Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
Coal export revenue increases to USD 195.5 million
Tanzania’s coal export to neighboring countries and the world continue to increase, the latest figure from the Bank of Tanzania shows coal export has increased to USD 195.5 million by January 2023 compared to USD 22.2 million in export by January 2022.
The increase in export revenue is because of the rising demand for alternative sources of energy caused by the geopolitical tension that ensued after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Tanzania’s coal export destinations include regional markets such as Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda as well as other global players such as Poland, Hong Kong, India, and Senegal.
Key players in the Tanzania coal businesses include Tancoal Energy Limited which is a joint venture between the state-owned National Development Corporation Of Tanzania and Australian-based Intra Energy Corporation, Edenville International, Ruvuma Coal mine, Market Insight Limited, and state-owned Kiwira coal mine and Jitegemee Holding.
Coal companies like the ruling party CCM’s owned Jitegemee Holding have also benefited from the coal boom, with less than two years of operation in the coal business Jitegemee has shipped over 70,00 tonnes of coal since September 2022.
Through partnerships between global players and local companies Tanzania coal has managed to supply energy to various countries in Europe since last year.
Tanzania’s public debt increases to sh76 trillion
Tanzania’s public debt has increased to Sh. 76 trillion recorded in January 2023 as per the Bank of Tanzania figures, a 4 trillion increase since September 2022. External debt account for most of Tanzania’s debt stock with 47 percent being debt from the multilateral institution and 28.2 percent being a commercial loan.
By running multiple big projects concurrently of which, the majority are financed in foreign currency, Tanzania has found itself under increasing pressure to seek out for loans to finance its budget deficit and in some cases cushion the effect of global pressure on its external sector.
The debt debate has been part of a heated exchange between the government and other stakeholders including opposition activists and even within the ruling party itself. In its clarification, the government has maintained that it borrows because it has the ability to pay back and this is the best way to bring development fast.
Accountability stakeholders have been calling for the restructuring of the debt management system including introducing stakeholders outside of the executive, specifically the parliament to the debt management committee. The committee is now spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance, and stakeholders have also called for the introduction of the debt ceiling in the Tanzania debt management provisions.
Lema returns from exile, impressed by changes in the political atmosphere
Opposition party CHADEMA central committee member and the former Arusha member of parliament Godbless Lema has returned from Canada where he went into exile in 2020 following the after-election scuffles.
Lema was received by a multitude of CHADEMA supporters who escorted him from the Kilimanjaro International Airport. In an emotional speech, Lema recalled how he escaped from Tanzania after he had received credible information that he was either going to be jailed until 2024 or killed.
In Kenya, Lema recounted how he was almost returned to Tanzania as there was information that he was planning to topple the government. Former Kenya Presidential aspirant, George Wajackoyah was the one who saved Lema, after he had called everyone in the Kenyan government including making a stunt of bringing a bus full of journalists to help Lema.
Both Godbless Lema and CHADEMA Chairperson Freeman Mbowe paid homage to Wajackoya who saved their lives on different occasions with Mbowe recalling that Wajackoya hosted him for months and letting him work out of his office.
Lema’s return had collided with President Samia’s arrival in Arusha and its reported that President Samia waved at CHADEMA supporters who were waiting for Lema to arrive as her convoy was leaving for Arusha town, something that Lema acknowledge its remarkable.
“I found there were many people outside the Airport, and I was informed that President Samia has passed here and waved at them,” narrated Lema in front of thousands of his supporters.
“The mediocrity of crackdown over opposition was unwise, the President like this who respects democracy even when you speak about her you do it fairly” underscore Lema, “we will not teach you to harass or abuse the President but criticize her with all strength, our goal is to remove CCM from power.”
In the past CHADEMA used to complain that whenever there was a president visit, flags from their stronghold will be removed and even in some cases destructions of their properties have been reported.
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