Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, January 20, 2022.
Tulia Ackson set to become next Speaker of Parliament following CCM’s nomination
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Tulia Ackson is set to become the new Speaker of the 12th Parliament following winning nomination from the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) to contest in what seems to be a one-horse race for the position.
About 70 people had sought the nomination from CCM to vie for the post left vacant by a sudden resignation of Mr Job Ndugai, a decision he called “personal and voluntary” that was catapulted by his public spat with President Samia Suluhu Hassan on borrowing.
With the exception of one candidate from the opposition Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC) party Maimuna Saidi, the opposition has largely ignored the race, probably motivated by their belief that the current parliament is illegitimate and thus shirk any involvement with its dealings.
Seating for a one-day meeting, under the chairmanship of its national chairperson President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the central committee of CCM nominated Dr Ackson as the party’s flagbearer in the race of the head of the legislative body.
A lawyer by profession, Tulia Ackson became the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2015 after being appointed as a Member of Parliament by then-President John Magufuli.
During the 2020 general elections, the former law lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaam contested as a CCM parliamentary candidate for Mbeya Urban constituency, going head to head with CHADEMA candidate Joseph Mbilinyi alias Sugu.
She emerged winner in the election that opposition parties called a sham and went ahead to retain her position as the Deputy Speaker.
While many thought of her as the likely person to replace Mr Ndugai’s position some raised concerns about the constitutionality and legality of her contesting for the position before resigning from the position she was.
“She was supposed to resign first as the Deputy Speaker before running for the position of the Speaker of Parliament,” says Pasience Mlowe, an advocate from a Dar es Salaam based law firm “Because her position has clearly been stipulated in the constitution.”
During her time as Deputy Speaker, Dr Ackson was in constant clashes with lawmakers from the opposition, who accused her of bias and prejudice against them, something that led her to treat them differently from the way she was treating lawmakers from her party CCM.
On April 23, 2021, while presiding a session in the Parliament, Dr Ackson declared that all lawmakers who were in the house belonged to political parties, despite the fact that there were nineteen MPs who remained within the house despite having their membership from CHADEMA revoked.
If she ends up becoming the eighth Speaker of Parliament, Dr Ackson is likely to be guided by her belief that as a Speaker she is not the same as President Samia when it comes to the principle of separation of power between the three pillars of the state.
She thinks Tanzania’s president is above all other state pillars of the parliament and the judiciary for she is not only the Head of the Government but also the Head of State.
“Although the parliament has the authority to make laws, advise and supervise the government it cannot go against the executive,” she said on January 10, 2022, during a State House function. Just four days had passed since Mr Ndugai’s resignation.
Dr Ackson studied law at the University of Dar es Salaam, obtaining her Master’s Degree in 2004. She was then admitted to the University of Cape Town in 2005 for her doctoral studies and obtained a doctorate in Philosophy in 2007.
On September 9, 2015, former President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her 16th deputy Attorney General (AG) – a position where she was second most high-ranking government legal officer behind the then-Attorney General George Masaju.
Mother of a missing son says she rests her hope in God instead of police
A mother of one of the five missing Tanzanians told The Chanzo on Thursday that she has stopped counting on the Tanzanian law enforcement authorities to find her son’s whereabouts and instead she is resting her hope on God.
The mother’s son, Hemed Abbas, is one among the five men who had reportedly gone missing since December 26, 2021, and they have not been found since.
Others are Tawfiq Mohammed, Seif Swala, Edwin Kunambi and Rajab Mdowe.
“I hand him [Hemed Abbas] to God,” said Ms Naima Ndyanabo when she spoke with The Chanzo on Thursday. “I have stopped going to the police. I have chosen to rest my hope in God. I want to believe that He can help to bring my son back.”
Reports allege that the men were arrested by police on December 26, 2021, around the Kamata area in Kariakoo, while they were on their way to one of the beaches located in Kigamboni.
