Dar es Salaam. Good morning! We hope you had a wonderful weekend. The Chanzo is here once again to bring you all the big stories that broke in Tanzania over the weekend.
CCM tells off Diallo for ‘insane leaders’ remarks
It seems like the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) chairperson for the Mwanza region Mr Anthony Diallo has ruffled some feathers within the party’s establishment and now the stalwarts of Africa’s longest-serving political party are out to get him.
Diallo, whose political journey goes as far back as 1995, was on Sunday forced to call a press conference to clarify his remarks that many thinks are about the late John Magufuli that he made during an interview with the Mwanza-based television station Star TV where he reportedly described the former Head of State as a “certified madman.” Mr Magufuli died on March 17, 2021, and his controversial legacy has been contested ever since.
The relationship between Mr Diallo and the late Magufuli was not so rosy. In 2017, for example, Mr Diallo, who owns the Sahara Media Group (SMG), which runs Star TV, Radio Free Africa and Kiss FM, had his company closed down by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) for allegedly failing to pay Sh4.5billion in taxes. TRA gave Mr Diallo only two weeks to clear the debts otherwise it would put his company’s premises on auction.
During the same time, anonymous workers at the SMG brought a total of fifteen complaints to the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA), accusing the former minister of violation of Tanzania’s labour regulations. The Chanzo does not understand how these issues were resolved. However, the experience forced Mr Diallo to keep a low profile throughout Magufuli’s tenure, shirking all party and government activities.
“I think we need to be careful in electing [a president],” Mr Diallo begun as discussion on the importance of having strong democratic institutions was going on. “[A president] should have a [good] track record. In the past, we have elected people [as president] who have been hospitalized in mental hospitals. Now, someone has a track record of [being] hospitalized at Mirembe [National Mental Health Hospital, which handles mental patients] and then you let him/her takes the country [as its leader].”
The fact that the businessman-cum-politician mentioned no name did not stop the General Secretary of CCM Youth Wing (UVCCM) Mr Kenan Kihongosi going over Mr Diallo’s neck, calling his statements “disrespectful,” and that the wing “condemns the statement in strongest terms.”
Addressing CCM Secretary-General Mr Daniel Chongolo who was in attendance during the internal meeting, Mr Kihongosi continued: “That statement has embarrassed us. I speak with deep pain [that] our leaders who did a great job in this nation should be let free. Their contribution does not deserve to be underestimated. When statements such as this one is made they discourage us. It is not [even] in line with the party’s ethics”
Facing the backlash, Mr Diallo called a press conference to “clarify” his statements. “I apologize to those who misunderstood me,” said Mr Diallo before proceeding to urge his fellow CCM members to be very careful not to take things at face value. “You find a party leader issues a statement [against me] without even calling me to ask for clarification over what people are discussing,” he said surprisingly. “He/she is accusing me as if I’m guilty while it is just a matter of understanding.”
Team formed to investigate Kariakoo’s market inferno
The government has formed a special task force that will investigate the fire outbreak that occurred on Saturday at the Kariakoo Market in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, affecting dozens of businesses that were conducted around and inside the market.
According to reports, the inferno started around 8 PM and lasted about seven hours before the Fire and Rescue Force was able to put it down. The inferno would have been extinguished earlier were it not for a water challenge that faced the brigade. Ilala Regional Fire and Rescue Commander Elisa Mgisha told reporters Saturday that the brigade arrived on the scene on time, “the only problem we faced was a shortage of water as we had to drive to and from the [Julius Nyerere International] Airport [JNIA] where there are working fire hydrants,” the government-owned Daily News newspaper quoted him as saying.
It is not yet clear why the market continued to burn for all these hours while the driving distance between Kariakoo and the JKIA is only 9.7 kilometres. By the time the brigade’s ‘rescue’ efforts bore fruit it was already 1:40 PM, Mgisha said. Everything inside the market had burned down by that time, he sorrowfully added.
While hundreds of small and medium traders were seen crying over their helplessness to save their businesses and means of survival, no report detailing the actual damage caused of the inferno has been released. This is one of the tasks that the Prime Minister-formed committee is expected to establish.
The committee comprises officers from the Office of the President (State House), the Office of the President (Regional Administration and Local Governments), the Prime Minister’s Office, Security Forces, Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Tanzania Building Agency (TBA), Tanzania National Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) and the Fire and Rescue Force. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has given the committee a seven-day ultimatum to establish the real source behind the fire outbreak at the market, the first since its establishment four decades ago.
“I want the team to come up with a report on what caused the fire outbreak or who caused it,” said Mr Majaliwa while addressing traders and residents of the Kariakoo area on Sunday, urging the victims to exercise patience as authorities pursue the root cause of the destructive fire outbreak. Mr Majaliwa said that legal action would be imposed against those who will be implicated for their directly or indirectly involved in the incident.
