Posts tagged as: regional

Zimbabwe:Zimswitch to Launch Payment System

By Melody Chikono

Zimswitch says it plans to launch two payment streams simultaneously with other Sadc countries that are expcted to complete their trial runs on a cross-border payment system by July next year .

The company, which has been carrying out tests for its cross-border payment system, said the trials on low value high volume cross-border transactions have largely been successful. Zimswitch is making efforts to move closer to linking local banks to a regional payment platform to facilitate smooth flow of transactions across the Sadc region. Zimswitch general manager Cyril Nyatsanza told businessdigest in emailed responses that currently trials that involve financial institutions, local mobile network operators and the regional clearing house are being carried out on the mobile platform outside Zimbabwe.

“The trials on low value high volume cross-border transactions have largely been successful. Currently trials that involve financial institutions, local mobile network operators and the regional clearing house are being carried out on the mobile platform outside Zimbabwe. The plan is to launch the two payment streams simultaneously with other Sadc countries. The timetable has not been shared by Sadc Bankers Association as yet.” he said.

The cross-border payment system will enable Zimbabweans to transact within the region using their bank cards on Zimswitch. At the moment Zimswitch has other platforms for high value transactions.

Nyatsanza said the success of this initiative depends on the participation of other countries.

“The success of this initiative hinges on the participation of other Sadc countries. All things being equal we expect other countries that will make up the critical mass to have run trials for these two payment streams by July next year,” he said.

Nyatsanza said although Zimswitch has not yet quantified in terms of figures on possible contribution of the platform to revenue, the main focus has been to ensure that the functionality for cross-border payments has been enabled.

“We know that once funds are transferred into the country this will create other transactions that complement our current business model.”

“Sadc Bankers Association will advise on the time lines once testing around the countries is complete.” he said.

Zimbabwe

Low Voter Registration Turnout Cause for Concern

Figures released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the number of people registered so far under its… Read more »

Opposition Leader Arrested Over Charges of Attempted Murder

Photo: Robert Muhereza/Daily Monitor

Police officers block Kizza Besigye’s car shortly after he was intercepted on his way to Kabale on October 19, 2017. Inset is Dr Besigye.

By Robert Muhereza & Rajab Mukombozi

Kabale — Former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye has been arrested.

Dr Besigye, FDC presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat and the party secretary for mobilization Ingrid Turinawe were on Thursday evening arrested in Burambira village Bubaare Sub county in Rubanda on their way to Kabale District from Rukungiri.

The Regional Police Commander Mr Denis Namuwoza said Dr Besigye is wanted in Rukungiri where he allegedly committed several offences on Wednesday.

“He is wanted in Rukungiri on charges of attempted murder of policemen and holding unlawful assembly,” said Mr Namuwoza.

He added that Dr Besigye commanded people who pelted stones at the police officers as they tried to disperse FDC supporters who had gathered to listen to Mr Amuriat who was in the district to solicit for votes.

On their way to Kabale they encountered a police road block at Burambira, about 4 kilometers to Kabale town around 5pm. When Mr Amuriat got out of his vehicle to engage police, he was arrested and locked into police double cabin. Policemen surrounded the vehicles in which Dr Besigye and Ms Turinawe were travelling.

The politicians remained locked in their vehicles and were by the time of filing this story (at 7pm) still surrounded by police.

“We are still persuading him to get out of the vehicle so that we take him to Rukungiri,” Mr Namuwoza said.

Uganda

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

DPC, Two Other Officers Injured in Rukungiri Age Limit Protests

By Edson Kinene

Rukungiri District police commander Richard Emuna and two other officers were on Wednesday injured in running battles with the Opposition supporters.

Sources within the police say the DPC and his other officers got hurt as age limit protestors pelted stones at them.

Kigezi Regional Police commander Denis Namuwoza said DPC Emuna sustained injuries on the hand and leg while the Community Liaison officer, Assistant Inspector of Police Barugahare sustained an injury on the eye and he has been referred to Mbarara Hospital.

“I have been told that the eye will be removed,” Mr Namuwoza said.

This was during the running battles between the police and the enthusiastic supporters of FDC party.

