Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
Activists fault Samia’s appointments of Wambura, Kingai
Some human rights activists in Tanzania have expressed displeasure over President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s decision to appoint Camillus Wambura and Ramadhan Kingai as Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) respectively.
President Samia sworn in the two on Wednesday during a function at the State House in the capital Dodoma, alongside other appointed officials, against the background of an intensive debate over the legitimacy of the two in overseeing law enforcement in the country.
Mr Wambura was serving as the DCI before Tuesday’s appointment as the new IGP. He is replacing Simon Sirro who has been appointed ambassador to Zimbabwe. Before his recent appointment, Kingai was serving as Kigoma regional police commander.
Wambura and Kingai played a significant role in the government’s attempt to convict CHADEMA national chairperson Freeman Mbowe and his co-accused of terrorism and money laundering, with the latter even appearing in court to testify against Mr Mbowe.
The case was dropped on March 4, 2022, after the Director of Public Prosecution (DDP) argued that he no longer had an interest in pursuing the case that CHADEMA and other rights activists labelled a political and trumped-up one.
While Wambura and Kingai were serving as DCI and Kinondoni regional police commander, respectively, a number of incidents also took place that brought the police’s conduct into question.
One of these incidents involves the disappearance of five men namely Tawfiq Mohammed, Seif Swala, Edwin Kunambi, Hemed Abbas and Rajab Mdowe who went missing on December 26, 2021, in Dar es Salaam to never be found again. To date, the police have not provided any explanations regarding the men’s fate.
Full story here.
‘Democracy should go beyond elections’
Former President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma said here today that democracy in Africa should go beyond regular elections, pointing out that democracy should be about good governance and about safeguarding human rights and the rule of law.
Mr Koroma, who served as the fourth President of Sierra Leone from September 17, 2007, to April 4, 2018, was a keynote speaker at the two-day Africa Drive for Democracy conference that is taking place in Arusha.
Described as the continent’s first of its kind, the conference is being convened by the Centre for Strategic Litigation (CSL), MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC) and the Institute of Security Studies (ISS).
Taking place under the theme Fighting the Democratic Backslide Through Renewed Action and Solidarity, the conference is slated for 20-21 July at MS TCDC premises in Arusha, with participants from various African countries being in attendance.
“[Democracy should be] about giving hope to the citizens through tangible deliverables particularly on the economy, in access to social infrastructure, services, or in peace consolidation,” Mr Koroma told his listeners who comprised of activists, intellectuals and members of civil society organisations.
Full story here.
Govt to construct 13 irrigation schemes in Mbeya
The National Irrigation Commission (NIRC) announced on Wednesday that it is planning to implement an irrigation project to restore 24,550 hectares of farmland in the Mbeya region through 13 new irrigation systems, with the aim being to improve crop yields.
NIRC’s director-general Raymond Mndolwa was quoted as saying that the 13 irrigation schemes – which will be implemented in the districts of Mbarali, Kyela and Rungwe – will be commissioned in June 2023. The work will be funded by the Tanzanian Treasury through the 2022/2023 financial year budget.
The latest reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Tanzania is experiencing continued growth in its agricultural sector, especially for staple foods such as maize, cassava, rice, sorghum and bananas.
The new irrigation project will improve wheat yields in a context marked by the drought in Mbeya, which is manifested in the absence of rainfall, and the Ukrainian crisis, which is causing international wheat prices to rise.
The project is being launched at a time when several other such initiatives are underway in Tanzania, including the construction of a 268 m3 water reservoir to irrigate 11,700 hectares of farmland.
Team formed to revive sisal production in Tanzania
Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said Wednesday that the government has formed an 11-member team that will look at ways and means of reviving the production of sisal in the country.
The Nzega Urban MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) said the team is comprised of government leaders, the private sector, experts and sisal farmers from regions growing the cash crop.
Headed by Tanga regional commissioner Adam Malima who will be assisted by Morogoro regional commissioner Martine Shigela, the tea has been tasked to collect views from sisal farmers on the best ways of reviving the cultivation of the crop.
He said the team, also comprising experts from the Ministries of Finance and Planning, Agriculture, and Investment, Industry and Trade, will complete its task within a month.
Bashe said the government has released funds to construct a laboratory for researching hybrid sisal seeds at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) at Mlingano centre in Tanga.
Saddy Kambona, acting director general of the Tanzania Sisal Board (TSB), said the government has released funds to enable the Board to distribute hybrid sisal seeds to smallholder farmers of the crop.
Kambona said there are currently 12,000 registered sisal stallholder farmers but the target is to register 60,000 smallholder farmers of the crop in sisal growing regions of Tanga, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Coast, Lindi and Mtwara by 2025.
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