Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Tanzania-Dubai port deal brought up an emotive Tanganyika-Zanzibar debate, govt allays fears
Two days before Tanzania parliament ratify agreement between Tanzania and the Emirati of Dubai on improvement and development of Tanzania ports, debates continue to rage on social media.
The debate took a new twist yesterday when Tanganyika-Zanzibar issue started to emerge. The issue was raised by several people online but in the evening the leader of Tanzania opposition party, CHADEMA, Freeman Mbowe echoed the sentiments.
“The main question is that if the agreement has great benefit to Tanzania, why are the Zanzibar ports not part of the deal,” asked Freeman Mbowe.
“In that basis Tanganyikans have the rights to question if the two Zanzibaris are dividing Tanganyika resources for their own benefit leaving Zanzibar resources safe, ” added Mbowe in his address, referring to President Samia Suluhu and Minister Makame Mbarawa who signed the agreement.
Other issues which have been circulating online which govt has denounced include that the contract has no expiration date, other says it is for 100 years and that the government is handing out sea, lakes and rivers to the Emirati of Dubai.
Around 9:30pm Tanzania Chief Spokesperson organized a clubhouse session which run to 12:30am, where the Director General of the Tanzania Port Authority, Mr.Plasduce M. Mbossa responded directly to questions from Tanzanian. Over 8000 account tune in for the session, and more than 100 questions were asked.
On the timeline of the agreement Mr.Mbossa explained that the agreement will automatically cease if there is no any progress/negotiation within 12 months. And underscored that the termination clause of the agreement allow one party to walk away after consent from the other party.
On handing out lakes, Mbossa, explained that its strategic for any investment in Darport to be linked with some lakes which serve neighboring country DRC.
He also explained that this is the inter-governmental agreement and that it is yet to be operational, that after the parliament has ratify subsequent operational agreements will follow.
On the question of Zanzibar which was also raised several times by participant in the session Mr.Mbossa underscored that TPA doesn’t have mandate over Zanzibar ports.
Commenting on the Zanzibar question, seasoned journalist Ezekiel Kamwaga questioned, “When you start to brought up that the President is from Zanzibar because of this port deal, where does it stop?” asked Kamwaga in a series of tweets.
The Tanganyika question always emerge here and there, especially when the President is from Zanzibar. In 1993, a group of parlimentarian from Tanzania mainland supported a private motion by member of parliament Njelu Kasaka that calls for Tanganyika to have its own government in the union.
The issue which emerged following Zanzibar intention to join Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was so emotive, and managed to garner support that it took political weight of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere to bring it to it knees.
Reflecting on the issues in the book 38 Reflection on Mwalimu Nyerere, Jenerali Ulimwengu, who was one of the member of parliament who supported the private motion, underscored that one of their argument when they met Mwalimu Nyerere was that,the President from Zanzibar (refering to the former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi) hardly understand the complexity of Tanzania mainland and intricacies of the vast land and was prune to make mistakes.
The agreement is expected to be ratified on June 10,2023, so far, many members of parliament have indicated unwavering support to the deal citing anticipated economic benefits.
Chaos at Namanga as Tanzania stops over 200 trucks transporting maize to Kenya
Tanzanian authorities have reportedly stopped issuing exportation permits to trucks transporting maize to neighbouring Kenya, leading to over 200 trucks being stuck at the Tanzania-Kenya border of Namanga.
According to a report by Kenya’s East African newspaper, some trucks have been stuck at the border for more than a week, leading to traders registering losses as they cannot get their grains into Kenya.
The paper reported how maize traders and clearing agents paralysed activities at the border point demanding clearance of the stuck trucks, with customs offices, both Tanzania and Kenya, brought to a standstill.
Some traders sat pensively at the parking lot pavements after failed frantic efforts to have their consignments cleared.
The paper reported that truck drivers were seemingly tired and hopeless, with some threatening to offload the cargo at the parking lot.
Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association (KEFWA) Namanga secretary Zachary Mwangi told The East African that the new measures by Tanzania authority were to be effected from July.
“The Tanzania authority ought to have alerted the maize traders they will not be issuing export permits to traders in good time,” he said. “Our efforts to reach the relevant authorities have hit a snag.”
On May 29, 2023, Tanzania issued new directives for trading crops, with the Minister of Agriculture Hussein Bashe saying the move aims at benefiting the country, farmers and local and foreign traders.
The directives require traders from foreign countries to register companies in Tanzania to be able to buy crops from the East African country, a requirement that Kenya’s traders have described as “inopportune,” according to a report by The Citizen newspaper.
The directives were expected to come into force on July 1, 2023. Still, Kenya’s traders told The East African newspaper that they think that Tanzania’s decision to stop issuing exportation permits has something to do with the new directives.
Sweden, THRDC partner to promote human rights in Tanzania
The Swedish Embassy in Tanzania has given the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) Sh3.2 billion to support the organisation in promoting human rights in Tanzania.
The funds will be channelled to continuously provide rapid support to human rights defenders, including legal assistance when they face risky situations in their advocacy activities, advocating for policy and oppressive laws that affect human rights defenders and human rights.
The fund will also seek opportunities for dialogue and cooperation between human rights defenders and various domestic and international institutions, both governmental and non-governmental.
Speaking shortly after signing the new partnership, THRDC national coordinator Onesmo Olengurumwa said the fund would also be spent to enhance the capacity of civil society organisations regarding their rights and responsibilities, including compliance with relevant laws.
“We are grateful for this support which will also support in building the capacity of human rights defenders,” the government-owned Daily News newspaper quoted Mr Olengurumwa as saying.
“[This will] include members and non-members of our organisations on how to carry out their advocacy work and protect themselves in a risky environment,” he added.
Signed on June 2, 2023, the project’s implementation will begin early this month, concluding on December 31, 2026.
US-based mining company Barrel Energy acquires Iitan X Lithium Project in Tanzania
A US-based mineral resource development company, Barrel Energy Inc., announced Wednesday its acquisition of the “Titan X Lithium Project” in Tanzania, a lithium project located in Kilimanjaro.
In an update, the company said the Titan 1 project has returned “unparalleled results,” reporting widespread high-grade lithium within clay soil. Titan 1 covers over 65 square kilometres and grades approximately 1 per cent Li2O. In some samples towards the south end of Titan 1, near “Titan X”, the recorded grades were up to 4.8 per cent Li2O.
“We are very pleased to have been able to locate such a top-tier lithium project for Barrel,” the company’s chairman, Harp Sangha, said.
“The Titan 1 project has every indication to be a world-class stand out, and our Titan X project holds great promise as recent prospecting returned surface lithium grades similar to Titan 1,” he added.
The Titan X Lithium Project measures 97.4 square kilometres (approximately 24,075 acres). It spans a sparsely vegetated playa basin, likely the southward extension of the generally north-south trending Titan 1 mineralisation.
Barrel, which focuses on the green energy and battery minerals sector, is reviewing additional geologic targets to expand its battery metal portfolio.
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