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The Chanzo’s Morning Briefing – July 9, 2021

In our briefing, today: CCT expects Samia not to mess with rule of law, human rights; CCM: China is TZ’s ‘all-weather’ development partner; Mbowe cuts short his tour of Zanzibar to attend brother’s funeral; and nine-year-old Simba fan commits suicide after team lost.

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

CCT expects Samia not to mess with rule of law, human rights

The chairperson of the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) Dr Alinikisa Cheyo told President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday that the umbrella organization that brings together protestant denominations in the country hopes that under her administration the East African nation will neither have government leaders nor state apparatuses that violate principles of rule of law and human rights.

Speaking during a meeting between CCT and the Head of State in the capital Dodoma, Dr Cheyo said until now the Samia Administration has demonstrated through actions its commitments to the rule of law and human rights as evidenced in the steps taken against government officials accused of abuse of power and the release of many people from jail who were charged on trumped-up charges.

“All these efforts have boosted people’s as well as religious leaders’ confidence in your [President Samia’s] government and its direction towards improving its relations with the citizens,” said Dr Cheyo.

He also asked the Head of State to involve religious institutions in the country’s democratic processes, like in providing civic education to people as well as conducting election monitoring, saying that the institutions were completely left out in the 2020 General Election because they were denied permits that would enable them to fully participate in them.

Established in 1934, CCT brings together its members efforts to collectively provide spiritual as well as other essential social services to Tanzanians. Drawing its membership from a total of twelve churches in Tanzania, including the Anglican Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Monrovian Church, CCT works on gender, education, health, environment and other issues that affect people’s welfare.

But Dr Cheyo told President Samia that the organization faces a number of challenges that prevent it from playing a significant role in the communities it serves. One of the challenges is in obtaining work and resident permits for CCT’s missionaries who come to Tanzania to do volunteering work and to share their expertise in the health and education sectors. Another challenge is the demand from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) that CCT pays income tax from the activities its education and health institutions offer.

On her part, President Samia said her administration takes seriously the opinions of religious leaders in the governing of the country’s affairs as well as recognizing the contribution religious organizations play both in Tanzania’s economy and in the provision of key social services. She said she is aware that the Immigration Department and the Labor Department has already worked on the issue of work and resident permits and that past challenges will no longer be there.

“Since April 3, 2021, they have launched an online work permit and issuance system which significantly cut bureaucracy involved in the process,” said the Head of State, adding that now an applicant will get a work permit between one and three days from fourteen days which was the case in the past.

On scrapping income tax for religious institutions that provide health and education services in the country, President Samia said that the tax is imposed because many religious institutions operate more like business than service-oriented entities.

“So what are the solutions to this [problem]? I think it is important that both [the government and the religious organizations] work in an open and faithful manner. Openness will lead the tax authorities to believe hat religious organizations do not do business,” said President Samia. “All of us need to pay serious attention to the taxation issue so that the efforts that [the government] takes do not negatively affect any side.”

Speaking earlier during the meeting, CCT women’s representative Agnes Ndeyo urged President Samia to intensify the war against gender-based violence (GBV) in Tanzania by reforming the country’s criminal justice system so that GBV cases do not drag on in court for long and perpetrators are convicted timely.

She also mentioned that there is an increase in the number of young girls who get pregnant while still at school something she said was preventing girls from continuing with their studies through the formal system and achieve their dreams. “We suggest that the government undertake legal and policy changes that would allow teen mothers back to school through [Tanzania’s] formal system of education,” she noted.

CCM: China is TZ’s ‘all-weather’ development partner

Secretary-General of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Mr Daniel Chongolo has described China “as an all-weather development partner,” calling it a friend to Tanzania since the attainment of Tanzania’s independence in 1961.

Mr Chongolo made the remarks during a virtual global summit for world political parties organised by the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) on Wednesday to mark the party’s centenary since its founding. Mr Chongolo and other senior CCM leader participated in the virtual conference from the Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School in Kibaha District, Coast Region, built with joint funding including from CPC.

“We are proud to showcase various landmark projects that have been implemented in Tanzania with the support of the Chinese government under the leadership of the CPC,”  remarked Mr Chongolo .

He added: “I am confident that our relations will continue to prosper in the future for the mutual benefit of our two sisterly countries. As the CPC is celebrating the centenary of its founding, we Africans should not only send our congratulations to our Chinese friends but learn from their experiences in industrialisation with modesty.”

Mbowe cuts short his tour of Zanzibar to attend brother’s funeral

CHADEMA national chairperson Freeman Mbowe had to cut short his tour of Zanzibar yesterday and head back to Kilimanjaro to take part in the funeral of his brother Charles Mbowe who died on Thursday from COVID-19 complications at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC).

In a video statement shared on his Twitter timeline, Mr Mbowe said his brother’s burial will take place on Monday, July 12, 2021, in Machame, Moshi, at 1 PM. Mr Mbowe said that due to the presence of the third wave of COVID-19 in Tanzania, very few people ought to attend the burial celebration.

“We would therefore like to inform you that we’ll differently organize the funeral celebration whereby very few relatives would be allowed to take part in the celebration,” said Mr Mbowe in the statement. “We ask our fellow Tanzanians to take all necessary measures that would protect them against COVID-19, including by avoiding unnecessary gatherings.”

Nine-year-old Simba fan commits suicide after team lost

A nine-year-old boy, Joshua Joseph, believed to be a fan of Simba Sports Club committed suicide on Sunday in the Kongoe’s town of Toangoma after the club lost 1-0 to Young African Sports Club in the Mainland Premier League derby over the weekend.

Joseph Edward, the boy’s father, told Mwananchi Digital that the incident followed some sports jokes that Joshua had with his brothers at their home who appeared to be fans of Yanga SC. Edward said he and Joshua are the only Simba SC fans in the household.

“He got angry and started to cry while punching the wall,” said Edward. “He refused to eat and took an empty plastic gallon with him to a nearby mango tree. While others were in the house having their meal, they heard the gallon falling from a hilltop but they were not worried because Joshua used to play with them. Only when they came out of the house is when they found him hanging from the mango tree.”

Edward said Joshua was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital in Mbagala but he passed away before doctors started to attend to him.

Elsewhere from The Chanzo’s platform

Following the government’s announcement that plans to import COVID-19 vaccines are in the offing, and that the jabs will be provided on a voluntary basis, The Chanzo’s contributor Jerry Mosses discusses the likelihood of Tanzanians to take the shots when they’re available to them and what the government is supposed to do to influence people’s acceptance of the immunization. You can read Jerry’s Will Tanzanians Take COVID-19 Vaccine? analysis here.

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