Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
Government suspends 10pc council loans following CAG queries
Government has on yesterday announced the suspension of the local council loans for the remaining duration of financial year 2022/23 that is April to June 2023.
The 10 percent loan is a revolving loan scheme from the local government distributed on the 4-4-2 formula, for Youth, Women, and People with Disabilities respectively. Local government authorities are required to set aside 10 percent of their annual revenue for the loans.
Responding to the parliamentarian contribution to his office budget for the year 2023/24, the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the government is suspending the loan to find the best way for the scheme.
This move from the government is a response to the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report which questioned the sustainability of the scheme in the current set up. In his report CAG showed that due to low capacity, local government authorities weren’t able to recover Sh.88 billion of the loan.
It was also noted Sh. 2.5 billion was issued to the groups that ceased business operations and Sh. 895.94 million was issued to 48 groups that did not exist.
Commenting on the CAG report, President Samia Suluhu said because of the low capacity of the local government authorities, government should consider using Banks for the purpose.
Between July 2018 and June 2021 a total of Tshs. 118 billion were allocated for the 10 percent loan scheme.
‘We are in dire need food,’ Mtwara flood victims plead
Flood victims have called for more stakeholders to come out and support them at this time of need, especially with food and basic needs.
The Chanzo has visited some of the affected areas and spoke with the victims, most of them said that they are very worried about their state of food as most of their crops were affected in the flood.
“All of us villagers who are living in this area Mahurunga, we are stuck, our main crops are maize and rice and they’re both submerged in floods,” said Said Ismail a resident of Mahurunga village.
“In some morning children cry for porridge but we have nothing to give them” added Bakari Hassan also a resident of Mahurunga Mtwara.
While government and few stakeholders have provided food, shelter and other basic needs there is still a need of more support to assure recovery.
Speaking about the predicament, Mtwara District Commissioner, Hanafi msabaha said about 97 household are currently placed in a warehouse.
“We have over 290 students who need to resume school activities,” said Mr Msabaha, “We need school items, foods and tents, these are our priorities.”
The flood are caused by the overflow of Ruvuma rivers due to heavy rain in a neighbouring country Malawi and it’s reported that over 1800 Mtwara resident are displaced. In Malawi over 500,000 people were displaced with flood.
Low cashewnut production last year and this year flood and the drought that caused most areas in Mtwara to lose their cops are a big case of concern to many residents in the areas.
Australian miner threatens to seize Air Tanzania aircraft
Australian mining company Indiana Resources has warned it may, if necessary, resort to attaching Air Tanzania’s aircraft to force the government into paying out close to US$100 million in compensation for the loss of a nickel project in the country.
The Africa Report quoted Indiana Resources Executive Chairwoman Bronwyn Barnes as saying: “Tanzania took my asset. I’m quite happy to do the same.”
Although the value of the aircraft would not cover the claim, Barnes is counting on the shock value of high-profile national assets being seized to shame the government into action.
Indiana Resources’ longstanding dispute with Tanzania over the expropriation of the Ntaka Hill nickel project is the subject of arbitration before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investments Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC, U.S.
The ICSID completed an evidentiary hearing into the dispute in February. Post-hearing submissions were due by April 5.
Barnes told Ch-aviation that the claimants are awaiting a decision from ICSID on compensation for the expropriation of the Ntaka Hill nickel project.
“If the arbitral tribunal rules in favour of the claimants and determines that compensation for the loss of the asset is due, then we will seek to recover that amount from Tanzania.
“If Tanzania fails to make payment of compensation as directed by ICSID, then we will consider seizing assets.
“This may include planes, although no clear decision has been made about this at the moment. We await the final decision of the arbitral panel,” she is quoted as saying.
The ICSID has not set a date for a decision, but Barnes hoped it would happen around the third quarter of 2023.
“There is a clear and compelling case for compensation,” Barnes told The Africa Report. “We’re very confident of a successful outcome.”
Indiana Resources first lodged the claim with ICSID in July 2021 for compensation of US$93.7 million plus interest, which continues to accrue.
In October 2022, the company met with a special Tanzanian government negotiation team in Dar es Salaam.
