Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
NSSF stays mum about the sale of its Dege Eco Village project
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is yet to announce the buyer of its Dege Eco Village project in Kigamboni, almost a month since the winner of the tender for the controversial investment should have been announced.
NSSF announced on October 21, 2022, that it was disposing of the project, estimated to be worth $653 million (about Sh1.3 trillion), and prospective buyers had until November 14, 2022, to express their interests.
In its announcement, NSSF said the winner would be announced on the same date – November 14 – during a meeting it’d convene with all tenderers at the 7th floor of the Benjamin William Mkapa Pension Towers (Tower B) in the city centre.
But as of writing, the name of the buyer of the project that the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) in 2021 flagged as “a risk” has not been released to the public.
The Chanzo’s efforts to get hold of the name bore no fruit after senior officials at NSSF declined to answer our questions regarding the matter.
This reporter first visited NSSF’s headquarters on November 15, 2022, to inquire about the sale of the project but received no answers from the organisation’s public relations department. He has been following it up ever since with no success.
The Chanzo also sought to get answers from NSSF’s director general Masha Mshomba but received none at all after the official declined to pick up our calls or reply to our messages sent to his WhatsApp number.
Our reporter also visited NSSF’s website – https://www.nssf.go.tz/– to see if it has posted any update on the sale of the project but found no useful information regarding the matter.
Full story here.
Samia holds talks with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday held talks with the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on the sidelines of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit which kicked off on Tuesday.
The Tanzanian leader is one among nearly 50 African leaders who are attending the summit which is happening after eight years of absence.
Hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, the summit, which runs from December 13 through December 15, underscores the value the United States places on its collaboration with Africa on the most pressing global challenges and opportunities.
During their meeting on Wednesday, Secretary Raimondo and President Samia shared progress and updates on a U.S.-Tanzania roadmap for cooperation that will help to create an enabling environment for increased two-way trade and investment between our countries.
According to a statement released yesterday, Secretary Raimondo informed President Samia that the Department of Commerce stands ready to work in close cooperation with the government of Tanzania to promote increased bilateral commercial engagement that advances the President’s objectives of inclusive growth and economic development.
Leaders from 49 nations as well as the African Union were invited to the summit.
U.S. officials did not invite leaders from four nations that have had recent coups and that the African Union has suspended from its member roster: Mali, Sudan, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
The first day’s meetings were centred on critical topics including the environment, public health,investment,democratic governance and security.
WFP goes to Zanzibar to support the isle’s development efforts
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday announced the expansion of its programme to Zanzibar as part of its new five-year Country Strategic Plan (2022-2027).
According to a statement released yesterday, the plan, which runs from 2022 to 2027, aims at contributing to sustaining inclusive economic growth through market-based interventions, strengthening human capital, increasing the affordability of healthy diets, as well as promoting climate crisis adaptation and environmental restoration in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.
Speaking during the official launch of WFP’s presence in Zanzibar, the archipelago’s Minister of State in the Second Vice President’s Office Mr Hamza Hassan Juma said that he was “grateful” that the UN agency is finally in Zanzibar.
“WFP’s physical presence in Zanzibar is an indication of the commitment to supporting Zanzibar’s long-term development plans,” a statement quoted Mr Juma as saying.
The event was also attended by officials from various organisations including, officials from the government, UN agencies, Civil Society Organisations, and the general public.
The launch also served to strengthen WFP’s strategic partnership with the Government of Tanzania, which has been in place for almost six decades.
WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Tanzania Sarah Gordon-Gibson said during the launching that she was “delighted” that WFP is expanding its programme to Zanzibar’s islands of Unguja and Pemba.
“We are committed to supporting the Government and the people of Zanzibar in achieving the Zanzibar Development Vision 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Ms Gordon-Gibson.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
Barrick refutes North Mara human rights allegations
Barrick Gold Corporation on Tuesday denied accusations of human rights violations at its North Mara gold mine, saying it was “proud” of its human rights record around the world and of North Mara’s strong working relationship with the communities around the mine.
The company’s response comes after reports emerged on Tuesday that UK lawyers acting on behalf of Tanzanian human rights victims announced they were suing the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) for wrongfully certifying gold from Barrick’s “deadly” North Mara gold mine as being “responsibly sourced.”
In a statement, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow denied that the North Mara mine targets individuals living in its vicinity, pointing out that the interest of the mine’s police has been “rogue bands, armed and well-organised, who from time to time invade North Mara to steal [the] gold-bearing rock.”
Mr Bristow said that as recently as last month, North Mara was attacked by an armed force of almost 100 men. Despite the police’s attempts to repel them, 71 managed to scale the site’s 9-metre-high perimeter wall and engaged with the mine’s unarmed security personnel.
“The police eventually removed them but one of the invaders suffered fatal injuries. Two of the policemen were also injured,” he said. “Barrick made a public announcement about the incident at the time. This was far from being a once-off occurrence. North Mara lives with the constant threat of such invasions.”
Bristow said Barrick had frequently made it clear that North Mara’s security personnel are unarmed and that the mine does not supervise, direct, control or instruct any mission, assignment or function of the Tanzanian police force, which is a state institution.
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