The protestors removed the police metal barricade on the road and asked Dr Besigye to advance to the stadium amidst loud cheers and threatening rain.

Meanwhile, one person identified as Edison Nasasira alias Kakuru, 22 and resident Kafunjo cell, Eastern division in Rukungiri Municipality was killed in an exchange between the protestors and armed police officers.

While eye witnesses say Nasasira was shot on the head, police insist he was hit by a stone from his fellow protestors.

Uganda

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

Tanzania:90% of Mbeya Residents Tested With Sight Problems

By Godfrey Kahango

Mbeya — At least 90 per cent of people, who went for sight test during an ongoing ‘free health test’ campaign at Ruanda Nzovwe grounds in the region have been diagnosed with sight problems as most of them need to undergo minor and major operation.

The campaign, which was launched on October 14, this year, is coordinated by Mbeya Regional Hospital in cooperation with various stakeholders. It was launched by Mbeya Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla as part of the commemoration of the 18th anniversary of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. Speaking to The Citizen on Monday, Mbeya regional coordinator for sight services, Dr Fariji Killewa, said the majority of people, who went for test, were diagnosed with sight problems, but failed to go to hospital due to various reasons, including lack of money for treatment.

He said they targeted to provide sight services to between 60 and 90 people per day, but attended to 195 people and the following day to 182 people, which made them work until 15.30pm.

“At least 90 per cent of people have been diagnosed with sight problems. For only two days we have learned that 154 people with sight problems need operation. So, we have advised them to go to hospital. I would say this campaign has been of great help for people to know their health status,” said Dr Killewa.

Earlier, launching the campaign, Mr Makalla said the commemoration reflected Mwalimu Nyerere’s commitment to fighting against three enemies of the nation – diseases, poverty and ignorance – during his leadership.

The doctor in-charge of Mbeya Regional Hospital, Dr Seif Mhina, said the campaign was sustainable and would be carried out every year during the commemoration of Mwalimu Nyerere’s anniversary, while urging those, who were diagnosed with sight problems to go to hospital.

Tanzania

12 Men Arrested for ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

There are reports that two South Africans are among 12 men arrested on charges of homosexuality in Tanzania. Read more »

Police Stop Joint Age Limit Consultative Meetings

Police have stopped joint consultative meetings by members of Parliament on the proposal to amend Article 102 (b) of the Constitution.

In an October 16 message to all police stations and units across the country, Mr Assuman Mugenyi, the director operations, the MPs are supposed to only to consult in their constituencies to seek the views of their electorate.

Mr Mugenyi directed Regional Police Commanders, District Police Commanders and Officers in charge of stations to ensure that the MPs strictly consult in their constituencies only.

“Those MPs moving or intending to move in order to support counterparts or consult outside their constituencies must be stopped,” the directive read in part.

Mr Mugenyi’s further directed that consultations must not include illegal demonstrations, illegal processions, inciting violence, use of hate campaigns, use of abusive language, acts of hooliganism of any sort and intimidation of persons perceived to be supporting the removal of age limit.

Politicians who are opposed to the amendment of article that is intended to remove 75-years as the upper age cap for a prospective President, have been holding joint consultative rallies.

On Tuesday, police used teargas and live bullets to disperse a rally at Kasubi, near Kampala. The rally was attended by dozens of politicians and MPs opposed to the amendment.

Igara West lawmaker, Mr Raphael Magyezi tabled the Constitution amendment Bill on September 27 after two days of fist-fighting by MPs inside Parliament.

On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni warned that he would not tolerate any violence in regard to the ongoing age limit debate and that the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party cannot be threatened.

Speaking on Monday at Kisiki College in Namutumba District, Busoga sub-region, during the thanksgiving ceremony for the District Woman MP, Ms Mariam Naigaga, the President said NRM is “a master at violence”, except its violence is “disciplined and purposeful”.

Uganda

Age Limit Rallies – 8 Things Police Have Banned

The raft of instructions issued by Mr Asuman Mugenyi, the director operations, directly target members of Parliament and… Read more »

Namibia:Nored Offers Refunds to Customers

By Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya — The Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) has vowed to refund clients who have put up large sums of money as deposit for transformers.

