Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Friday, May 6, 2022.
Under pressure over the rising cost of living, minister warns ‘dishonest’ businesspeople
Minister for Industry, Investment and Trade Dr Ashatu Kijaji on Friday warned business people in the country against what she called an arbitrary increase in the price of basic commodities, saying doing so is a punishable crime.
Dr Kijaji’s comments come as the nation is reeling from the rising cost of living, a phenomenon exacerbated by the recent and unprecedented rise in the price of fuel in Tanzania that has put many in panic mode.
People from across the country are complaining about the deteriorating conditions of living, pleading with authorities to come up with interventions that would save them from falling into the abyss. Those interventions, however, have so far not been forthcoming.
While tabling her ministry’s Sh99.1 billion budget estimates and expenditures for the financial year 2022/23 in the parliament yesterday, Dr Kijaji admitted the price hike in both building materials and food in the country.
For instance, she stated that the average price of beans rose from Sh177,340 per 100 kg in March 2021 to Sh188,294 in 2022 while the average price of maize per 100 kg increased from Sh48,341 to Sh59,861 in the same period.
The minister blamed the price hike on the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing war between two Eastern Europe nations of Russia and Ukraine.
Dr Kijaji did not explain what short-term and long-term measures the government was going to take to alleviate the pain resulting from these two phenomena.
She, however, warned business people not to arbitrarily increase the cost of commodities, saying there would be consequences for doing so.
High Court frees former Hai DC Sabaya. But remains in custody pending another case
The High Court of Tanzania, the Arusha zone, has freed former Hai district commissioner Lengai ole Sabaya and two of his colleagues after judges found that there were flaws in the entire process that led to their conviction, which include disagreements between witnesses.
On October 15, 2021, the Arusha Magistrate Court sentenced Sabaya and three others to 30 years in prison each after they were convicted of armed robbery.
But Sabaya and his co-accused appealed against the sentence after being unsatisfied with the court’s decision with their lawyer Mr Mosses Mahuna saying then that the ruling had many loopholes.
This, however, does not mean that Mr Sabaya will be out of prison. This is because the controversial former DC faces another case of economic sabotage.
On January 11, 2022, the Arusha Resident Magistrates Court ruled that Mr Sabaya and six others have a case to answer on economic sabotage charges.
Apart from Sabaya, others in the case include Enock Mnkeni, Watson Mwahomange, John Aweyo, Sylvester Nyegu, Jackson Macha and Nathan Msuya.
Together, they face five counts of leading a criminal gang and the fifth charge is money laundering and extortion of Sh90 million from businessman Francis Mrosso while knowing doing so is a conspiracy to commit corruption.
Of the five offences, Mr Sabaya alone faces three charges of conspiracy to commit corruption, extortion of Sh90 million and abuse of power while he was the DC for Hai.
Police in Ngorongoro summon Maasai leaders speaking against ‘eviction’ threat
Police in the Ngorongoro district of Arusha have summoned two Maasai leaders from Loliondo, a town in northern Ngorongoro, who have been speaking out against the government’s plan to evict Maasai people from their ancestral land.
According to summons letters that have been leaked to the public, the two leaders – Laigwanani Simon Ndare and village chairperson Moitiko Risanda, both from Malambo, a village within Loliondo – have been ordered to report to the Loliondo Police Post today, Friday, May 6, 2022.
The letters do not state why the leaders have been summoned apart from noting that they should report to the police for investigation.
Joseph Moses Oleshangay, an activist who has written extensively about the fate of Maasai of Ngorongoro, told The Chanzo on Friday that nobody knows exactly what the two leaders have done that attracted the police’s summons.
“There are unconfirmed reports that they tried to prevent authorities from planting beacons in their land,” said Oleshangay. “But this is not a new phenomenon. Maasai leaders always risk being summoned by the police every time they say anything in opposing the government’s plan to evict their people.”
The Maasai people of Ngorongoro are fighting for their right to remain in their ancestral land as the government is trying to evict them, arguing that their continued existence there puts the UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage site at high risk of losing its status.
The government said on March 11, 2022, that it has designated an area in the Handeni district of the Tanga region where the Maasai people who will willingly agree to move from Ngorongoro will be provided with the land there for housing and animal feed.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said then that a total of 86 households, with over 453 people, have registered themselves, ready to move from Ngorongoro to Handeni. But activists faulted this, pointing out that the government had taken the names of people not living within the contested area.
This, however, did not stop the government from transferring projects funded by the COVID-19 recovery fund from Ngorongoro to Handeni. The government has ordered headmasters of schools located within Ngorongoro to transfer a total of Sh355,000,000 from their accounts to the account of the Handeni district.
Now Tanzania charges activist Peter Madeleka with ‘publication of false statement’
The government of Tanzania on Thursday charged advocate and activist Peter Madeleka with the offence of publishing false information, accusing him of violating section 16 of the controversial Cybercrime Act No. 14 of 2015.
On April 18, 2022, Mr Madeleka posted on Twitter a photo of a person he described as Ereneus Mwesiga, an officer with the Department of Immigration. In the Twitter post, Mr Madeleka charged that Mr Mwesiga, in collaboration with other immigration officers, were plotting to kill him.
According to Mr Madeleka, the officers were devising the plot on a WhatsApp and even, in other Twitter posts, shared some screenshots of the conversations reportedly taken from the chat group, seen here and here.
Mr Madeleka published these statements, according to the charge sheet, “while knowing that the said information was false [and] with intent to mislead the public.”
Police arrested Mr Madeleka for the first time on April 20, 2022, at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam a few days before he takes part in a panel discussion on the importance of visas in the national security two days later at the hotel.
Earlier, police denied holding Mr Madeleka but was later forced to release him on bail after holding him incommunicado for six days on April 26, 2022.
The release was thanks to Madeleka’s lawyers who sued 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.
Mr Madeleka’s arrest also came at a time when the activist was campaigning for the accountability of immigration officers who were implicated in a massive scandal involving the issuance of fake visas to 21,208 foreigners who entered Tanzania between January 2019 and June 2019 via Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), causing the nation a staggering cost of Sh2.42 billion, according to the latest audit report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
In a Twitter post on Friday, Mr Madeleka said: “Despite all that has happened to me, it is very important for the Immigration Department to take legal measures against 32 immigration officers mentioned in the CAG report for causing [the nation] the cost of Sh2.42 billion by selling fake visas at KIA. No one is above the law.”
Over 1,000 people died in road accidents in Tanzania in nine months
Minister of Home Affairs Hamad Yussuf Masauni said Thursday that nearly 1,200 people were killed in 1,594 road accidents that occurred in Tanzania between July 2021 and March 2022.
Mr Masauni said 2,139 people were injured in road accidents during the same period.
Between July 2020 and March 2021, 999 people were killed in 1,228 road accidents that left 1,589 people injured, Masauni told the parliament in the capital Dodoma when he tabled his ministry’s budget proposals for the 2022/2023 financial year.
“Statistics indicate that there has been an increase of 366 road accidents, which is a rise of 29.8 per cent,” said the minister.
He said most of the accidents were caused by reckless driving, defective vehicles, and bad roads.
Mr Masauni said police revoked driving licenses for 87 drivers and suspended over different durations driving licenses for 141 drivers as punishment after they were implicated in causing road accidents.
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