Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Samia takes on factions in the government
It seems like President Samia Suluhu Hassan is tired of the background noises that keep blaming the rising corrupt practices within the government on her personally and her administration in general. She had to end the silence.
On Saturday, at the launch of pier number 0 to 7 at the port of Dar es Salaam, the Head of State pulled no punches at what she felt about those factions, defending her administration unabashedly by saying that most of what seemed as corrupt in her administration had their foundations built during the previous administrations.
“There are factions that know what they are doing within the government,” the Head of State started her sermon. She was calm but her sound kept rising as she went on to explain the whole matter. In mimicking voice, she continued: “They are the exact factions that keep claiming that ‘corruption has returned during the sixth-phase government.’ [That] ‘things are unorganized’ while it is them who are unorganized.”
It is almost a rule for every new leader in Tanzania to blame some malfunctioning within the government on the previous administrations and Samia never missed the chance in fulfilling that rule.
“Those things never happened during the sixth-phase administration,” went on President Samia, failing to clarify, however, what “those things” were exactly. “They happened in the past but [this] broken car is falling on the sixth-phase administration. I’ll never accept that. Never.”
Opposing factions, with competing interests, has been a common phenomenon in the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM)-led governments. They were a common feature of the Jakaya Kikwete administration, which many analysts believe were responsible for the late John Magufuli’s victory as CCM flag-bearer during the 2015 elections.
When he came to power, with his heavy-handed approach to dealing with dissidents, President Magufuli is acknowledged to have succeeded at putting these factions to sleep. But some observers think that this would have been only temporarily, arguing that they would definitely come back after some time.
With Magufuli gone, it seems like the factions are back from asleep and are out to get President Samia. Whether her recent remarks will succeed at sending these factions back to sleep remains an open question. But many analysts are convinced that speaking out against them as Samia did is a well-calculated step for it shows her as a confident leader, a quality she needs in her power consolidation project.
Japan-funded section of new Bagamoyo Road inaugurated
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Sunday inaugurated the 4.3 km section of New Bagamoyo Road phase II between Morocco and Mwenge, saying the completion of the road will go a long way at decongesting Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.
The government of Japan, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), funded the construction of the Mwenge-Morocco section that was constructed at a cost of Sh71.8 billion.
Authorities hope that the completion of widening new Bagamoyo road will not only reduce traffic congestion but also reduce accidents to the users and ensure smooth transportation to and from Dar es Salaam city.
“I think you have noticed the budget allocated to [Tanzania Rural-Urban Road Agency] Tarura in the financial year 2021/2022 for road projects in the region,” the Head of State said during the inauguration of the road. “The amount is large compared to the previous year. The goal is to ensure that Tanzania is going to reduce dusty roads and making sure we have roads that are resilient to all seasons.”
She tasked the Ministry of Works and Transport and Tanzania National Road Agency (Tanroads) to ensure that construction and renovations of bridges and roads are done under contract to ensure that the roads last as long as they should.
Samia dissolves TPA, TASAC board of directors over fraudulent deal
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday was forced to dissolve the board of directors of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) over the claim that the two authorities were responsible for entering a fraudulent deal with a ghost company that cost the government billions of money.
She announced the decision on December 4 at the launch of pier number 0 to 7 at the port of Dar es Salaam.
Her decision was informed by a report by a special investigation that implicated the two boards of directors in an Sh438.8 billion deal with an alleged Turkish ship-building company YÜTEK to construct five government vessels, and payments were made, but it turned out that the company was neither financially capable nor expert to execute the contract.
Samia formed the special team that comprised experts from the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Office of the Attorney General, officers from the navy and experts from Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL). The company won a contract to build five passenger ships and cargo ships in the country.
“I have instructed the Minister and the Office of the Attorney General to terminate the contract,” said President Samia of the contract signed in her presence in Mwanza on June 15, 2021. “My only power was to dissolve the boards by removing chairpersons.”
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