Individual first-time clients in areas with no readily set-up electricity transformers to connect households were previously required to post large deposits and payments for the cost of a transformer.

The payments at times amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first clients, who had to pay for the setting up of a transformer, were never given back a portion of the money, even when other households and individuals were connected to the transformer at a lesser cost.

The practice has been a thorn in the flesh of Nored, especially when individual clients have come to regard such transformers as their own private property, for which they paid in full. At times the first-time client, who paid for the initial costs of setting up the transformer, would refuse to have other households and individuals connected to the grid through that transformer.

In some instances, the person who had first applied for electricity connection would charge whatever amount they wanted for any person who wished to get connected to the transformer.

“Nored will proportionally refund customers who made the first capital payment on the project to ensure fairness. For instance, if the person made a capital payment of N$100,000, the amount the next people will pay will be determined based on the capacity of the transformer, as to how many households can be accommodated.

“So, if it accommodates five households, it means each will pay N$20,000, which would then be refunded to the capital payment individual. This was created to make [electricity] affordable and accessible to everyone,” stressed Nored’s executive manager for corporate affairs, Toivo Shovaleka, last week during a stakeholders’ meeting at Okashana.

In the past there were incidents when the person who initial laid out the capital would request N$50,000 from those wishing to be connected.

Speaking at the same occasion was Shinana Shinana, Nored manager for operation and maintenance for northwest, who used the platform to explain that the transformers remain the property of Nored, although the customers are required to pay for it.

“The transformer will always remain the property of Nored. People should know that paying for the transformers does not guarantee that it is yours, what is yours is actually power,” explained Shinana in response to questions from people who felt the transformers belong to them and that they have the right to decide who can be connected or not.

“For instance, you buy the transformer today, it gets connected and then the next day it gets damaged. Will you afford to buy another one? And will you still [say] it’s yours, or you will call Nored?” he queried.

“In that regard, we will replace or fix it and you should know that transformers need to be changed from time to time. So, once anything happens we will always be there at anytime to attend to the issue. That why it always remains our responsibility to manage it,” Shinana added.

Regarding the refunds, Shinana said customers should know that the value of transformers depreciates as time goes by, hence they should not expect to be refunded with high amounts based on the price they had paid.

Tanzania:Seven Die, 7 Injured in Post-Wedding Accident

By Mariam Juma

Manyara — FANFARE was demoted to tragedy when seven people died and seven others were injured when a truck rammed into the vehicle in which they were travelling at Getasam Village, after a wedding ceremony in Hanang, in Babati District, on Saturday evening.

The dead were identified as Selina Hando (35) from Babati; Amina Saha (50), a Duru villager, Hiit Gwande (50) from Riroda, Elizabeth Hilonga (25) from Heloton, John Timothy (17) and the driver, Wilson Daudi aka Simba (46), whose 15-year-old son’s name was not immediately established.

Initial reports indicated that the newlyweds, Mr Philip Samuel and Ms Flora Baso, were among the survivors, when the vehicle in which they were passengers – a Noah with registration number T 740 DJQ was knocked down by a lorry.

The driver of the Noah and his son died on the spot, and the bride was seriously hurt. The driver of the truck (registration number T 449 CDR) owned by Lake Hill Paradise Ltd of Singida, fled after the accident.

The Manyara Regional Traffic Officer (RTO), Ms Mary Kipesha, remarked that the driver of the smaller vehicle was at fault, remarking: “He turned right without signalling his intention by flashing the indi cator, prompting the speeding lorry driver to ram into the car, after failing to stop abruptly.”

Hanang District Hospital medical officer on-duty, Mr Chawokiwa Msangi, said they had preserved the seven bodies of the casualties, and were attending the survivors, except the bride, who was referred to Hydom Hospital.

Those admitted at Tumaini District hospital are Philip Samuel, Faustine Sebastian, Samuel Nade and Lina Isack. Two others whose names were yet to be established, were treated and released.

