the sea, a situation, he said, had led to long hours as well as many days to get the current low catch.

According to the statement, the Council, over the years, had collaborated with Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission to come up with policies and strategies that would engender responsible and sustainable fishing practices and commended the Ministry for their continuous support.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council for Greater Accra, Nii Akpo Djamlodja VI, disclosed that the Council employed Ghanaians to report fishermen who sold fishes that were caught with light or chemicals to help stop such menace.

Nii Djamlodja, therefore, urged the Fisheries Enforcement Unit to intensify patrol operations and seize canoes used for light fishing.

Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo & Aliyah Bayali)

Ghana

New Task Force to Inspect Fishing Vessels Launched

An eight-member Task Force that will enforce fisheries law and regulations has been inaugurated in Accra. Read more »

Nigeria: Confronting Nigeria’s Energy Challenge

opinion

Some years after the much-heralded privatisation of the energy sector in Nigeria, power generation and supply have sadly, remained at best epileptic, almost dismal. The organised private sector, businessmen and private citizens are all disenchanted with the excuses and bickering which have dominated the power sector. This near-crisis situation came to the fore recently in Jos when the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola read the riot act to distribution companies (DISCOs) to ‘stop the blame game on infrastructure and run the assets they inherited in line with privatisation.’ That top players in the sector are still foot-dragging and having puerile disputes over their obligations shows the depth of the challenge which the sector still faces. This is sad. It is unfortunate. It is embarrassing.

The warning took a long time coming. The pains and travails of the average Nigerian groaning under lack of power supply must have reached the ears of government before now. The ruling party made pronouncements during campaigns that an All Progressives Congress government would fix the power sector problem within two years. From all indications, a solution is not in sight. Rather, the distribution companies are complaining about infrastructure. The government is complaining that DISCOs have not been making remittances to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET). This is not what Nigerians bargained for. Certainly this is not what the Federal Government promised Nigerians before and after the privatisation exercise. There are still areas in the country which stay for upwards of three weeks without power supply. Manufacturers still rely more on power generators to produce goods. Importation of generators is still high in foreign exchange consumption. Indeed, it would seem that there is a cartel that is sworn to making the nation live in darkness by thwarting all efforts to improve the power sector.

Sadly, the old problems have re-emerged. Inflated contracts, assets stripping and buck passing still haunt the energy sector. The capacity of the national grid has not been expanded to accommodate increased supply of megawatts of energy. The DISCOs are deeply indebted to the generating companies, GENCOs. Indeed, the lack of transparency which dominated the privatisation process has come to haunt the entire sector.

Who are the owners of the 11 companies that bought into the privatisation process? Why are they now complaining about infrastructure? Was there no due diligence before the purchases were made? Why has the capacity of the national grid not been expanded? Why is Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) still in the hands of government? Why is the nation still bogged down by the antiquated practice of feeding all generated energy into the same old national grid? Is it true that the GENCOs constantly generate thousands of megawatts that are lying idle because the national grid cannot exceed the installed capacity of 5,000 megawatts? Is it not time Nigeria started thinking outside the box to solve the national embarrassment that is public electricity?

Nigeria’s inability to plan for the future is a great challenge. The minister once admitted that there is no reliable data to plan for energy generation. In other words, there is no accurate information on the number of households or industries which the nation must generate and supply with power. This is a great drawback. The present administration should establish that fact as soon as possible.

Power supply is crucial to national development. With a vibrant power sector, industries would perform at optimum capacity. Small business men and women would be able to plan and live their lives with minimum costs. The multiplier effect on the people would be tremendous. Currently, the cost of running generators is overwhelming. It adds to production costs. It makes importation more attractive. It compels manufacturers to produce their goods outside Nigeria.

Privatising the sector was and still the best option in the circumstances. The individuals and business concerns that have benefitted from the exercise have an obligation to the Nigerian people. Power generation and supply must be steady and constant. There should be no excuses from government or from operators. All existing laws which pose a cog in the wheel of progress should be amended or removed immediately through due process. The federal spirit which the 1999 Constitution guarantees should be brought to bear on power generation and distribution. The point made by the Energy Minister that DISCOs ‘don’t have exclusivity over distribution areas’ needs to be pursued with vigour. Provision must be made for all generated energy to be utilised appropriately. The national grid concept has become anachronistic; it should be jettisoned. Smaller units of power generation and distribution should be created across the country. That way, the competitive dynamic and the spirit of efficiency which underlies privatisation would be felt by all in the country.

Nigeria

126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Museveni, Speaker Kadaga Criticize Police Over Torture

Photo: The Observer

IGP Kale Kayihura addressing the press at parliament.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

The police leadership yesterday appeared to have run out of places and people to hide behind over alleged torture of suspected criminals, after President Museveni and Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga separately spoke out against the sordid practice.

