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The Chanzo’s Morning Briefing – July 5, 2021

In our briefing, today: Archbishop Nyaisonga reelected as TEC’s president; Govt urges schools to observe COVID-19 instructions; COVID-19 vaccine importation protocols are ready; Ndugai warns against misuse of power by public officials; Govt claims armed robbers ‘neutralized’; and Tanzania invites traders to import fertilizer into the country.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.

Archbishop Nyaisonga reelected TEC’s president

The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) has over the weekend announced the reelection of Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga of the Archdiocese of Mbeya as the Catholic bishops assembly’s president for a second term of three years, Vatican News reported Sunday. Bishop Nyaisonga, who’ll now serve as TEC’s president until June 2024, was reelected during TEC’s 77th plenary assembly held at the Catholic Secretariat, Kurasini in Dar es Salaam recently.

Established in 1956, TEC carries out a number of programs that seek to promote the greater good in the communities. The programs range from education, medicine, social welfare, governance to name but a few. TEC currently has a total of thirty-four dioceses across Tanzania.

Born on November 3, 1966, Archbishop Nyaisonga has been the president of TEC during a period characterized by political uncertainty in Tanzania. During his time as TEC’s president, TEC was able to intervene in a number of issues that were affecting the majority of Tanzanians, pleading with authorities to change course. These include the political direction Tanzania was taking in the last five years as well as the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their recent meeting, the bishops also re-appointed Father Dr Charles Kitima as the Secretary-General of TEC for another three years.

Govt urges schools to observe COVID-19 guidelines

As schools open today after a short break, the government on Sunday urged the management of schools and other learning institutions to strictly observe COVID-19 protective guidelines as they reopen.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Dr Abel Makubi said during a press conference in the capital Dodoma yesterday that school authorities should install facilities for washing hands with soap and ensure that face masks and sanitisers are available and used at all times.

“School authorities should ensure they follow COVID-19 guidelines to protect students from the pandemic,” said Dr Makubi. “The health status of students should be monitored frequently.”

COVID-19 vaccine importation protocols are ready

In the same press conference yesterday, The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Dr Abel Makubi informed that the government has already set guidelines for importation and storage of COVID-19 vaccines. “Government through the Ministry of Health has already prepared guidelines for importation and storage of vaccines so as to provide opportunity for those who are ready to get their preventive jab”,  said Dr Makubi.

The Ministry emphasized that COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of charge and that taking the jab will be optional. Also the government will continue to sensitize  the masses on the importance of the vaccine.

“The government and its experts will continue to sensitize the masses on COVID-19 vaccine but also the government has already started on plans to have COVID-19 manufacturing plant,” emphasized Dr makubi. “We have enough experts so we want to make sure that the  plan of making our own vaccine is in motion, not only for COVID-19 only but also other vaccines.

Ndugai warns against misuse of power by public officials

Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai on Saturday warned the newly appointed government officials against allowing themselves to be corrupted with power, urging them to behave according to Tanzania’s laws and regulations. Mr Ndugai made the remarks while closing an orientation organized for the newly appointed regional commissioners and regional administrative secretaries from 26 regions of Tanzania Mainland.

“Go and implement the country’s laws, regulations and procedures,” insisted Mr Ndugai. “Never treat anyone unjustly. Go and serve both the rich and the poor indiscriminately. Go and maintain good relations between you and other institutions you are partnering with. Avoid unnecessary conflicts in your respective areas of work.”

Mr Ndugai also warned the public officials against entertaining bureaucracy, calling it unhealthy as far as maintaining good relations between the leaders and their people. He urged the RCs and RASs to make themselves easily accessible to people, as that will put them in the best positions to serve the citizens.

Govt claims armed robbers ‘neutralized’

Home Affairs minister George Simbachawene said Sunday that the government has succeeded in “neutralizing” armed robbers in various cities and towns of Tanzania, describing the neutralization as “a silent one.” Mr Simbachawene, who doubles as Kibakwe MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM), made the remarks while addressing a meeting with his voters in the constituency.

Mr Simbachawene noted that thanks to the success of the first operation to put an end to armed robberies in Tanzania that gathered steam recently the government was about to launch the second operation in line with May’s directive by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro to make sure there are no longer reports of armed robberies in the country.

Tanzania invites traders to import fertilizer into the country

Agriculture minister Prof Adolph Mkenda said Sunday that the government has officially removed all restrictions that were previously responsible for preventing the importation of fertilizer into Tanzania. According to Prof Mkenda, the move aims at solving the shortage of fertilizer the country currently faces as well as reducing farmers’ hassles to obtain it.

Briefing journalists in Mwanza yesterday as part of his official visit to Tanzania Cotton Board, Prof Mkenda told businesspeople that are interested in importing fertilizers into the country are free to do so, promising them fully government support when needed.

According to the government, Tanzania obtains much of its fertilizer from local manufacturers and the deficit is covered through importing the product through the bulk process which now the government confirms to have failed to provide long-term solutions to the shortage of fertilizer in the country.

With fertilizer demands reaching 718,051 tons, the minister says the only permanent solution to the problem is “allowing a fair competition.”

“Let me take this opportunity to call on all business people of Tanzania to submit their applications to import fertilizer to Fertilizer Regulatory Authority as soon as possible,” said Prof Mkenda

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