Posts tagged as: rwanda

President Nkurunziza Ventures Out, Asks Refugees to Go Home

By Moses Havyarimana

President Pierre Nkurunziza on Thursday met with his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli in Ngara in northwestern Tanzania in his first ever trip outside Burundi since the failed May 2015 coup.

The Burundian leader was attending the East African Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salaam when a coup d’état was declared by General Godefroid Niyombare. The coup attempt was crushed in 24 hours, but in the ensuing political crisis, more than 500 people have been killed and 380,000 others displaced.

On Thursday, the two East African leaders met in a small town near their common border and held talks on bilateral issues, including security and refugees.

“We talked about the security situation, especially regarding those Burundians who fled to Tanzania,” President Nkurunziza said.

He asked the Burundians in Tanzanian refugee camps to return home, assuring them that there is peace and stability in Bujumbura.

President Nkurunziza noted that more than 150,000 Burundians had returned home “without the support of the United Nations.”

Citizenship

Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said that 200,000 Burundians had been given Tanzanian citizenship since 2006.

Mr Nchemba said Tanzania was hosting 247,000 Burundians in its refugee camps. He added that at least 5,000 of those in the camps had registered for the voluntary repatriation programme.

President Magufuli supported the programme, appealing to the Burundians to go home and build their country. Burundi has relatively gained stability after two years of violent clashes in Bujumbura and its environs.

President Nkurunziza’s Tanzanian visit came a few weeks after the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Michel Kafando ended two-week consultations with stakeholders in the Burundi talks.

Mr Kafando was appointed in May by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to lead and co-ordinate UN’s political efforts to promote peace and sustainable development in Burundi. He is working with the East African Community to promote dialogue among Burundian leaders.

Although grenade attacks in public places have been witnessed in recent months, claiming at least eight lives and injuring 70 people, the Burundi government says that the crime rate has gone down by 32 per cent in the past three months.

“The security situation has continued to improve, but we noted cases of grenade attacks and terrorist acts in some localities of Bujumbura,” said Public Security Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni.

Illegal weapons

He said security agencies have conducted operations that have have netted 43 illegal weapons and 1,212 suspects.

Last week alone, police impounded more than 150 vehicles without legal documents which spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said were suspected to be used in criminal activities. The police have mounted roadblocks and checkpoints on the streets and major roads which they say have boosted security in the country.

The Burundi National Human Rights Council says rights abuses have decreased but several people have been disappeared.

Tanzania Reopens Borders to Kenyan Milk, Milk Products

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Simon Ndonga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenya

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Sending Money to Tanzania From UK ‘Most Costly in East Africa’

Photo: Vice-President’s Office/The Citizen

Delegates listen to Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam — Sending money to Tanzania is the most expensive in the Eastern and Southern Africa, a London based consultancy organisation, Developing Markets Associates (DMA) June global report shows.

According to new analysis which was presented by Mobile 360 conference in the city, the average cost of sending £120 from the UK to Tanzania is 14 per cent, the highest average cost in the region.

This is when contrasted to other countries in the region like Ethiopia (13 per cent), Zambia (13 per cent), Rwanda (13 per cent), Mozambique (12 per cent), Uganda (9 per cent), and Kenya and Zimbabwe with seven per cent rate have the lowest cost.

The event, hosted by GSMA, who represent 800 mobile network operators across the world, was set to show evidence as to why Tanzania has the highest cost of sending money from the Diaspora.

“More than £44 million is sent each year by more than 38,500 Tanzanians living in the UK. But the cost of sending money is twice as much as sending to neighbouring Kenya or Zimbabwe,” reads part of the report.

The analysis shows that the average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10 per cent, compared to the global average of just over seven per cent. Yet the UN Sustainable Development Goals say that by 2030 the global average price for remittances should not exceed three per cent of face value, with even the most expensive countries not being more than five per cent.

The report urges international development donors to support a pilot project to enable UK based remittance service providers to access Southern Africa through Sadc’s integrated regional electronic settlement system, through which 95 banks serve 11 countries.

Mr Leon Isaacs, CEO of DMA, was quoted as saying that: “Sending money home is very expensive compared to the relatively low incomes of migrant workers and the small amounts they typically send.

“The real challenges contributing to higher costs of sending money from the UK to Africa are not fixable by new technologies alone. Instead, we need to be focusing on scaling existing technology, creating the regulatory environments for those technologies and on changing consumer behaviour to send money digitally from ‘end-to-end,” he argued.

