Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here once again with all the big stories that broke in Tanzania on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
TZ remembers reformist leader Benjamin Mkapa
President Samia Suluhu Hassan said yesterday that any history book about Tanzania would be incomplete without containing an entire chapter that explains the life and legacy of former president Benjamin William Mkapa whom she described as not only a visionary, brave and strong leader but also as an outstanding and celebrated diplomat.
The Head of State made the remarks yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the Mkapa Legacy Symposium which was organized by the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) to honour the legacy of the fallen Tanzanian statesman since his passing exactly one year ago. Several senior serving and retired government officials as well as a number of dignitaries from Tanzania and beyond attended yesterday’s symposium that took place at the Mlimani City Events Hall Centre.
Mr Mkapa, who became Tanzania’s president following the country’s first multiparty election in 1995, died on July 24, 2020, following a sudden undisclosed disease. In her remarks yesterday, President Samia said that Tanzania owes Mr Mkapa a huge debt, emphasizing the need to honour his legacy tirelessly.
“And this is not just because he was our third phase president,” said President Samia who described Mr Mkapa as a very unique person. “But also thanks to major reforms he undertook for our country.” She said Mr Mkapa was a font of wisdom, “to the extent that whenever you get a chance to sit down with him you’ll never leave empty-handed. He was neither greed of knowledge nor of wisdom.”
The late Benjamin Mkapa occupies a very distinguished position in the development of the Tanzanian nation-state. He is credited for so many things but one of his notable contributions to Tanzania was his understanding of the role the private sector can play in the country’s development efforts and went ahead to make sure that his government creates enough space for the sector to undertake this role.
Guided by his appreciation of the importance of institutions in governing, Mr Mkapa holds the record of being the only Tanzania Head of State to establish a number of government institutions that would make sure any progress achieved in the country becomes sustainable.
Some of the few institutions he had established include the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS), Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) among many others.
Mr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who served with Mr Mkapa as a fellow cabinet minister during the Ali Hassan Mwinyi administration, and went on to serve as Mr Mkapa’s foreign affairs minister, said at the symposium yesterday that throughout Mr Mkapa’s life he put service to the people as a top priority.
“He was passionate in pursuit of his goals and uncompromising on issues he had strong beliefs in,” continued Mr Kikwete. “He was tough and at times he was rough when it was necessary for him to be one. But he was a very compassionate person who cared for the sick, the poor, the suffering and the disadvantaged.”
Former US President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who participated in the symposium virtually, expressed their pleasure of working with Mr Mkapa when the three were serving their respective nations, with Mr Blair describing Mr Mkapa as “an outstanding leader, a great patriot, a statesman, a campaigner, a warm and decent and good-hearted human being.”
Tanzania asks its SA-based nationals to keep off the ongoing riots
Tanzania said yesterday none of its nationals living in South Africa has been affected by the riots that continue to trouble the South African nation, urging Tanzanians living there however not to take part in the ongoing violence.
For the past few days, South Africa has been rocked with riots in several cities and towns that have been going hand in hand with looting and setting on fires of various shopping centres in what the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa calls unprecedented since the 1990s, before the end of apartheid.
The riots were triggered by the sentencing of former South African president Jacob Zuma to fifteen months in prison over a contempt of court, with his supporters pressurizing his release.
“As the South African government directs, the Tanzanian Embassy in South Africa would like to urge Tanzanians living in the county to stay calm and avoid taking part in the ongoing violence,” a statement by foreign affairs ministry quoted Tanzania’s ambassador to South Africa General (retired) Gaudence Milanzi as saying yesterday.
CHADEMA in new tug-of-war with party registrar
The Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, has written to the opposition CHADEMA, demanding the party to explain why it sacked the beleaguered 19 special–seat members of parliament, including Halima Mdee, CHADEMA’s Deputy Secretary-General (Tanzania Mainland) Mr Benson Kigaila revealed during a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
In November 2020, CHADEMA sacked the 19 former senior female leaders of the party over their alleged defiance of the party’s rules by accepting the National Electoral Commission’s (NEC) appointment as special-seat MPs without the party’s approval. CHADEMA said then that it did not forward the list to NEC and when the 19 women leaders were summoned to the party’s Central Committee to clarify the matter they never showed up. But they went on to be sworn in as MPs by Speaker Job Ndugai anyway.
According to Mr Kigaila while briefing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mr Mutungi wrote to the party on July 6, 2021, but the party responded that they are not going to explain anything to him because the matter is expected to be discussed at the party’s national council later this year.
“You cannot file a similar case to two different courts,” said Mr Kigaila. “These people [the 19 women special-seat MPs] have already appealed their sacking at the party national council that is yet to be organized. Now, the appeal has not even been heard [and] they have already filed a similar complaint to the Registrar.”
Poll: Over 78pc of Tanzanians pleased with the country’s direction
Eight out of 10 Tanzanians believe that their country is going in the right direction (78 per cent) and the government is handling the economy “fairly well” or “very well” (84 per cent), a new survey by the Pan-African research network Afrobarometer shows, with the agency describing the trends as “across the board improvement from compared to 2017”. In 2017, 62 percent had approved that the country was going in the right direction and only 59 percent had approved that the country’s economy was managed well.
The findings are a result of a total of 2,398 interviews carried out by the Afrobarometer team in Tanzania between March-April 2021, in the dawn of the new leadership under President Samia Suluhu. Other notable findings from the survey includes:
- 49 percent of citizens which is twice the number observed in 2017 says the present economic condition are fairly good or very good
- There is a notable renewed sense of optimism among Tanzanians whereas 53 percent think in the next 12 month the economic conditions are going to be much better. The results are positive compared to 38 percent observed in 2017.
- Also, 65 percent of Tanzanians think the government is doing well in Improving living standards of the poor as compared to only 39 percent in 2017.
The Afrobarometer poll is the first poll done under President Samia Suluhu administration, the poll confirms the positive response that comes with the shift of policies under President Samia Suluhu.
Since getting into power in March 2021, President Samia has changed many government stances including the relationships with the private sector, diplomacy and criminal justice system practices. Observers are looking to see how President Samia is going to institutionalize some of these notable changes in the coming days, including dismantling some of the repressive and backward laws which were prominent in the last administration.
Army officer arrested over murder
Police in Arusha is holding a Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) officer from the Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) whose name was not revealed for allegedly shooting dead a herder who was identified as Lais Lemomo.
Arusha regional police commander Justine Masejo told journalists Wednesday that the incident took place on July 12, 2021, and that the police were continuing with the investigation into the matter to find the real motivation behind the murder.
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