Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
Samia pins borrowing protests on bigger opposition against her within CCM
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has interpreted the recent protests against her administration’s decision to borrow in order to fund its development programmes with opposition she is facing within her ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and what she called “election fever” ahead of 2025.
Tanzania will hold its seventh general election in 2025 where Tanzanians will be voting for the president, members of parliament as well as councillors.
Tuesday’s remarks by Samia, which she gave during a State House function, followed hard on the heels of Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai’s apology to the Head of State and Tanzanians in general following his remarks that Tanzania risks being auctioned off if the government continues with its pace of borrowing from international lenders.
Ndugai’s remarks sent shock waves through Tanzanian politics and perhaps no one was more shocked than President Samia herself who interpreted Mr Ndugai’s remarks as irresponsible. The Head of State said it was “unimaginable” that Speaker Ndugai could say something like that.
“It has something to do with the 2025 [general election]stress,” remarked Samia who assumed the presidency on March 19, 2021, following the death of her predecessor John Magufuli.
She added: “There is also another thing. When [Tanzanians] handed this burden [of the presidency] to me, there was much talk about the interim government in the Parliament. I went to the Constitution to see what it said about the interim government. I did not see anything. I said to myself, okay, let’s go.”
Samia’s revelations on Tuesday confirmed what analysts had already observed that some factions within CCM and the government might have been opposed to her ascension to the presidency and that some strategies are being devised to prevent her from running for presidency through the CCM ticket in 2025.
While it is difficult to point out who exactly these people are, rumours have it that many of them are former Magufuli loyalists who still remain within CCM and the government and hold senior positions.
According to the President’s own assessment, the protest she is facing now is just the tip of the iceberg of the “sabotages” prepared against her and her administration.
Samia thinks that the biggest chunk of the resistance she is facing comes from the people who underestimated her, people who thought she would never be able to run the country as a president.
“They do not believe what they are seeing,” she said. “And, therefore, their wishes to [challenge me] in the 2025 [general election] have somehow evaporated.”
Samia’s opponents within CCM might have made the mistake of judging the book by its cover, the Head of State observed, adding: “They looked at me and promised themselves to try me. They are wrong. I cannot be tried.”
One observation that many people made during the heated debate on the ‘soaring’ national debt initiated by Speaker Ndugai was the conspicuous absence of President Samia’s assistants in the debate that many people thought would help fact-check some of the claims raised on the issue and clarify things to people.
Many of these assistants – which include ministers and permanent secretaries – were present during Tuesday’s function at the State House and President Samia did not waste the chance of letting them know what she actually thought of them.
She told them point-blank: “You kept telling me here [in your greetings] that I should not be heartbroken. But it is not with this heart. This [heart] is not made of glass. My heart is not made of glass. It is a heart made of flesh created by God.”
Samia urged her assistants – whom she accused some of them of having mixed themselves in factions that organise against her – to take her hands and work with her to “bring development to Tanzanians.”
Hinting at a cabinet reshuffle that she said will be announced very soon, Samia was categorical in her promise that she will remain only with those she believes stand with her in her administration’s efforts to serve Tanzanians’ best interests.
“But all those whom I feel that they have their eyes there [on the 2025 general elections], and work in accordance with that aspiration,” she pointed out, “I’ll relieve them of their duties so that they can have an ample time to prepare themselves [for the election but] outside the government.”
Tanzania’s economy rebound to 5.2 percent in Q3
A new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on economic growth for the period between July and September 2021 notes that Tanzania’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) rebound to 5.2 percent from 4.4 percent recorded in quarter two.
NBS mentions key economic activities that led the growth during this period that included accommodation and food services (14.3 percent); and mining and quarrying (12.2 percent).
Other activities are arts, and entertainment, activities of households as an employer that registered a 12.1 per cent growth; education (10.3 percent); information and communication (9.3 percent); and electricity supply (10 percent).
While the rebound is attributed mostly to tourism which saw an increase of tourists in Q3 to 243,565 compared to 72,147 tourists in 2020, construction remains the sector with the largest contribution to the growth. Construction has contributed about 18.1 percent of the growth followed by agriculture at 15.1 percent.
Tanzania’s rebound is modest compared to some of its neighbours who recorded negative growth during the last quarter. For example, Rwanda has recorded growth of about 10.1 percent from negative growth of 3.6 percent, same as Kenya who recorded growth of 9.9 percent from the negative growth of 2.1 in quarter two of 2021.
It’s expected Tanzania’s economy will maintain positive growth for quarter four, noticing that the government has engaged in extensive construction projects across the country and tourism has been on a positive trend between October and November 2021.
BAVICHA names key challenges facing Tanzanian youths
CHADEMA youth wing BAVICHA on Tuesday mentioned a number of challenges that youths in Tanzania are facing at present, calling on the government to take appropriate steps to solve them.
The call was made yesterday by BAVICHA national chairperson John Pambalu who gave a summary of major challenges that faced youths in the year 2021 that made their contribution to national development limited.
Mr Pambalu mentioned unemployment, police brutality, removal of street vendors in urban centres, and the existence of political prisoners as some of the challenges that need urgent intervention from the authorities.
“These and many other challenges are the reason for [BAVICHA’s] struggle for justice,” Mr Pambalu said during the press conference that took place at CHADEMA’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
“That is why we demand a New Constitution that will institutionalise political and social-economic justice to all,” said Pambalu. “So, 2022 will be a year of real struggle.”
He insisted that the council will organise more rallies in 2022 to mobilise people to demand the New Constitution regardless of the ban on political rallies imposed by the government.
CHADEMA has at present three main agendas that it is fighting for. They concern the fight for justice, a task that is being done by the party’s council of elders; the fight for an independent electoral commission led by the party’s women council; and the fight for the New Constitution under BAVICHA.
“Instead of responding to BAVICHA’s arguments on the need for the New Constitution,” Mr Pambalu said, “authorities have instead been responding with a force that has inflicted serious pain to our members.”
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