They were driving in a black Toyota IST before they were stopped and led to Central Police in downtown Dar es Salaam.
One of the men who were soon to go missing had sent out a message to a friend, reporting the arrest, adding that they were being taken to police central.
A case on the missing men has been filed at the Msimbazi police station in Kariakoo.
Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Jumanne Muliro told The Chanzo on Wednesday that it should go to his office and share whatever information it may have about the missing men with him.
Ms Ndyanabo said she decided to stop visiting police stations after a senior police officer at the Special Zone Office said to her that she “should stop crying, go back home, cook some ugali and eat.”
“I’m confused,” she told The Chanzo. “I cry and sleep all day. I keep praying that wherever he might be my son is okay and will come back to me while still alive.”
Felista Mauya is a director of empowerment and accountability with the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) who told The Chanzo on Thursday that the centre was aware of the reports and that they are looking into them.
“We are following up the reports to respective families as well as to the police,” she said. “We can say not much at this moment until our investigation team comes up with the report about the incident.”
Reacting to the incident on Wednesday, the leader of the opposition ACT-Wazalendo Zitto Kabwe called the mysterious disappearance of the men a “very critical issue.”
In a Twitter post, Zitto wrote: “The government has [a] responsibility to inform the public about this very critical issue. [Home Affairs] Minister Hamad Masauni and the police must meet these families [as soon as possible.”
Free Wi-Fi connectivity project launched in Zanzibar
Blockchain network operator World Mobile, in partnership with the eGovernment Agency of Zanzibar (eGAZ), has launched free connectivity to Wi-Fi internet in Zanzibar.
With the partnership, state agencies, ministries, local government offices, and public spaces like bus stops, airports, ports, fish markets, hospitals and any other public institution get the internet service.
During the initial 60 days, the initiative will connect the airport, ports and properties owned by the National Housing Corporation of Zanzibar within the main island of Unguja, as part of World Mobile’s plan to provide connectivity to all of Zanzibar’s population by the end of 2023.
This is the first stage of an ambitious partnership and five-year plan, viewed as a project that will drastically boost Zanzibar’s GDP, which includes a Blockchain Centre of Excellence, an eGov solution providing digital identities and integration with government systems.
“We are thrilled to help make it a reality, sending ripple effects across the region. Our efforts to connect the unconnected will enhance Zanzibar’s economy in multiple ways,” Micky Watkins, World Mobile CEO, said in a statement.
Director-General of Zanzibar’s E-Government Agency Said Seif Said noted that this new initiative will shine a spotlight on Zanzibar’s emerging potential as the technology and blockchain centre of the future, starting with providing connectivity to people and businesses in the region.
“On this, we will build innovative new ways of conducting local government [business] and boosting businesses, and we are looking forward to reaping the fruits of this spectacular initiative,” he said.
Zanzibar signs an MoU with Oman Investment Authority on Malindi Tourist Port
The government of Zanzibar has signed e memorandum of understanding with the Oman Investment Authority to study the feasibility of a project to rehabilitate, develop and operate the Malindi Tourist Port, the Oman News Agency reported Thursday.
According to the MoU, the authority and its subsidiaries will study the feasibility of a project to rehabilitate, develop and operate the Malindi Tourist Port and develop the waterfront, as well as transfer commercial activities from the current port to the new Mangga Pwani port.
In a statement, Sami bin Abdullah Al Sinani, Senior Director of Logistics and Infrastructure Services at the Oman Investment Authority, said that the MoU aims to maximize the Sultanate of Oman’s benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, which passes through a group of ports in Asia and Africa.
The project also seeks to build on the historical Omani relations with East Africa, one of the economically promising regions, according to A Sinani.
The MoU is also expected to contribute to the transfer of expertise available to the Agency and its subsidiaries in order to expand the management of international projects and to enter into partnerships with investors and international companies that have expertise that can be benefited from by transferring expertise to the projects of the affiliated companies locally.
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