Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
EACOP: Tanzania, Uganda sign defence pact for the crude oil pipeline project
Tanzania and Uganda on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in defence and security for the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, Ugandan media reported over the weekend.
The EACOP is a 1,443-kilometre-long, 24-inch diameter, buried and heated oil export pipeline that will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania.
Tanzania and Uganda say that the construction of the pipeline will benefit the economies of the two countries and enhance the trade corridor between them through the development of new infrastructure, logistics, and technology transfer as well as improving the livelihoods of communities along the route.
Environmental activists are however protesting the construction of the pipeline, arguing that the two East African nations of Uganda and Tanzania have failed to address environmental concerns over the pipeline and had steamrollered over the court and parliamentary processes.
But the two governments seem unfazed.
On May 6, 2022, at the climax of a three-day, the 1st Inter-governmental Security Committee Meeting held at Skyz Hotel Naguru in Kampala, the Ugandan Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Vincent Bamulangaki SsempijjaIt and his Tanzanian counterpart Dr Stergomena Tax signed the MoU that will see the two countries partnering in confronting cross border insecurity such as terrorism, drug trafficking, cyber security, illegal migration, and sabotage of crude oil pipeline infrastructure among others.
“The good work so far done will help to deepen cooperation between our sister countries and strive to create a secure and conducive environment for the social-economic transformation of our countries,” Ugandan media quoted Mr Ssempijja as saying.
Apart from the defence ministers, the meeting also involved the technical working committee and Chief of Defence Forces from the two East African countries.
According to reports, Dr Tax alluded that the diplomatic and military relations between the two countries are significant to the construction of the crude oil pipeline, a strategic project with multiple socio-economic benefits.
Dr Tax was concerned that terrorism remains a major threat requiring joint and proportionate efforts and measures, adding that Tanzania remains committed to working with Uganda in addressing peace and security challenges.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement between Uganda and Tanzania was signed in May 2017 and Foundation Stones for the EACOP were laid in Tanga in August 2017 and Hoima in November 2017.
Crackdown on ‘Panya Road’ intensifies as police arrest 31 marauders
A crackdown on the criminal gang ‘Panya Road’ seems to prove useful after police announced Saturday that it has nailed 31 marauders who have been wreaking havoc in the streets of Dar es Salaam lately, robbing people of their properties before attacking them with machetes.
Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Jumanne Muliro said over the weekend that after a thorough interrogation law enforcers identified the suspects who were involved in criminal activities and were able to capture certain items they had stolen including 12 TV sets and 4 cell phones.
Muliro warned that stern actions will be taken against those found in possession of property that are proceeds of such criminal actions in the city.
“The operation which is meant to be continuous started on 27/04/2022 and has succeeded in apprehending these criminals, most of whom are aged between 13-20 years and when they were found in possession of swords, knives, and large scissors which they use to commit crimes,” Muliro told journalists.
For background, you might be interested to read our coverage about the band of marauders here and here.
Five feared dead in Mara after boat capsizes in River Mori
At least five people were feared dead on Saturday after the boat they were sailing in capsized in River Mori, in Rorya district, Mara region, north of Tanzania.
Eyewitnesses and local residents told the government-owned Daily News newspaper that the accident happened at around 8 AM at Kowaki village in the river that flows into Lake Victoria, leaving more than five more with different degrees of injuries after immediate rescue operations.
Local leaders also confirmed the accident, saying the boat was carrying about 10 women and children.
Kowaki Village Executive Officer (VEO) Charles Mwita said told the paper: “It seems they were crossing the river heading to church. They were women and children and traditions require that villagers must be mobilized in searching for the missing persons.”
Mwita added that the problem might have stemmed from the reliance on traditional means to search without any protective gear, skills and other related safety means for the missing women and children.
Reached for comment, Tarime/Rorya Regional Police zone and related security organs in the area confirmed the accident without giving further details.
Can Samia save her waning support?
As the price of essential goods and services remains high in Tanzania, contributing to the worsening of the cost of living among many, analysts are taking stock of the situation and the likely political implications it will have on the Samia Suluhu Hassan presidency.
The reformist leader is yet to announce measures that will alleviate the pain resulting from the price hikes and according to The Chanzo’s contributor Damas Kanyabwoya, the sooner President Samia does so the better.
In his analysis of what is at stake in the ongoing crisis, Kanyabwoya outlines the dangers Samia and her administration face, warning that if the situation remains unfixed, it will risk the burying of President Samia’s records on the civic and political front.
Kanyabwoya also presents Samia with options that she can take to prevent the situation from getting worse than it has already gotten. Read Kanyabwoya’s analysis, Rising Cost of Living: Can Samia Save Her Waning Support?, here.
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