Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, October 25, 2021.
Samia tasks ministry of finance to start working on municipal bond idea
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday met and held talks with United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) Executive Director Preeti Sinha whereby the two discussed the UNCDF Municipal Investment Financing programme which advocates for governments to find alternative sources of revenues for financing development projects in urban areas with instruments such as the Municipal Bond.
While the idea has been mentioned as one way through which Tanzania will fund its Sh114.8 trillion Five Years Development Plan (2021/2022 – 2025/2026), it was until yesterday that the government hinted at going ahead with the plan.
Historically, Municipal Bond gained popularity globally following the first issuance of the municipal bond by the New York City Council in 1812 at the New York capital market. Many bonds were later issued which helped catapult infrastructure development in by then, the young United States at a very rapid rate. At present, the US Municipal bond market is valued at over USD 3.8 trillion. In Africa, Municipal Bond is still very low with many actions mostly observed in South Africa.
While many municipalities in Tanzania have bankable projects that can be used in issuance of bonds such as markets, bus terminals and entertainment venues, analysts point to various challenges that need resolving for the idea to work.
They mention the issue of human resource with adequate financial knowledge, pointing to complaints from the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) on the capacity of staff at the local level. They also name the operation process at the local level as well as the absence of policies and legal framework that provide adequate cover for effective issuance of bonds.
But during the meeting with Ms Sinha, which took place at the Dar es Salaam State House, President Samia gave the idea of Municipal Bond a green light by directing the Ministry of Finance to start working on the mechanism, according to a statement released by the Director of Presidential Communications Mr Jaffar Haniu.
The UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, sometimes referred to as Cooperation Framework, is described as the most important planning and implementation instrument for UN development activities within countries, translating the vision of Member States into UN actions and impacts on the ground.
Pastor reportedly held at Zanzibar entry point
A Kenyan pastor Mustafa Abubakar told the International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington, DC-based non-governmental organization whose concern is the human rights of Christians and religious minorities, that he was on September 11, 2021, temporarily prevented from entering Zanzibar where he was going to preach the Gospel because immigration officers doubted if he was truly a pastor given his name’s etymology.
Abubakar claimed that having finished teaching a group of pastors in Dar es Salaam, he decided to cross over to Zanzibar to meet other pastors as well as some Christian university students at the semi-autonomous archipelago.
“At the entry point, I was singled out by the immigration officers because they could not understand why my passport bore the name Mustafa Abubakar and pastor as my profession. They claimed that I wanted to get into Zanzibar for some dubious business,” ICC quotes Abubakar as saying.
Mustafa Abubakar, born and raised in a Muslim family in the coastal region of Kenya, explained to the officers that he had come to Zanzibar to visit friends and help them preach the gospel to Christian groups. Still, they did not believe him.
“The officer holding my passport called his boss, and they pushed me inside a small detention room inside the port area. They interrogated me in turns, even calling other officers to ask me questions about my region and what I was coming to do. I insisted that I was a Christian pastor and I bear the name Mustafa Abubakar because that’s the name I was given by my father. They threatened me that if I do not tell them the truth, they will deny me entry and deport me back to Tanzania.”
Abubakar claimed that for close to two hours, immigration officers kept demanding for the reason why he was coming to Zanzibar until they decided to issue me a deportation form. They even asked him to fill out the form and prepare to board the next ship to Dar es Salaam, which he did not oppose.
However, a well-timed phone call changed the minds of the officers, and Pastor Abubakar was able to continue his journey.
“As I was filling the form, my host called me to find out why I was delaying. The officers told me to put the phone on loudspeaker or else they would confiscate it. I obliged. My host praised the Lord that I had arrived safely and told me to hurry up for the first group of believers who had already gathered. That’s when the officers believed that I was telling them the truth.”
Still, Pastor Abubakar was given conditions for his release. He told ICC: “They did not give up. They instructed me that I should not preach in large meetings or crusades for I will risk being arrested and charged. Since that was not my intention, we went on to meet the believers in small groups. Thankfully, I had a smooth passage at the port when exiting.”
CHADEMA criticises Samia over recent NEC appointments
A coalition of opposition party CHADEMA parliamentary candidates in the 2025 General Election, organized under the moniker of ‘People’s Assembly’ on Monday criticized the recent appointments of members for the National Electoral Commission (NEC) done by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, saying the move indicates that the Head of State has no plan to reform the electoral body to reflect the suggestions by opposition parties and other democracy activists in Tanzania.
On September 27, 2021, President Samia appointed Asina Abdillah Omar, Magdalena Rwebangira and Jacob Mwambengele as new members of NEC, filling the positions that were vacant at the commission.
But during their joint press conference at the party’s headquarter in Dar es Salaam on Monday, the CHADEMA members, who are currently mobilizing for the need for an independent electoral commission, called the appointment a message Samia is sending to Tanzanians that the demand will never be met under her administration.
“This is the same [electoral] commission that robbed our victories during the 2020 general election and seeing President Samia appoint new members to it is deeply disappointing,” Celestine Simba, then CHADEMA parliamentary candidate for Ulanga constituency said on behalf of her fellow then candidates.
“But this will not kill our movement to demand an independent electoral commission,” she added. “We will continue to organize our people to demand an independent electoral commission because that is the only way of ensuring free and fair elections in Tanzania.”
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