In a letter to the heads of the army, police and intelligence services, Museveni said acts of torture must stop. On the other hand, Kadaga told parliament that the police officers responsible for the torture of suspects should be charged for committing crime against humanity.

Further condemnation of police brutality came from the minister for security, Lt Gen (rtd) Henry Tumukunde, who told Police to own up when they do wrong.

Museveni, in a letter addressed to Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Kale Kayihura and the director general of the Intelligence Services, disparaged the police for using torture as a means of extracting confessions form suspects.

He said by doing so, the security agencies are likely to commit three possible mistakes that may even interfere with the fight against crime.

“Number one, you may torture the wrong person, somebody who is totally innocent. This is very unfair.

Secondly, somebody may admit guilt when he is innocent in order to be spared being tortured. This will make the real criminal escape in order to commit more crimes later,” Museveni wrote.

“Thirdly, confessions by the criminals are not necessary. Even if the suspects do not admit their guilt, if the investigators do their work well (finger-prints, photographs, DNA tests, eyewitnesses, the use of other scientific methods, the use of dogs etc), the criminals can get convicted,” the president further wrote.

Museveni’s statement came against a backdrop of distressing images of the LC-III chairman of Kamwenge town council, Geoffrey Byamukama, who has for some time been hospitalized at Nakasero hospital after being tortured by police officers investigating the recent murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, a former police spokesperson.

Days before Byamukama’s plight was brought to the fore last week, 15 other suspects in the murder had cried to the Nakawa chief magistrate about the torture they were subjected to at police’s detention facility at Nalufenya, Jinja municipality.

Police spokesman Asan Kasingye tried to downplay the suspects’ claims, saying the suspects had got their injuries elsewhere, but not in police custody at Nalufenya.

While the government could make up with such a claim, Byamukama’s fresh wounds offered bad publicity for the government at both the local and the international fronts that it got the highest offices in the land speaking against them.

“The use of torture is unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again if it was being used as I see some groups claiming in the media,” Museveni wrote.

WHY PANIC?

The president warned his security chiefs against acting in panic, reminding them of their efforts against rebel groups led by Alice Lakwena, Joseph Kony and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who despite being heavily supported by external forces were defeated by the UPDF.

“We cannot fail to cope with cowards using boda bodas to kill people who are peacefully sitting in their cars or walking along the streets,” Museveni said.

He added that with a little adjustment, the government shall avenge the deaths of the various Muslim clerics, state attorney Joan Kagezi and security officers who have been murdered over the past years.

“Our annoyance with these criminals should not make us opt for defective shortcuts. These are hardened criminals by default who think that by denying, they can kill and escape accountability. However, we shall get them using patient means of evidence but not through torture because evidence through torture is not reliable,” Museveni stated.

His letter was copied to his deputy Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, ministers Gen Jeje Odongo (Internal Affairs), Adolf Mwesige (Defense and Veteran Affairs), Esther Mbayo Mbalabukuza (Presidency), Sam Kutesa (Foreign Affairs) and Frank Tumwebaze (Information and Communications Technology).

PARLIAMENT

In an emotive address to parliament yesterday, Kadaga, reading from Article 24 of the Constitution which prohibits use of any form of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as punishment, said the perpetrators should be charged in courts of law as opposed to the police disciplinary committee.

“How can one explain the electric shock, the knocking out of teeth, the breaking of knee caps, the ironing of a person’s body, the introduction of noxious [harmful] substances into the orifices of a person?” Kadaga wondered as she cited the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act 2012.

“I want to demand on behalf of the citizens that we need to see justice done. Torture is not an issue of the Police disciplinary committee. It is a matter of crime against humanity, it is a breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, and the perpetrators must be arrested [and] charged in an open court,” she added to the applause of the lawmakers.

Kadaga spoke in a raised voice as the government front bench led by Ruth Nankabirwa, the government chief whip, prepared a response.

The speaker stretched her concern to the 12 underage children who were kept under police detention for nearly two months following the arrest of their parents. One of them was a two-year-old baby.

Their father Abu Rashid Mbaziira and mothers Aisha Ampiire and Fatumah Bint Salim were arrested in connection with Kaweesi’s murder but even when Ampiire and Fatumah were released, the police held onto the children.

“It is a cardinal principle of law that children under the age of 12 have no legal capacity to commit an offense; we expect a statement [from the ministry of Internal Affairs],” Kadaga said.

She drew the ministry to Section 244 of the Penal Code Act which qualifies the liable police officers to a 10-year jail term.

“Those officers have indeed been holding the children for even one-day leave alone the whole month are liable for prosecution under Penal Code 120 of the laws of Uganda,” the Kamuli Woman MP said.

PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION

Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Sempala told the House the police are still holding three more children. Their mother, Naggayi said, even after being subjected to a DNA test which matched those of the children, was told by the police that she could not take the children until she produces their father.

The mother, according to Naggayi’s submission to parliament, is a resident of Ishaka in Bushenyi district. Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) moved a motion without notice under Rule 50(1)(b) for parliament to institute a select committee of parliament to investigate the acts of torture and abductions by the police.

However, Kadaga ruled out the option of a select committee on grounds that it would take a lot of time but said she would give the former NRM legislator time to move a formal motion.

This was after Nankabirwa told the House that all the officers involved will be brought to book. Speaking at a national dialogue on the role of the media in promoting good and bad social and economic development of the country held yesterday at the President’s office buildings, the minister for Security Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, urged security officers found at fault to own up for their wrongs.

“Whoever among us is at fault, it’s an honourable thing to own up. The mission of coming together is to interface security with press because we both have a duty to defend the population [and] by the end of the day, we need to have come to a conclusion of what accountability in a democracy is,” Tumukunde said.

Before Parliament, the state minister for internal affairs, Mario Obiga-Kania, apologised for the torture of suspects. He informed parliament that the police have already arrested four officers for criminal trial in the courts of law.

“We apologise to the country and to you parliament because, essentially, whatever we do, the result should not be what was seen in the media. We are equally concerned about the laws being broken,” the minister said.

Zimbabwe: Govt Approves Command Irrigation Project

By Elita Chikwati

Cabinet has approved a special irrigation rehabilitation and development programme, which will see an additional 300 000 hectares of land being put under maize production to ensure national food security. The programme, which is an extension of the hugely successful Command Agriculture, is expected to produce around 2,1 million tonnes of maize that will be set aside for national strategic grain reserve.

The programme will enable farmers to develop irrigation infrastructure at affordable costs.

Maize, wheat and livestock are now being produced under the special programme — Command Agriculture.

Institutions such as churches, prisons and the Agricultural Rural Development Authority with water bodies, and A1 and A2 farmers will also benefit from the irrigation development programme.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made confirmed the development last night.

He said instructions had been given for more dams to be constructed under the special programme.

He said the irrigation development programme targeted all water bodies across the country.

“For instance, all water bodies within the Manyame River system will be developed completely. This programme will further be elaborated under the Food and Nutrition Cabinet committee chaired by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” said Dr Made.

“Once fully irrigated, the farmers will be able to produce winter crops such as wheat and other crops,” he said.

Dr Made said there was need to strengthen the Department of Engineering as the country was currently faced with challenge of proper maintenance and operations of such systems.

“The Ministry will also work with other ministries such as the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Industrial Development Corporation.

“These will play a major role in ensuring that we are self-sufficient,” said the Minister.

“This is where countries such as Algeria, Iran, Russia, Egypt come in.

“We also have a number of experienced engineers whom we are going to call for them to make meaningful contribution.

“The programme will also see the training of farmers and managers who will effectively run irrigation development,” he said.

Zimbabwe is expecting to receive 80 centre pivots worth over $6 million from Spain to aid irrigation under Command Agriculture as Government moves to adopt new technologies and to strengthen infrastructural development in support of the successful import-substitution programme.

Dr Made said the centre pivots from Spain signified a new thrust of embracing new technologies in agriculture to complement new programmes being implemented in the sector.

He said more companies manufacturing agricultural equipment from other European countries like Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Turkey had expressed interest in servicing with the local market.

Zimbabwe

Work on Robert Mugabe University Begins

The government has begun the process of setting up the Robert Mugabe University with the University of Zimbabwe expected… Read more »

Zimbabwe: President to Launch Masvingo Highway Dualisation Project

Photo: The Herald

Road construction in Zimbabwe (file photo).

By George Maponga

Masvingo — President Mugabe is expected to officially launch the $1 billion Beitbridge-Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways dualisation project tomorrow, in a development likely to reduce carnage along one of Zimbabwe’s busiest roads. The road will also boost trade on the continent, as well as unlock value for the country.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces will commission the official start of the dualisation project at a ground-breaking ceremony that will be held along the highway at Chaka business centre in Chirumhanzu.

Geiger International of Austria was contracted by Government to dualise the highway under a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer model.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo yesterday confirmed that President Mugabe would officially launch the dualisation project tomorrow.

He said the project would be done in phases, with the one being launched tomorrow involving dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare Highway.

“It will be a big day because the dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge Highway was long overdue after having been delayed by battles, that at one, time spilled into the courts,” said Dr Gumbo.

“The project will cost just under a billion at about $998 million and the contractor will tell the President the time lines for completing the project and the President will also say something during the official launch of the project.”

