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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – October 29, 2021

In our briefing today: Tanzania, Rwanda sign defence cooperation agreement; UDOM suspends lecturer accused of sexual corruption; High court orders self-styled activist Musiba to pay Membe Sh6billion in damages.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Tanzania, Rwanda sign defence cooperation agreement

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Tanzania Major General Charles Karamba told the Rwandan New Times newspaper that the two East African nations have signed an MoU on defence cooperation during this week’s Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) meeting held in Dar es Salaam.

“The meeting has approved the permanent secretaries’ report and signed it. Both ministers have signed an MoU on defence cooperation,” The New Times quoted Karamba as saying, without delving deeper into the matter.

The fifteenth session of the Rwanda-Tanzania JPC began on Monday with officials from both Tanzania and Rwanda looking to follow up on directives by the two countries’ leaders’ in August, and work towards enhancing ties in various fields. The meeting was co-chaired by Rwandan and Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Ministers Dr Vincent Biruta and Liberata Mulamula respectively.

This week’s agreement follows the meeting Presidents Paul Kagame and Samia Suluhu Hassan held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali in August 2021, where the two leaders held bilateral discussions and signed four bilateral agreements in areas of ICT, cooperation in areas of immigration, in education, and an agreement on cooperation in areas of regulation of medical products.

UDOM suspends lecturer accused of sexual corruption

The University of Dodoma on Thursday was forced to suspend one of its faculty members Mr Basil Mswahili following the pressure from students and anti-sexual corruption activists who demanded the lecturer be held accountable for his behaviour of extorting sex from his students in exchange for grades.

Thursday’s development took place against the backdrop of an online campaign that exposed Mr Mswahili as a sexual predator who lured his students into sex by promising them good grades in his subjects. Images and videos showing Mr Mswahili with one of his victims trended on social media, precipitating UDOM’s management to take action against the accused lecturer.

“[UDOM] has taken appropriate disciplinary action [against the accused individual] in accordance with rules and regulations,” a statement released yesterday by the university’s public relations department asserted, adding that the lecturer had been suspended from all academic duties until the investigation into the allegations is completed.

Sexual corruption is rampant in Tanzania’s higher education institutions but efforts to fight the problem has been hampered by the secrecy that it involves and the fear of persecution by victims of the malpractice that make them keep quiet about it.

On March 29, 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan faced criticism from anti-sexual corruption advocates after suggesting that both the beneficiary and the benefactor of sexual corruption are adults.

“[You touched on] a study on sexual corruption in two major universities of Tanzania. I think Tanzania has more than 64 universities and colleges,” President Samia said while in the capital Dodoma, addressing the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). “Now, this [study] should serve as a baseline survey for you, you’ve got some preliminary information, now you can move to an in-depth survey.”

She told PCCB that there was more to be investigated in universities apart from sexual corruption, adding: “Because the one who asks for [sexual corruption] and the one who gives it are both adult people. Now, there is corruption involved in exam leaking and many other types of corruption in that sector. Don’t restrict yourself to [investigating sexual corruption]. Expand the scope of investigation by looking at other critical issues facing our higher learning institutions.”

High court orders self-styled activist Musiba to pay Membe Sh6billion in damages

Former Foreign Affairs Minister and ACT-Wazalendo’s presidential candidate in the 2020 General Election Mr Bernard Membe on Thursday won a lawsuit he filed at the High Court in Dar es Salaam against journalist Cyprian Musiba, with judges ruling that the latter should pay the diplomat a total of Sh6 billion in damages.

This is the second lawsuit to be ruled against Mr Musiba who over the period of four years has been using his newspapers, notably his Tanzanite newspaper, to lead a vitriolic campaign, that sometimes involved personal attacks, against people he perceived to be the critics of the fifth-phase government then under the late President John Magufuli.

On August 11, 2021, the High Court in Zanzibar ruled in favour of former Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) President Fatma Karume in a case the self-proclaimed independent activist Musiba, ordering him to pay Ms Karume Sh7.5 billion in damages.

Mr Membe filed the lawsuit on December 22, 2018, after Musiba alleged that Mr Membe was organized conspiracies to block Mr Magufuli’s presidential candidature for the 2020 General Election with the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Mr Membe called the report “false” and aimed at defaming him.

Mr Membe urged Tanzanians who feel defamed to bring their lawsuits to the court, saying that that is the only way to ensure they get justice for the treatments they are being subjected to.

“I fought for this justice on my behalf and on behalf of all Tanzanians whose reputations were damaged [and] harassed [as well as on behalf] of retired leaders who were defamed by this man [Musiba],” Mr Membe told journalists outside of the court. “I’d like to inform all of these people that this will never happen again.”

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