“It’s more expensive to send money to Africa than elsewhere. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The way we stay in touch, do our shopping, and even find love, have all gone digital. Yet, for the vast majority of people sending money home, they are still doing it the way they have always done it: in cash,” said Juliet Munro, director of Inclusive Finance in a quoted statement at FSD Africa.

Tanzania

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Mother in Custody Over the Death of Her Son

By Beldina Nyakeke

Musoma — Police in Musoma are holding a woman with connection to the killing of her son.

Mara regional police commander Mr Mohamed Jaffari said the 22 year old women who is a resident of Rwamlimi street (name withheld), allegedly committed the crime on June 28.

He went on by saying that after one day the child died in undefined circumstances the situation that forced the neighbors to become suspicious, that the death of the child was caused by the punishment from his own mother.

Commander Jafari added that the neighbors then reported the incident to police, linking the mother with the death of her son. Thus led to her arrest her and holding her for some days while the police exams the source of the death.

“The body of the deceased child is being preserved at Mara regional government hospital for medical examinations, so that we can prove without a doubt what the cause of the death of that child was,” he explained.

Speaking to The Citizen on the condition of anonymity some neighbors said that the death of the child was caused by his own mother, as she caned him so much the circumstance led to the death of the child as he cried nonstop until he died.

They said that it was not true that the child died after one day, but he died a few hours after the punishment. Therefore alleging that the mothers source of the punishment, was that the child without being canned he would not eat the food that his mother prepared for dinner.

He said that since the child died at undefined circumstances they decided to report the incident at the police post so that thorough examination can be conducted, there after measures to be taken upon the mother to find the source of the death of her son.

Tanzania

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Many in Hot Water After Magufuli’s Second Minerals Report

By Katare Mbashiru

President John Magufuli has directed the security apparatus to summon and interrogate all officials who were mentioned in the second report on the export of mineral concentrates.

Among them are former cabinet ministers who entered into shoddy Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with mining companies, occasioning loss to the country in taxes between 1998 and 2017.

Others are former Attorneys General (AGs), their deputies, former commissioners of minerals, directors of contracts departments, lawyers in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and others who participated in the drafting of the agreements, as well as provision and renewal of mining licences.

Speaking at the State House in Dar es Salaaam yesterday after receiving a report from an eight-member team led by Professor Nehemiah Osoro, Dr Magufuli said he endorsed all its recommendations.

The Osoro-led committee also proposed that legal steps should be taken against workers and owners of the biggest mining companies, Freight Forwarders (T) Limited for contravening the country’s laws.

Some of the individuals featuring in the report include former ministers for energy and minerals – Daniel Yona, Nazir Karamagi,Wiliam Ngeleja and Professor Sospeter Muhongo.

Others are former commissioners of minerals Paulo Masanja and Dr Dalali Kafumu, as well as Acting Commissioner of Minerals Ally Samaje. Featured too are former AGs (by virtue of which they were chief state legal advisors) Andrew Chenge and Johnson Mwanyika.

The list also includes former deputy AGs, Felix Mrema and Sazi Salula as well as the heads of the contracts department, Maria Kejo and Julius Malaba.

” I hereby direct intelligence and security officials to summon all the individuals who have been mentioned in this report and interrogate them, as a preamble to taking appropriate legal actions,” he said.

The mining companies that signed vague agreements with the ministry of Energy and Minerals, according to the report, are Bulyanhulu Gold Mines Limited (Kahama Mine Corporation Limited), North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Gold Mine Limited – all of which are under the Acacia Gold Mine Plc as well as Geita Gold Mine Limited (AngloGold Ashanti Limited).

Dr Magufuli furthermore called for a review of the Mining Act, directing lawyers in the ministries of Energy and Minerals, as well as Justice and Constitutional Affairs to work together to make important amendments that will help the country to benefit from the natural resources.

“Our country is endowed with a lot of natural resources but our people are still languishing in abject poverty because of some people who subordinate individual gains to national interests,” he said. He blamed some officials who ignored potential investors who had shown interest to build smelters in the country.

The Head of State said the country needed investors who were ready for conducting business under win-win arrangements and not exploiters who had been siphoning the country’s resources. He asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, to explore the possibility of squeezing amendments in the law within the ongoing parliamentary budget session.

“Even if this entails extension of the session for an extra week, I am ready to give you the go-ahead and give you full support, to enable us amend our legislation for the benefit of our country,” he added.