Dr Gumbo said preliminary indications were that the project was going to be completed within three years, with work expected to resume once President Mugabe officially launched it.

“The dualisation project will be done in phases and under the first phase being launched by His Excellency at Chaka, the dualisation will be done from Beitbridge to Harare only and as for the Harare-Chirundu stretch, the nation will be notified at the appropriate time,” he said.

Dr Gumbo said the dualisation project would bring economic benefits to Zimbabwe and other countries in the region.

“We are happy that the dualisation will finally start and though it may not totally end road accidents along the highway, we believe for those drivers who are careful, the number of accidents will go down,” he said.

Government has already insisted that 40 percent of the dualisation project was supposed to benefit locals as part of empowering indigenous people.

Calls for Government to expedite the dualisation project got louder last month after 30 people perished at Nyamatikiti River Bridge near Chaka when a Proliner bus bound for South Africa was side-swiped by a haulage truck going in the opposite direction.

Zimbabwe

Work on Robert Mugabe University Begins

The government has begun the process of setting up the Robert Mugabe University with the University of Zimbabwe expected… Read more »

Former Tanzanian President Kikwete to Serve in High Profile Council On Refugees

Dar es Salaam — Former President Jakaya Kikwete has been named in the executive body of the World Refugee Council (WRC), an independent group of global leaders and innovators aimed at advancing new solutions to the global refugee crisis.

A press statement named Mr Kikwete as co-chair of the executive body which will be chaired by former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy.

Hina Jilani from Pakistan and Rita Süssmuth from Germany will serve alongside Mr Kikwete as co-chairs while Paul Heinbecker will move in as deputy and Fen Hampson will serve the body as director.

The press statement said among other things, the Council will offer advice on broad-reaching reform and innovation to reinvigorate the global refugee system.

“The Council will develop a transformative agenda to help ensure that international cooperation for refugees is predictable, equitable and just,” reads part of the statement.

The council will also be served by 17 councillors.

“With the crisis in Syria entering its sixth year, and new crises emerging in Africa and around the world, the current refugee protection system is struggling to meet the needs of states and refugees alike,” said Axworthy. “Now more than ever there is an urgent need for bold and innovative thinking on how we can improve international cooperation and ensure more predictable outcomes for refugees and states alike.”

Africa

Continent Calls for Funding to Restore Degraded Forests, Land

Investing in forest and landscape restoration as well as ensuring their sustainability will improve livelihoods of… Read more »

Send Army to Curb Coast Killings – Opposition

Photo: Morgan Mbabazi/The East African

Tanzanian soldiers in training (file photo).

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — The Opposition camp in Parliament yesterday asked the government to deploy the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) in three districts of Coast Region to halt the wave of killings.

In his alternative budget speech, the Deputy Shadow Minister for Defence and National Service, Mr Mwita Waitara (Ukonga-Chadema), said the Opposition was concerned by the series of attacks by unknown assailants that have so far resulted into the deaths of 30 people, mostly local government leaders. Police officers have also not been spared either.

Mr Waitara termed the incidents “terror attacks” perpetrated by well-trained individuals, that is why they have so far managed to escape arrest, without their names known or whereabouts exposed.

“There’s every indication that police have been tactically beaten by the terrorists. It is for this reason, the Opposition suggests that the TPDF, especially its intelligence unit, should chip in and assist in collecting intelligence and reconnaissance information to expose and take on the killers,” reads the Opposition speech.

The latest victim was gunned down on Saturday. The assailants’ motives have remained a mystery. The most affected districts are Mkuranga, Kibiti and Rufiji in Coast region.

Police have tightened their guard in the area, but that alone did not stop them from falling prey to the merciless assailants. In April 14 seven police were gunned down. They were returning to camp after a daylong shift. Their camp is 100km from Dar es Salaam and was established in response to activities linked to a shadowy group along the coast that has mounted sporadic attacks on security personnel and local leaders.

The Minister for Home Affairs last week told the parliament as he was tabling his office’s budget that the government plans to establish a special police zone in Kibiti to arrest the wave of brutal killings in the area.

Earlier, reading his budget speech in parliament, the Minister for Defence and National Service Dr Hussein Mwinyi said TPDF has continued to work shoulder to shoulder with other security organs to flush out among other things terror elements in the country.

“TPDF participated in Operation Amboni II IN Tanga region from May, 2016 to December, 2016 where the gunmen were contained,” said Dr Mwinyi.

The minister also asked the Parliament to pass his estimates of Sh1.72 trillion. According to the minister, Sh1.5 trillion would be for recurrent expenditure and Sh219 billion would go towards development.

For this ending year, the ministry was allocated with Sh1.73 trillion and as of April 2017 Sh1.19 trillion or 69.1 per cent had already been disbursed.

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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