Getasam villag ers blamed the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) for not placing important signposts on the roads, to which they attributed many accidents. This is the fourth accident to occur at an area with feeder roads adjoining the Singida – Arusha Highway in less than 18 months. The accidents have claimed 17 lives, leaving 14 injured.

Tanzania

Maputo Envoy in Court On U.S.$133,000 Theft Charges

A FINANCE attaché at Tanzania’s High Commission in Maputo, Mozambique, Joyce Moshi, appeared before Kisutu… Read more »

East Africa:Tanzania, Burundi Urged to Back Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System

By James Karuhanga

The East Africa Business Council wants countries which have not joined the regional electronic cargo tracking system (RECTS) project to do so sooner than later as the latter is considered to be effective in safety of goods while in transit.

Urging Tanzania and Burundi to join Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya in embracing a harmonized electronic cargo tracking system, the apex body of business associations of the Private Sector and Corporates from EAC partner states, is emphasizing that the system reduces the cost of doing business.

The EABC Executive Director Lilian Awinja has reiterated that RECTS is, among others, “a very good idea that is reducing diversion and theft of transit cargo.”

“Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda are already on board, and this is something we appreciate because it adds value to the Single Customs Territory (SCT),” Awinja said, adding that the EABC needs the revenue authorities in the two other countries to “take up the cost of that gadget because it is in their best interest to have these gadgets on the trucks.”

“What we need is to see Tanzania and Burundi join the regional cargo tracking system. The revenue authorities should support this whole process and make sure that they own it and we work together as a region, so that it is implemented uniformly across all partner states. We are supposed to work together. We are in a Customs Union.”

Rwanda launched the e-Cargo tracking system which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through Trademark East Africa (TMEA) at a cost of $4.5 million (nearly Rwf3.7 billion). Launched seven months ago, it lessens transit time, enhances cargo safety and helps traders better predict arrival of goods.

It enables transporters and revenue authorities in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda to jointly track transit cargo from port to destination on a 24-hour basis.

Robert Mugabe, the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) deputy commissioner for revenue investigation and enforcement, said: “We are not selling them; we haven’t at all thought about charging a fee for these gadgets. Why would we charge when we want to generate public awareness?”

In the three countries the e-seal is distributed generously, or at very little cost, to companies.

Issa Mugarura, vice-president of Rwanda Truck Drivers Association (ACPLRWA), said he is happy because cases and avenues of cargo theft are no more.

In Rwanda there is no charge for an e-seal. Patience Mutesi, TMEA country director, explained that this is because it is funded by a development organisation through the Government.

“The cost to the private sector players is lower than it is when funded as a profitable venture because, to the Government, it is a trade facilitation tool and not one meant to make money,” Mutesi said.

According to Awinja, in Tanzania and Burundi which are not part of the RECTS, “businesses have to install by themselves for purchasing individually” and the cost of an e-seal is goes up to approximately $1,200.

Awinja said: “Companies there that want to do e-cargo tracking buy and it is not mandatory. They are not part of the [harmonised] regional electronic cargo tracking system. Any company in Tanzania and Burundi that wants to do electronic cargo tracking buy their own gadgets. The cost is high and not everybody may be able to afford.”

She said the matter has been discussed with revenue authorities and policy makers in the respective governments as well as documented it in the EABC advocacy agenda 2016 and now 2017.

“And we gave them documents that contain key recommendations even on this Electronic Cargo Tracking System. We are giving these recommendations to revenue authorities, to policy makers and telling them this is the direction we want to go.”

Asked about the matter, Ali Idi Siwa, Tanzania’s High Commissioner to Rwanda, noted that he is of the view that there usually are national decisions whereas others are regional decisions.

Siwa said: “This is a regional issue and as such, I believe, soon or later Tanzania will join the regional electronic cargo tracking system.”

But Awinja insists that “for us business people, we need it done today.”

Awinja said: “They should just join. Why wait for five years?”

Edith Nsaija Mwanje, the Permanent Secretary in Uganda’s Ministry of the EAC affairs sounded optimistic about having all countries on board but could not be precise on when.

“At the regional level, there are arrangements whereby we want everybody to introduce the electronic cargo tracking system. It has a lot of value, and it is in the interest of those countries to make sure that they get on board because the tracking system makes it possible for revenue authorities to track cargo,” Mwanje said.

