Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, April 25, 2022.
Police release activist Peter Madeleka after holding him incommunicado for six days
Police on Monday released advocate and human rights activist Peter Madeleka on bail after holding him incommunicado for six days for reasons that are yet to be made public.
Paul Kisabo, an attorney appointed by the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition (THRDC) to follow up on Mr Madeleka’s case said in a Twitter post on Monday that the activist has been released on bail and he has been ordered to return to police on Wednesday.
Plain-cloth officers picked up Mr Madeleka at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam during mid-hours of Tuesday, April 19, 2022, days after the activist reported that his life was in danger.
Writing on social media, he alleged that officers from the Immigration Department were plotting to take his life.
Before being arrested, Mr Madeleka, who is a lawyer by profession, was expected to be a member of the panel to discuss the importance of visas in national security during a function scheduled to take place on April 22, 2022, at Serena Hotel.
The topic was supposed to take place against the background of a massive scandal that implicated the Department of Immigration that involved the issuance of fake visas to 21,208 foreigners who entered Tanzania between January 2019 and June 2019 via Kilimanjaro International Airport, causing the nation a staggering cost of Sh2.42 billion, according to the latest audit report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
Monday’s release of Mr Madeleka followed the decision by his lawyer to sue the Inspector-General of Police, the Director of Public Prosecution, the Director of Criminal Investigation and the Dar es Salaam Zonal Crime Officer at the Kisutu Magistrate Court, wanting the court to order the respondents to produce Mr Madeleka in court.
That was after the police has held the activist for more than 48 hours without producing him in court, a violation of criminal procedures in Tanzania while denying him access to a lawyer as well as his family.
The case was brought for hearing on Monday where the state attorney asked for more time before the respondents defended themselves for “it was not certain” that the police were holding him.
Hours later, however, Mr Madelka was freed on bail to the huge relief of people who were concerned about his whereabouts and fate.
Barrick reports water pipeline failure at its North Mara mine
Barrick’s North Mara mine has experienced an uncontrolled release of low-quality water to the environment following the unexpected failure of a water transfer pipeline along the haul road between the Gokona and Rama operations.
This is according to Barrick Group Sustainability Executive Grant Beringer who said in a statement that appropriate authorities have been notified and the company is working with them to monitor the receiving environment.
Although the volume of water released was minor, the North Mara environmental team immediately sampled the receiving water bodies, Beringer noted.
He said preliminary water quality results show that there is no immediate impact on the receiving water bodies and no risk to the community or the aquatic biodiversity of the river.
The mine will supply water to the community should it be needed.
“We will continue our sampling over the next days and will report the data to the authorities and communities,” he said.
Its Union Day
Tanzanians today will be marking the 58th anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, an amalgamation that gave birth to the United Republic of Tanzania, one of the few surviving political unions in Africa.
On this day in 1964, leaders of independent Tanganyika and Zanzibar Julius Nyere and Abeid Karume respectively made the decision to unify their two countries, motivated by the spirit of pan-Africanism, according to official history.
Theories of what led to the union abound and the matter has since its inception been the source of extensive research and literature.
Like many historical events of its kind, historians fail to reconcile what exactly might have motivated the union and what Nyerere and Karume had in their minds when mixing the sands from Zanzibar and Tanganyika, symbolizing the completion of the process of unification.
The union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar has not been without contention but the people of this East African nation have been integrating for the past 58 years in a manner that would make its founding leaders proud.
Much of the contention about the union originates from what is known in Kiswahili as ‘Kero za Muungano’ which loosely translates into Problems of the Union.
Every administration, therefore, tends to seek to resolve a couple of these problems as a sign of commitment to the preservation of the union, regarded as one of the values that define the Tanzania nation-state.
And the Samia Suluhu Hassan Administration is no exception.
“We used dialogues under the good will of our leaders to resolve challenges,” so remarked Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa when gracing the official opening of the trade and service exhibition at Maisara Grounds in Zanzibar. “We are now focusing on development in the union instead of grievances.”
Shortly after resuming her presidency following the sudden death of her predecessor John Magufuli, President Samia Suluhu Hassan directed Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango to resolve Problems of the Union, particularly financial matters.
So far, a total of eleven of those problems have been resolved. Among these include agreements on the costs to import cargo from Zanzibar at the Dar es Salaam Port; the Zanzibar government’s participation in the East African Community (EAC) and its involvement in international and regional issues.
While these efforts have been commended by some, others see them as shallow, claiming that they do not address the fundamental issues that reformists, especially those in Zanzibar, have been pointing out for years.
One of these people is former Zanzibar Law Society president Awadh Ali Said who told The Chanzo on September 21, 2021, that the biggest Problem of the Union is its structure, saying that the best way to address that is to revive the stalled constitution writing process that sought, among other things, to replace the current two-government structure of the union with that of three-government.
How long will it take until the Samia Administration heed that advice? It is hard to tell. As things currently stand, there is no possibility of the constitution-writing process being revived before the 2025 election.
In fact, a task force formed by the registrar of a political party to coordinate stakeholders’ opinions on multiparty democracy in Tanzania has advised that the process be revived after the election, saying from now to the election is too little a time to produce a New Constitution.
And, until now, President Samia seems to share that belief.
Happy Union Day!
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