Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.
Tanzania Auditor General query Standard Chartered loan facilitation terms for the Standard Gauge Railway
The Tanzania Controller and Auditor General report queried the terms set by Standard Chartered Bank on acting as a loan facilitator to the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway.
It was noted in the report that Standard Chartered had set conditions that it would only accept the role of global coordinator, book runner, and mandated lead arranger for the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MOFP) if Yapi Markezi was appointed as the contractor for SGR lot 3 and 4 of the project.
The report shows that the Ministry of Finance agreed to these ‘unfavorable’ conditions through letter with reference number PST/GEN/2021/01/55. The Tanzania Railway Corporation went on into awarding Yapi Merkezi lot 3 and 4 of the project in a non-competitive method of tendering.
CAG went further to pointing out that the cost for constructing Lot 3 and 4 of the project increased from USD 1.3 million to USD 1.6 million compared to other lots.
“Upon review of the awarded contracts for SGR Lot 1, 2, and 5, I found that the cost per km for construction using the competitive tendering method was USD 4.1 million, 4.6 million and 3.9 million respectively” reads part of the CAG report, “while Lot 3 and 4 costs were USD 5.2 and USD 5.5 million respectively where a single-source method was used.”
The report further point out the scope of work for lots 3 and 4 was less, with fewer structures compared to lots 1, 2, and 5, which had more major structures.
The lot in question involved 422 kilometres which runs from Morogoro, Makutupora and Singida costing USD 1.928 Billion and 368 kilometers which runs from Makutupora to Tabora costing USD 900 Million.
In its Here for Good report, Standard Chartered reported to have arranged for Tanzania Shillings 3.7 Trillion Export Credit Agency (ECA) backed long term financing facility to fund the first and second lot of the SGR project from Dar Es Salaam to Dodoma (Makutupora).
The report also says, in addition to co-ordinating the transaction, the Bank acted as co-ordinator for other commercial and development finance investors.
Tanzania police confirm arrest of Thabo Bester and Nandipa Magudumana
Tanzania Police on Saturday confirmed the arrest of South African prison escapee Thabo Bester and his accomplice Dr Nandipa Magudumana and one other person by the name of Zakaria Alberto.
In a short statement released by the Police Spokesperson David Misime, Tanzania Police said they are finalising “other international and national procedures” for the case.
Thabo Bester, a serial rapist, scammer, and murderer, was confirmed to have escaped Mangaung Prison in South Africa in March 2023 after a viral Twitter picture that showed him shopping.
It was later learned that Bester had escaped prison in May 2022 in a ploy that involved fake suicide.
The prison cell where Bester was kept had caught fire, only to find his corpse burnt beyond recognition. Bester was pronounced dead, only for the news to resurface on social media that he was living large with South African celebrity Dr Nandipa Magundumana.
Reports show it was a complex scheme that involved Dr Nandipa Magundumana, who collected the burnt corpse from prison, claiming she was the wife of Thabo Bester.
Confirming the arrest of Thabo Bester, South Africa Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola says he expects to be in Tanzania on Sunday, April 09, 2023, to follow up on the case.
“We have confirmed with all relevant authorities in Tanzania, which include the National Police in Tanzania and Interpol, that fugitives have been processed in the Tanzania criminal justice system,” said Lamola in a press statement.
Zanzibar allays fears of Marburg Virus Disease
Zanzibar Minister of Tourism and Heritage Simai Mohammed Said has allayed fears of Marburg Virus Disease in the semi-autonomous archipelago, saying the situation is under control and that there is “no cause for alarm.”
In a statement, Mr Said assured the international community and other stakeholders within the country that Zanzibar is open for business and ready to welcome visitors worldwide.
The declaration is made ahead of the “Green Season,” when the government has promised all visitors that the archipelago is free of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD), for which they have not yet recorded any cases.
“Green Season” is a safari industry term for a specific period in Africa that falls within the warm, rainy months.
Mr Said noted that since lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Zanzibar had seen an influx of visitors from the United States of America, the Middle East, and those from its core European markets.
“It is anticipated that this trend will continue in the coming months and throughout the summer,” he said.
“While Tanzania and Zanzibar are monitoring the situation closely, there is no cause for alarm,” he added.
“Given that COVID-19 is still fresh in our minds, we understand that people are cautious when learning about new infections,” he pointed out.
“However, such fears are often unfounded, as is the case now. Tanzania is adhering to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, and people have no reason to worry.”
1,800 people left homeless by flash floods in Mtwara
At least 1,800 people in Tanzania’s southern region have been left homeless after their houses were submerged by flash floods caused by the ongoing heavy rains.
The Regional Commissioner Ahmed Abbas said that they have reported the incident to the Prime Minister Office which is responsible for handling emergencies. Abbas said the flash floods occurred in the past week after the Ruvuma River overflew following heavy rains upstream.
“The flash floods submerged over 150 houses in Maurunga and Kilambo wards in Mtwara district, leaving 528 households with 1,800 people homeless,” Abbas was quoted as saying.
He added that the homeless victims had been sheltered in primary schools as the regional authorities were organising relief supplies, including tents and food, for the victims.
Egypt’s Sisi follows up implementation of Julius Nyerere Dam in Tanzania
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday followed the progress of work being done on the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant and Dam to generate hydroelectric power in Tanzania, the Egyptian press reported over the weekend.
The project is being implemented by the Arab Contractors and el-Sewedy Electric consortium under the supervision of the Egyptian government.
Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy said that the dam is the largest development project to be implemented in Tanzania, generating twice the energy currently available in Tanzania.
He added that the dam serves as a model of fruitful cooperation for the benefit of all African peoples.
Fahmy said this came during a meeting attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and the country’s Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Assem al-Gazzar, which also dealt with following up on developments in the current business situation in new cities.
These included the New Administrative Capital, and the New el-Alamein City, in addition to pursuing multiple projects to develop the historic Cairo area.
Sisi was also briefed on developments in the work on “The Great Transfiguration Project on the Land of Peace” project in St. Catherine, Sinai.
Sisi ordered that close attention be paid to all the details of the project so that this unique spot would become a global destination for visitors worldwide.
Sisi noted that this project considers international environmental sustainability standards, preserves the architectural heritage, and raises the spiritual value of the region as a meeting place for all faiths.
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