Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Sri Lanka orders its nationals who attended Tanzania conference to undergo COVID testing
Sri Lankan authorities have instructed all members of the delegation that recently returned to the country after participating in a Buddhist conference held in Tanzania to undergo testing for COVID-19, a Sri Lankan news website NewsIn Asia reported on Monday.
The directive followed reports that a Buddhist monk and another individual who had attended the said conference have already tested positive for coronavirus.
Around 30 members of lay and clergy from various parts of Sri Lanka participated in the conference held in the East African country. According to NewsIn Asia, the entire group had tested negative for the virus in the PCR tests carried out prior to their departure from Tanzania while they had each left for their respective homes after arriving in the country on Sunday.
Monday’s reports come amidst concerns that Tanzania may already be experiencing the fourth wave of the latest variant of coronavirus Omicron, with Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa allaying Tanzanians fears of the pandemic.
“We have not a single Omicron patient in the country,” the Premier said on December 11, 2021. “We have not a single fourth wave patient in our hospitals. [Reports that Tanzania is a dangerous country for the fourth wave of coronavirus] are trade wars and the private sector needs to speak this our behalf.”
Authorities have remained reluctant to admit the presence of the fourth wave of COVID-19 even in the wake of the spread of flu, headaches and fevers that have triggered fears in many people in the country. Hospitals have acknowledged admitting patients this week with complaints of fever, flu, chest pains, fatigue and headaches.
Still, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Prof Abel Makubi has urged the public not to worry about the current situation of flu and fever which he described as normal between December and February due to weather changes.
“The government continues to monitor the situation, but people should not worry,” he told The Citizen newspaper on December 17, 2021. “They only should continue protecting themselves.”
Helium One extends Tanzania seismic programme after encouraging early results
The Uk-listed company Helium One Global Ltd has said that it was extending its seismic programme in Tanzania after seeing what it described as encouraging early results at the Rukwa project.
The explorer had completed 94 per cent of the planned 200-kilometre programme as of December 18, and, now intends to shoot an additional 20 kilometres to add extra data for “promising targets” in the previously unsurveyed Momba area.
Additionally, some 15 kilometres of ‘high resolution’ seismic will be shot, as an experimental line to assess the suitability of high resolution seismic “to resolve shallow structures and identify potential closures within the topmost 400 metres”, the company added.
Chief executive David Minchin, in a statement, said: “We are delighted with progress at our extended Phase Il 2D seismic campaign, which has provided high-quality data across the northern extensions of Tai and Itumbula structural highs that are believed to be acting as a charge focus for helium migration.”
The company told investors that it is well funded for current exploration activities and is confident about its Phase II exploration campaign.
It is currently in talks with contractors for a conventional rig, for a drill programme commencing in the third quarter of 2022.
The company expects it will have some $11.5 million of cash reserves, after payment of all due invoices related to Phase I drilling (excluding disputed invoices of $239,429).
“We remain well-financed and look forward to updating the market with additional information developed from the Phase II 2D seismic campaign once data has been processed and interpreted,” Minchin added. “This information will feed into generating additional targets for our 2022 conventional drilling campaign.”
Dodoma resolutions on democracy are first steps for Tanzania to return to its democratic path
It is a conference that divided the opinions of party leaders, their members and followers, activists as well as other observers of Tanzania’s political developments and generated heated debates on the future of multiparty democracy in Tanzania.
It is the conference that the Registrar of Political Parties Judge (Retired) Francis had organized where stakeholders – from political parties, CSOs, religious organisations and the Police Force – were invited to the capital Dodoma to discuss the status of multiparty democracy in Tanzania and deliberate on the possible way forward.
At least two opposition parties – CHADEMA and NCCR-Mageuzi – boycotted the conference which President Samia Suluhu Hassan opened. ACT-Wazalendo, on their part, chose to take part in the conference and discussions that ensued.
In this op-ed by ACT-Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe, the former MP argues that if the opportunities presented by the Dodoma Initiative are not grabbed, tension will continue and create an enabling environment for a repeat of the last five years.
You can read Zitto’s reflections on the conference, which features the reasons why the party decided to part in it, here.
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