Mr Ndugai, who also attended the report’s handing over function, said the House was ready to overhaul the law, adding that he also intended to form a team for overseeing the country’s diamond business as he did relating to Tanzanite.

In an interview with the ‘Daily News’, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, said he would facilitate the amendments of the Mining Act as directed by the Head of State. The president accepted all the committee’s 20 recommendations.

World Champ Beatrice Chepkoech Shines At Police Track Finals

By Ayumba Ayodi

World Cross Country Championships mixed relays gold medallist Beatrice Chepkoech cashed in on the absence of several stars to win women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase title Wednesday at the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Fresh from posting personal best in a second place of nine minutes and 01.57 seconds at Doha’s Diamond League meeting, Chepkoech obliterated the field of five athletes in a gun-to-tape performance victory of 9:50.06.

Chepkoech, who finished fourth at the Rio Olympic Games, edged out Abigael Jelagat and Anne Gathoni to second and third places in 10:16.6 and 10:20.4 respectively.

“It was a good victory even though I am still on medication, having been admitted a while ago after I fell sick,” said Chepkoech, who failed to compete in Shanghai last Sunday after she fell sick.

“I was admitted for three days after Doha but I am well now.”

Chepkoech, who will be seeking a double in women’s 1,500m final Thursday, said she hopes to be fit for the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 in Eugene, USA, where she hopes to turn the tables on world champion Hyvin Kiyeng and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet from Bahrain.

Chepkoech lost the Doha battle to Kiyeng, who ran a world lead time of 9:00.12, as Jebet, who is also the world record holder, came third in 9:01.99.

But Kiyeng, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, lost to Jebet in Shanghai, clocking 9:06.72 against Jebet’s winning time of 9:04.78. Kiyeng failed to compete in the Police meet Wednesday as did Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Purity Kirui and the 2015 Diamond League 3,000m steeplechase series winner Virginia Nyambura.

However, Kiyeng will field in Thursday’s 5,000m final where she will take on the 2013 world 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, Africa Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo and former world junior 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder Ruth Bosibori.

Meanwhile, Eglay Nalianya, who was in Kenya’s 4x800m team at this year’s World Relay Championships in Bahamas, won her 800m semi-final in a slow time of 2:10.4.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi illuminated the men’s 800m first semi-final race with victory in 1:48.1 to storm the final.

Manangoi edged out Job Kinyor and Justus Kipchoech to second and third places in 1:48.4 and 1:48.8 respectively.

Manangoi will also face Timothy Sein and Jeremiah Mutai won the other 800m semi-finals in 1:48.9 and 1:48.8.

Kiplagat Ruto won the men’s long jump in 7.82m while Anderson Muiruri bagged the triple jump title in 2.00m. Damacline Nyakeruri won women’s javelin in 45.94m while Ruth Njoroge went for the 10km walk race in 52:06.2.

Rotich Kipsang and Rose Rakamba won men and women’s discus with throws of 44.68m and 40.91m.

KPL Pursue New TV Deal, Mull Action Against SuperSport

Photo: Courtesy

Spanish La Liga President Javier Tebas (right) poses for photos with Kenyan Premier League chairman Ambrose Rachier at the KPL offices in Nairobi on May 9, 2017.

By Cellestine Olilo

The Kenyan Premier League are consulting with their Spanish partners, La Liga, regarding the private packaging and selling of the local league’s broadcast rights.

At the same time, KPL have approached their legal team concerning SuperSport’s abrupt termination of their multi-million broadcast rights sponsorship deal last month with a view of seeking redress in a court of law.

Speaking from Johannesburg in South Africa where he is on official duty, KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda said that all these was discussed during KPL’s last Executive Committee meeting.

Oguda said that getting the league back on live television was a priority for the members and that data collection is currently ongoing to help guide the league on the matter.

“La Liga are our partners now and they have taken an interest to help us get the games back on air.

“Right now we are getting data locally which we will share with them so that they can give us a way forward.

“They (La Liga) have advised that giving the broadcast rights to organisations that are Free To Air would be the most viable place to start from and once they get that data they will be able to give further advise on how to package and even approach potential buyers.”

But this proposal first rolled off the mouths of Football Kenya Federation last month, and they even went ahead to acquire substantial amounts of money (Sh75 million) in grants from Fifa for this purpose.

