Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, May 24, 2023.
Tanzania Minister of Defence: Security situation at the Mozambique border remains uncertain
Tanzania’s Minister of Defence and National Service, Innocent Bashungwa has informed parliament that the security situation at the Mozambique border is “medium and uncertain due to the presence of terrorist group Ansar Al Sunna Wal Jammah (AASWJ).”
Minister Bashungwa reported this yesterday during the submission of the budget for the Ministry of Defence and National Service in parliament. The total budget passed by parliament for the Ministry is Tsh 2.98 trillion, Sh. 222.8 billion is the development budget and Sh. 2.76 trillion is for the re-current expenditures.
Minister Bashungwa reported that the group Ansar Al Sunna Wal Jammah (AASWJ) has established itself in the Macomia District in Cabo Delgado and that the group has evolved in its strategy of recruiting members using nonviolent means which has continued to increase its base.
Bashungwa also said that the group has managed to increase the number of arms in its possession using different strategies including taking arms by raiding government security forces in the area.
Tanzania is one of the countries that contribute forces in the SADC Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM). In Tanzania, the place which is mostly affected by the spillover effect of the ongoing violence in Mozambique is Mtwara, with villages near Mozambique borders such as Kitaya and Arusha Chini are more susceptible to the raids and violence from the group.
The government has put in place a mix of approaches in Mtwara and nearby places bordering Mozambique; the first approach is a high-alert approach involving strong security measures.
The second approach is working in cooperation with local residents such as through the use of civilian check posts. In most of the border villages in Mtwara, there are some make-shift check posts manned by civilians where residents will inspect the ID and other identities of the individuals passing in their areas.
Local governments in the areas which are more susceptible to the risk of radicalization have also been pushing for youth to engage in various government opportunities such as local council loans.
Tanzania to maintain tight monetary policy amidst pressure on foreign exchange
The Bank of Tanzania in its latest Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) statement has maintained that it will continue to sustain the implementation of less accommodative monetary policy in May and June 2023 so as to maintain the required inflation target.
A less accommodative policy means the Bank will use a combination of monetary policy tools to reduce spending in the economy hence limiting the risk of rapid hikes in prices.
Tanzania like other countries in Africa has found itself under heavy external pressure contributed by the effects of the war in Ukraine and lagged impact of COVID-19.
The latest data from the Bank of Tanzania shows that the current account deficit has increased to USD 5.4 Billion for the year ending March 2023, compared to the deficit of USD 2.9 Billion recorded in the year ending March 2022. The widening of the current account deficit has also contributed to the depreciation of the shilling.
According to the report by the International Monetary Fund (April 2023) titled Managing Exchange Rate Pressures in Sub-Saharan Africa—Adapting to New Realities, economies in Sub-Saharan Africa risk having higher public debts and deteriorated trade balance due to external pressure.
About 68 per cent of Tanzania’s external debt is in dollars, meaning any depreciation of the shilling will greatly affect its bottom line, meaning more foreign currency will be needed in settling its debts.
Tanzania is also running several strategic projects such as the Julius Nyerere Hydropower project and the Standard Gauge Railway which all require foreign currencies in their implementation.
Recently, Kenya has found itself in a great dollar crisis due to the increasing pressure on its external sector. Gold, other minerals, tourism and several loan disbursements have continued to ease Tanzania’s risk of facing a foreign exchange crisis, but more caution is needed as the global economy continues to become uncertain.
Inter-agency guidelines for investigation and prosecution of money laundering, counter-terrorism, and counter-financing of terrorism launched
Guidelines for inter-agency cooperation, collaboration, and coordination on the investigation and prosecution of money laundering, terrorist financing, and terror crime were launched yesterday by key institutions involved in enforcing the law and investigation in Tanzania.
The guidelines were developed under the National Prosecutions Service (NPS) with the support of the AML-CFT ESCAY Project. Several institutions were involved in the development of the guidelines including the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Bank of Tanzania (BOT), the Immigration Department, and the Drug Control And Enforcement Authority among others.
“When one institution is working in isolation in combating these crimes it might not be very effective,” said Sylvester Mwakitalu the Director of public prosecutions, “this guideline will help these institutions in coordinating how the information will be sent to the other institution and how the crimes will be prosecuted,” added Mwakitalu.
The Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Dr Damas Ndumbaro underscored that the guidelines will make institutions working on law enforcement even more effective by working in a unified approach.
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