The Chanzo Morning Briefing – August 4, 2021.

In our briefing, today: Samia mourns passing of defence minister Elias Kwandikwa; NEC pronounces Konde constituency vacant following resignation of MP-elect; and Hundreds show up to take COVID-19 shots in Arusha.
The Chanzo Reporter4 August 20214 min

Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.

Samia mourns passing of defense minister Elias Kwandikwa

President Samia Suluhu Hassan said Tuesday that she will remember the fallen Minister of Defence and National Service Mr Elias Kwandikwa for “his competent leadership and unwavering patriotism” to Tanzania.

Mr Kwandikwa, who doubled as Ushetu Member of Parliament (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) died on Monday night while receiving treatment at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam for an undisclosed disease.

“We have lost an important person whose contribution to the public service will not be forgotten,” a statement released by the directorate of presidential communications on Tuesday quoted President Samia as saying. “Kwandikwa was a strong leader who fulfilled his duties in accordance with [Tanzania’s] laws and regulations.”

The fifty-five-year-old Kwanikwa becomes the second high-ranking government official to die since Samia became the sixth Head of State of Tanzania. The first was Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) Chief Executive Officer Patrick Mfugale who died on June 29, 2020, following a sudden illness.

An accountant by profession, Kwandikwa spent his entire professional career in the Office of the Controller and Auditor General, starting as a Clerk Examiner Grade II in 1990 to becoming Chief Accountant from 2005 to 2015 when he ran for public office.

A recipient of a Master of Business Administration from the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute, Mr Kwandikwa was appointed by the late John Magufuli in October 2017 as the Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication.

In 2020, Magufuli appointed Kwandikwa as Minister of Defense and National Service after Dr Hussein Mwinyi, who was serving the post, was elected President of Zanzibar.

NEC pronounces Konde constituency vacant following resignation of MP-elect

Director of Election at the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Dr Wilson Mahera Charles said in a statement yesterday that the Konde constituency in North Pemba is vacant following the resignation of the Member of Parliament-elect (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) in the recent by-election Mr Sheha Mpemba Faki.

NEC had announced Mr Faki the winner in the by-election that took place on July 18, 2021, after reportedly garnering a total of 1,796 votes against his closest opponent Mr Mohammed Said Issa from the opposition ACT-Wazalendo who earned a total of 1,373 votes. NEC organized the by-election following the death of Mr Khatib Said Haji in May 2021, who was the constituency’s Member of Parliament (ACT-Wazalendo).

But in a situation that has left many dumbfounded, Mr Faki tendered his resignation letter to CCM leadership before he was even sworn in as a lawmaker of the Twelve Parliament, citing some family reasons. CCM received Mr Faki’s decision with “sadness,” the party said in a statement on Monday, adding that it cannot stop him from making the decision.  

“Arrangements to fill in the vacant position are underway and they will be announced shortly,” Dr Mahera said in his Monday’s statement. “[NEC] had neither informed Speaker of Parliament [Job Ndugai] on the completion of the by-election [in Konde] nor had published the results in the government gazette as required by laws.”

Opposition ACT-Wazalendo said it’d organize an emergency party meeting to discuss the development and it’d update its members and the general public shortly. The party had refused to concede defeat in the by-election, calling the results that gave Mr Faki victory “cooked-up” and not reflective of the reality on the ground. The party said then that it was “saddened by the injustice” that took place in the by-election.

Hundreds show up to take COVID-19 shots in Arusha

Arusha District Commissioner Ms Sophia Mjema said yesterday that people’s response towards the COVID-19 vaccine in Arusha has been “enormous,” urging even more residents of the northern region of Tanzania to come out and get inoculated against the killer disease.

On July 30, 2021, the government launched its coronavirus vaccine distribution plan targeting all regions of Tanzania Mainland with the priority given to those with underlying health conditions, healthcare workers, and the elderly

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 people who have responded positively to President [Samia Suluhu Hassan’s call for vaccine] are so many in Arusha,” said Ms Mjema in a statement

She said there are three centres in the city designated for the exercise and all of them have been populated with people who need to receive the jabs that are provided on a voluntary basis and free of charge. “I encourage many people to come out and take the shots because they are free and safe,” insisted Ms Mjema.

This is it for today and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or follow us on Twitter (here) as that is the best way to make sure you do not miss any of these briefings.  And in case you have any questions or comments, please consider dropping a word to our editors at editor@thechanzo.com.

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