You can read a (Swahili) analysis of the incident from our contributor Tony Alfred here, where he discusses how events like these should remind Tanzanians of the importance of fire insurance that would provide a cover to the victims of unforeseeable incidents like this one.
Lissu: Sirro is a liar
CHADEMA deputy national chairperson and the party’s presidential candidate in the 2020 elections Tundu Lissu yesterday described the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro as “a liar who is not supposed to put on police’s uniforms, let alone be its IGP.”
Mr Lissu was responding to IGP Sirro’s claims regarding a September 2017 assassination attempt against the then Singida East MP that took place in the capital Dodoma and whose perpetrators still remain at large.
IGP Sirro told Star TV’s Edwin Odemba during an exclusive interview between the two over the weekend that the reason why the investigation into Mr Lissu’s case has dragged on is that the former Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) president does not want to cooperate with the Police Force.
“Soon after Mr Lissu landed in Tanzania for campaigning [in 2020], I contacted him to ask him to come [to police] for interrogation on what exactly has happened. But he never came. What do you do in a situation like that?” asked IGP Sirro during the hour-long interview. “[Tundu Lissu] is by nature a stubborn person.”
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Mr Lissu, who’s currently based in Belgium, called IGP Sirro’s responses to questions posed to him “defences for unknown assailants” that attacked him. He said police did not have any intention to interrogate him apart from disrupting his campaign rallies.
“The Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Adadi Rajabu, investigated the assassination attack against me and wrote a formal report about it,” said Mr Lissu in one of his tweets. “[But] the Parliament’s leadership killed the report before it was officially tabled to the Parliament. Why?”
Z’bar intensifies war on corruption
President of Zanzibar Dr Hussein Mwinyi suspended a dozen of the semi-autonomous government’s senior officials over the weekend after they were implicated in massive misappropriation of public funds as his administration applies a no-nonsense approach towards corruption and other forms of public financial mismanagements.
Speaking on Saturday during a meeting with senior government and CCM officials at the Abdulwakil Conference Hall at Kikwajuni in Zanzibar to wind up his tour of three regions of Unguja, Dr Mwinyi said that what was happening in the government’s financial management was “shocking,” pointing out that “there are many corrupt contracts” between municipalities or government departments and service providers.
President Mwinyi suspended all municipal directors of Unguja as well as the director of the Small and Medium Industrial Development Agency (SMIDA), a government parastatal tasked with developing, promoting and offering support to micro, small and medium industries in Zanzibar.
Z’bar rolls out coronavirus vaccination
The semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar has started rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination programme with the government naming public healthcare workers as well as staff at the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and the Malindi port the first recipients of the jabs.
Briefing journalists on Saturday, Zanzibar’s Minister for Health Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui said that given the fact that the archipelago is receiving a lot of tourists the government saw it necessary to inoculate its people to help curb the third wave of the novel coronavirus that continues to devastate lives and economies of so many nations.
“Zanzibar is among countries that are receiving a huge number of tourists from different parts of the world,” the government-owned Daily News newspaper quoted Mr Mazrui as saying. “Therefore, it is very important to take measures to protect our health care staff and those who will be attending to the visitors.”
Govt schools shine in ACSEE exams results
The National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) on Saturday released the 2021 Form VI Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (ACSEE) results where among other things public schools seem to be outshining their private counterparts.
According to NECTA Executive Secretary Dr Charles Msonde while announcing the results in Zanzibar, here are the key statistics from the results:
- A total of 89,802 candidates were registered for the May national exam whereby 38,018 were girls and 51,784 boys. Public school candidates were 81,143 while private candidates were 8,659.
- Of the 89,802 registered candidates, 88,273 sat for the exams while 1,529 failing to do so for various reasons, including absenteeism.
- A total of 87,043 boys, which is an equivalent of 99.06 per cent, passed the exam, and 37,322 girls, which is equivalent to 99.47 per cent making it through.
- The pass rate increased by 0.03 per cent from 98.32 of 2019 to 98.35 per cent this year.
- The top ten best schools are Kisimiri in Arusha, Kemebos in Kagera, Dareda in Manyara, Tabora Girls in Tabora, Tabora boys in Tabora, Feza Boys in Dar es Salaam; Mwandet in Arusha, Zakia Meghji in Geita, Kilosa in Morogoro, and Mzumbe in Morogoro.
- In the list, only two schools – Kemembos and Feza Boys – are private.
- NECTA nullified the results of 27 candidates over cheating, with 25 being public school candidates and two private candidates.
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