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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – June 22, 2022. 

In our briefing today: Government Meets Diplomats on the Ngorongoro Saga; Journalist arraigned in Zanzibar over cybercrime charges; Afreximbank supports Elsewedy Electric to establish industrial zone in Tanzania; Tanzania, France agree on Sh195billion loan for water supply, sanitation; Over 900 hectares of farm crops destroyed in Singida.   

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Government Meets Diplomats on the Ngorongoro Saga

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Ms Liberata Mulamula briefed officials from various embassies and international organizations about governments’ plans in the Ngorongoro area.

In the statement released by the Ministry, Ms. Mulamula emphasized that the government is committed to adhering to all the international laws on human rights while continuing to protect the conservation of Ngorongoro area.

On the other hand, The Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Dr Damas Ndumbaro explained to the dignitaries that the ongoing relocation exercise in Ngorongoro is voluntary and that the government is committed to protecting and respecting the rights of all its citizens regardless of their race, tribe or religion.

The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms.Mary Masanja clarified the investor issue in the contested area of Loliondo, “There is some misinformation in the media about the investor in Loliondo area who has been there for about 30 years” explained Ms. Masanja, “every year the hunting blocks in those areas are put on auction, the investor has consistently won the bid, and get awarded the hunting block.”

Since June 9,2022, the situation in Loliondo has been tense which saw a violent episode on June 10, 2022 which resulted in the death of one Police Officer, and many residents have crossed the border to Kenya for medical attention. 20 Maasai people have so far been charged with the murder of a Police Officer.

Journalist arraigned in Zanzibar over cybercrime charges

Police in Zanzibar have come under criticism for their decision to detain journalist Yasser Mkubwa of the RSV Online TV over cybercrime charges with stakeholders demanding his immediate release as his continued detention endangers free press in the archipelago.

Mr Mkubwa is the journalist who interviewed the veteran Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) cadre Baraka Muhammed Shamte who criticised the isles’ President Hussein Mwinyi’s decision to hand several islets over to investors, describing the decision as “Selling off Zanzibar through the back door.”

Mr Shamte explained during the interview that he does not think that Dr Mwinyi deserves a second term, citing his “failures to display good qualities as a leader” as a reason. Shortly after making such remarks, Mr Shame was attacked by unknown assailants.

He was also accused by the ruling CCM of “publicly defaming” President Mwinyi and he was subsequently striped of his party membership. He has since apologised to the party, saying that he should not have made the statement he did. Police also said they were investigating reports of his attack.

Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF) tweeted on Tuesday, demanding “an immediate release of [Yasser Mkubwa] unconditionally.” Opposition party CHADEMA also condemned the arrest of the journalist, calling for his immediate release.

CHADEMA Secretary-General John Mnyika, for example, said in a Twitter post: “[The arrest of the journalist] constitutes the violation of people’s fundamental rights.”

Mr Salim Bimani, the spokesperson with the ACT-Wazalendo, which jointly forms the Government of the National Unity with CCM in Zanzibar, cautioned the police of the danger of politicising their works, urging them to stop the tendency.

“The police should not produce the journalist to court,” Mr Bimani said in a statement. “Yasser Mkubwa should be released and the Police Force should keep off politics.”

Afreximbank supports Elsewedy Electric to establish industrial zone in Tanzania

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced on Tuesday that the pan-African multilateral trade finance institution will support Elsewedy Electric, an Egyptian multinational electrical company, to establish an industrial zone in Tanzania, as it won the award for the best project in Africa, the Egyptian press reported.

In December 2021, ElSewedy inaugurated the first phase of the company’s industrial complex in Kigamboni, as a factory for cables, wires, transformers, and meters, at an investment cost of $35m, in addition to a logistics centre on an area of ​​4,800 square metres.

The industrial zone, established by ElSewedy Industrial Development Company, a subsidiary of ElSewedy Electric, will extend over an area of ​​2,200 million square metres. It aims to attract investments worth over $400m from more than 100 investors across the region.

Frederick Seidu, head of research at Afreximbank told Daily News Egypt that the bank works closely with the associations of construction and building contractors in Africa to provide all means of support and assistance for the development of reconstruction and infrastructure projects within the continent.

Tanzania, France agree on Sh195billion loan for water supply, sanitation

The government of Tanzania and the French Development Agency (AFD) have closed an agreement for the Sh195 billion loan for the implementation of a drinking water supply and sanitation project in the Shinyanga region, it emerged on Tuesday.

The project seeks to improve the supply of drinking water to 200, 000 people in the north-central region of Tanzania. The project will mainly improve sanitation services through the installation of four sludge treatment facilities in the town and activity centres of Shinyanga, a statement released yesterday noted.

The loan will cover the construction of around 30 latrine blocks in schools and five in health centres and other identified public places. These works should provide access to sanitation for at least 45 per cent of the city’s population by 2025, i.e. over 100, 000 people according to AFD.

“This limited sanitation capacity results in a high risk of waterborne diseases in the municipality, with repercussions on the health and livelihoods of the inhabitants,” the Paris-based development finance institution said in a statement.

The Shinyanga Urban Water and Sanitation Authority (SHUWASA), which is implementing the project, wants to acquire electromechanical equipment and set up a control and data acquisition system (SCADA) for remote monitoring of the drinking water supply facilities.

In addition, 50 water kiosks will be installed to provide access to the most disadvantaged households. According to AFD, these achievements should increase the rate of access to drinking water in the city to over 95 per cent. Currently, 39 per cent of the population does not have access to drinking water.

Over 900 hectares of farm crops destroyed in Singida

A flock of quelea birds have destroyed 920 hectares of farm crops in Tanzania’s central region of Singida, an official said on Monday.

Natalia Mosha, the Singida district council agriculture officer, told Xinhua that said the destructive birds have destroyed the farm crops in four wards of Merya, Itaja, Ngimu and Mihunga.

Mosha said the Singida district council authorities have been supplied with pesticides by the Ministry of Agriculture, adding that spraying of the pesticides on affected farms has begun.

“The spraying of the pesticides will be done on all farms in the Singida region in order to protect farms that are yet to be invaded by the birds,” she said.

The red-billed quelea is a small weaver bird native to sub-Saharan Africa and renowned for its attacks on small-grain crops within Africa.

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