The company said a site visit to Ntaka Hill revealed that third parties had developed the site and that a significant amount of the previously identified high-grade nickel sulphide zone had been extracted.
Tanzania is among some 158 states which have ratified the ICSID Convention.
An award issued by an ICSID tribunal is enforceable in any of those 158 member states as if it were a judgment of one of their own courts, which makes countries often comply voluntarily with the payment terms of such awards.
Slovenia seeks Tanzania’s support for UN security council non-permanent member seat
Slovenia Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon on Thursday arrived in Tanzania for a two-day visit as the Central European nation continues its lobbying efforts for the non-permanent seat it seeks to achieve at the UN Security Council.
On Twitter yesterday, Slovenia’s Foreign Ministry said that Fajon, also her country’s Deputy Prime Minister, met and talked with her Tanzanian counterpart Stergomena Tax on Thursday, where the two agreed to cooperate to ensure food safety, fighting climate change and in water management.
The Slovenian press has reported that Fajon will also seek to present the Central European’s candidacy for non-permanent membership of the UN’s Security Council.
The country is currently running for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the central organ of the UN responsible for international peace and security, for the 2024–2025 period.
Slovenia believes that “smaller countries too can take active and prominent roles in international organisations and thus co-shape the global agenda, especially in addressing the security implications of climate change.”
Slovenia is running on a platform Building Trust – Securing Future, as part of the country’s commitment to the respect for international law, in particular in terms of accountability, conflict prevention, transparency and women, peace and security agenda, as well as climate and security, water diplomacy, food security and children in armed conflict.
On December 11, 2023, Fajon participated in the 10th summit of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, which took place in Luanda, Angola, where she sought the support of the organisation’s member states for her country’s bid to secure the non-permanent seat at the UN security council.
“In case of war on the European continent and many challenges such as climate change, energy or security risks, we will certainly be able and willing to listen to everyone and bring our positions as close as possible,” Fajon was quoted as telling the participants to the summit.
Tanzania deports ‘Facebook rapist’ Thabo Bester to SA
Tanzanian authorities on Thursday deported former fugitive and Facebook rapist Thabo Bester and his accomplices to South Africa.
Bester, his girlfriend, Dr Nandipha Magudumana and a Mozambican national, Zakaria Alberto, were arrested in Arusha, Tanzania, on Friday last week in a joint operation between the Tanzania Police Force and the Interpol.
Their deportation on Thursday followed an engagement between law enforcers from the two countries, which sought to finalise the legal processes required towards returning the escapee and his accomplices to South Africa.
A delegation led by South Africa’s Deputy National Commissioner responsible for Policing, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, was in the country to finalise the procedures for the deportation.
Bester has been on the run since he escaped from Mangaung Maximum Security Prison in South Africa’s Free State province in May 2022.
The 35-year-old had been convicted for the rape and murder of his model girlfriend in 2012. He was also found guilty in 2013 of raping and robbing two other women.
South African authorities launched a search for Bester in March after a new autopsy report found the man who died in the prison cell was not Bester, forcing him and his girlfriend to go on the run.
A parliamentary hearing on Wednesday was told that prison guards had helped Bester fake his own death by smuggling a corpse into his prison cell, which was set alight, and it was later claimed he had died by committing suicide.
GBV ‘a big threat’ to women’s rights in Tanzania, LHRC reports
A new human rights report by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) states that gender-based violence threatens women’s rights in Tanzania, calling on the government to enact a special anti-GBV law to show commitment to ending the harmful practice.
In its Tanzania Human Rights Report 2022, launched on Wednesday, LHRC records violence reported across Tanzania Mainland, including physical, psychological, sexual, and economic violence.
It cites recent government figures on GBV, which show that reported incidents decreased from 42,414 in 2020 to 29,373 in 2021, equivalent to a decrease of 30.8 per cent.
However, in 2022, police in various parts of the country reported that GBV incidents were rising, LHRC observes.
For example, LHRC cites a statement by Katavi regional police commander Ali Makame who in October 2022 revealed that GBV incidents reported between January and September already surpassed those reported for the same period in 2021 by 30 incidents, increasing from 240 to 270.
Full story here.
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