She did not state exactly when but she emphasized that each of the two countries have a specified period of time in which they plan to start using the RECTS.

“Each country has given itself a timeframe and they have not gone beyond it. So, we are not yet worried, because if I said I am getting on board in December and it is not yet December, you don’t have to worry about that,” Mwanje said, adding: “The advantages accrue to the country and they are going to get onboard for sure.”

When the system was launched in March, TMEA officials said that in the past, transporters lost $200-$250 each day a truck spent in transit while the cost of transport tended to increase for cargo destined further inland, such as to Rwanda.

Come to Ruvuma, We Have Ample Power, Tanesco Appeals to Investors

By The Citizen Reporter

Madaba — Large investors who look at Ruvuma Region as a prospective investment area have been assured of ample power supply by the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco).

Tanesco Ruvuma Regional manager, Eng Patrick Lwesya, told team of editors who are touring Tanesco projects in Njombe, Ruvuma and Mtwara regions that upon completion of Makambako-Songea transmission line, Ruvuma Region will be assured of ample power supply.

“People in Ruvuma had been experiencing power shortages but this project, which will connect us to national grid, will give us enough electricity for small,medium as well as large customers,” he said.

Fr his part, the Makambako-Madaba-Songea Power project manager, Eng Didas Lyamuya, said in fact Tanesco hs already starts supplying power to investors.

“We have already constructed a power line to Kabambe Tea factory which is under construction in Njombe Region. We completed the project only two weeks after the former deputy minister for Energy and Minerals (Mr Medard Kalemani – who in the recent Cabinet reshuffle he was named minister for Energy) directed us to make sure that the investor is given enough power,” he said.

Detailing, Eng Lyamuya noted that initially the investor asked for 1MW and Tanesco has already built a power line which will provide that amount f electricity.

“But, should the investor need more than that we will make sure that we give him all power he would need… this project we are undertaking will assure us of enough power,” he said.

Eng Thomas Mhando, who supervises construction of the tea factory owned by Unilever, thanked Tanesco f the gesture noting that they were now undertaking the construction with assurance that they will start production soon after completing the construction.

“Tanesco has indeed completed construction of a power line to this site and we are now sure that once we complete construction of the factory we will start production without delays because we have enough electricity,” he said.

Tanzania

Mt Kilimanjaro Gets Award for Continent’s Top Tourist Attraction

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, has scooped the 2017 ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ title in the recent… Read more »

Ghana:Government Is Committed to Curbing Threat of Illegal Mining Activities–Hon.amewu

press release

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has given the assurance that government was implementing certain initiatives to minimize, if not completely stem, the menace of illegal mining(galamsey), mindful of its threat to security and society.

Mr Amewu, who was answering a question in Parliament, yesterday, on how many galamsey sites across the country had so far been closed down and their regional locations, disclosed that about 90% of heavy duty earth-moving machinery at galamsey sites had been evacuated, while more than 3000 floating platforms had been destroyed and over 347 persons involved in illegal mining arrested and put before court.

“It is in appreciation of this that we put a 6-month moratorium on all small-scale mining activities. This is to enable us streamline their activities and put in place a holistic framework to manage it. Within this framework, we expect that record-keeping and statistics will enable us more accurately estimate the numbers,” he explained.

He said a Multilateral Mining Integrated Programme (MMIP), aimed at sanitizing the small-scale landscape, had been established by the Ministry which would be implemented for five years at a total cost of US$200 million.

The MMIP, he explained, combined a Legislation Enforcement, Civil Integrated and Technological Approach (LECITA) as a sustainable and structured, but regimented conjoint concept which would encompass multi stakeholders in dealing with the galamsey menace.

Furthermore, he said, a complete restructuring of the Minerals Commission was taking place to ensure sustainability in the management of the mineral resources of the country.

Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)

Ghana

13-Year-Old Prodigy Ruth Ama Gyan-Darkwa Admitted to University

Ruth Ama Gyan-Darkwa a 13-year-old girl has been admitted to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,… Read more »

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