“We will produce these matches ourselves. Let’s take control of the content and then go mobile, FTA and PayTV. Exciting times ahead. We have to produce all the matches. Nine every weekend. Package highlights, preview etc. from one source. Content control,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa had said at the time.

Oguda however said that theirs will be a separate venture, as La Liga look well capable of helping KPL achieve their objective much faster.

“We had discussed this in our Joint Executive Committee meeting, but now that the La Liga representatives are in the picture, we feel that their route is also worth pursuing.”

KPL entered a three-year partnership with their La Liga on Thursday last week that would see them benefit from their counterparts’ expertise in league management.

The new partnership, for which there will be no financial gains, came one month after South African broadcasters SuperSport terminated their contract with the local league organisers citing breach of contract and eventually laid off more than 100 employees in the country.

Kenya

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Hints Dropped On Tapping Onto EA Regional Potential

Governmennt institutions have been called upon to work closely with the public and to educate them on services that they provide.

The remarks were made yesterday by the deputy permanent secretary ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Co-operation, Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi, during an educational seminar on East African integration and opportunities, that started yesterday and ends today in Gombani, Pemba.

Ambassador Mwinyi said a segment of the public had voiced complaints over poor treatment by some public servants, cautioning that, if the trend wasn’t checked, Tanzania would lag behind in initiatives towards East African integration and the world in general.

He pointed out that there were vast opportunities in the integration project, but if the public was not adequately enlightened on modalities on aspects like the required documents and conditions, they would be left behind and reduced to mere spectators and complainers.

Traders expressed disappointments over the long processes of getting travelling documents, especially when they had a limited time before travelling outside the country.

They also complained about the difficulties they faced in registering their products under the bureau of standards and food and drug authorities because they did not meet their criteria.

Ambassador Mwinyi stressed the importance of government institutions to facilitate swifter public access to their services, but in compliance with laws and regulations, to enable traders seize opportunities in the East African common market.

An officer from the Immigration department, Mr Haji Kassim Haji, explained that procedures related to travel documents were not aimed at hampering anyone’s dealings but for the security of the nation.

Ambassador Mwinyi urged the traders to form groups, so that issues like getting travelling documents can be addressed jointly under the guarantee of the institutions under which they operated.

East Africa

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Nairobi Workers Tell of Harrowing Ordeals Following Pay Delay

By Lillian Mutavi

As the pay row at City Hall rages, workers with patients admitted to hospitals are the most affected, the Nation has learnt.

Some county staff who spoke to the Nation on Wednesday, on condition of anonymity, narrated of harrowing ordeals they have been subjected to, as City Hall has not remitted National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) money.

On Wednesday, Niarobi County services were paralysed as the workers protested their delayed April salaries due to an impasse between Central Bank and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on one side against the County government on the other side.

According to one of the workers, his spouse has been detained at Nairobi West Hospital as he has been unable to offset bills because no money has been remitted to his NHIF account.

In a hospital form from the Nairobi West Hospital seen by the Nation, the worker has been informed in the membership segment that the current contribution is in arrears and he is not covered for the services offered.

“Current contributions in arrears. This member is not covered for the services (Apr NOT PAID),”read the form.

13,000 WORKERS

A former branch secretary the workers’ union, Edward Peter Nyerere, said that all workers who had patients including family members admitted in the month of May are detained at hospitals and are in debts over arrears in payment of NHIF.

Mr Nyerere said that he could not ascertain the number but with such a huge workforce of over 13,000 with families, those affected are many.

Services paralysed on Wednesday included parking, markets, licences, city mortuary, garbage collectors and inspectorate departments.

The Kenya Union workers union chairman Nairobi branch Bernard Inyangala said that the county had said that the dispute between the county and KRA did not involve them and all they want is their pay.

Workers missed their April salaries following the standoff between KRA and City Hall after CBK transferred money to the taxman which the county says was meant to pay it workers.

ADVANCE LOAN

The devolved unit spends about Sh1.3 billion to pay its 13,000 workers.

However the county received an advance of Sh1.021 billion from treasury on Tuesday with county secretary Robert Ayisi saying workers had been paid terming their strike illegal.

According to Dr Ayisi, workers with accounts at Cooperative bank and Nacico will receive their salaries today as the county had already deposited Sh1 billion.

“While those in other banks will receive there’s tomorrow because of clearance procedures. Everybody should go back to work there is no cause for alarm and unnecessary picketing,” said Dr Ayisi.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

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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.

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