Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Friday, July 30, 2021.
Tanzania moves with covid vaccination plan amidst wave of misinformation
The government said Friday that it is planning to distribute the coronavirus vaccine to all regions in Tanzania Mainland, and priority will be given to those with underlying health conditions, healthcare workers and the elderly. Health is a non-union matter and Zanzibar is administering its own independent vaccination program.
Tanzania has at the moment more than one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine thanks to a donation by the U.S. government through the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative, the global vaccine-sharing facility that the country requested to join in mid-June this year. The government plans to inoculate at least 35 million people or 60 per cent of the population.
“The government aims at providing the vaccines to target groups from Tuesday, August 3, 2021, in the 550 designated centres throughout Tanzania Mainland,” the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Prof Abel Makubi said in a statement yesterday. The shots will be administered on a voluntary basis and they’ll be given free of charge.
A person who is interested to receive the jab will have to do three things: make sure that he/she belongs to the three targeted groups; make sure that he/she has a government-issued ID, which can be NIDA, driving licence or voter’s ID; make sure that he/she books an appointment which is done online; and fill in a consent form.
“This exercise should be administered ethically and justly to the targeted groups,” Prof Makubi said in the statement. “I urge people to continue taking all necessary precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, including washing their hands regularly, maintaining social distancing, avoid unnecessary gatherings and doing exercises.”
Meanwhile, tension was raised in one school in Mirerani, Manyara region after about 30 parents whose children study at the Endiamtu Primary School organized a protest outside the school, accusing the school’s administration of planning to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the children.
According to a report by Mwananchi newspaper, the parents rushed to the school after seeing an ambulance going there. But the school’s headmaster told the paper no vaccine was being provided at the school, saying the vehicle brought healthcare workers to inform the students on the best way they can protect themselves against COVID-19.
ATCL adds new plane to its fleet
President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday took part in a function to receive Air Tanzania Company Limited’s (ATCL) new plane, calling air transport “a very important development catalyst in the world.” The function took place at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam.
The arrival of the Bombardier Dash 8 – Q400 makes Tanzania’s short-haul fleet list reaches five. The country has a fleet of two medium-haul planes, which are Airbus 220 and is expecting to receive two more planes of that type in October 2021. Tanzania also has a fleet of two long haul planes, including the Boeing 787 – 8 Dreamliner.
“These aircraft were obtained through sweat and blood,” said President Samia shortly before receiving the aircraft. “I’d like to ask all [ATCL] staff to be extra careful in the maintenance and servicing of the planes, especially in preventing sabotage acts against our aircraft.”
Earlier while explaining the challenges facing the ATCL and which requires the government’s intervention, ATCL managing director Ladislaus Matindi said that the existence of inherited debts blocks the airline from expanding its routes for fear of having the aircraft seized.
“Another challenge is the ownership structure that legally makes the aircrafts the properties of the government and thus it becomes associated with the government’s debts,” Mr Matindi said. “This also prevents [ATCL] from expanding its routes which in turn increases operational costs because the planes become underused.”
TRA boasts Sh18 trillion in revenue collection
Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said Friday that in the financial year 2020/2021, which started on July 1, 2020, and ended June 30, 2021, the taxman has been able to collect a total of Sh18.14 trillion in revenues, which is an equivalent of Sh1.51 trillion per month.
In the fourth quarter of the financial year, which is from April to June 2021, TRA collected a total of Sh4.45 trillion, a statement released yesterday by the taxman noted. This means that TRA collected Sh1.34 trillion, Sh1.35 trillion and Sh1.85 trillion in April, May and June respectively.
TRA Commissioner General Alphayo Kidata thanked Tanzanians for being able to facilitate the collection of such revenue despite the effects associated with COVID-19 that continue to bite every sector of Tanzania’s economy.
“This is an indicator of true patriotism,” Mr Kidata said in a statement. “It is [our] expectations that this level of patriotism will never decrease during the 2021/2022 financial year.”
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