Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, June 15, 2023.
Bunge to debate Tanzania’s 2023/24 budget
Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba tabled the government’s budget for the 2023/2024 financial year, with 27 per cent of the Sh44.39 budget expected to be spent for administrative purposes.
Another area that will eat up much (14 per cent) of the budget is the country’s national debt, which stood at Sh76 trillion by March, which authorities have continued to describe as “tolerable.” It is followed by education, defence and security, energy, and health.
The 2023/2024 budget is a seven per cent rise compared to the Sh41.5 trillion in the ending 2022/2023 financial year. The government expects to raise over two-thirds of that amount, or Sh31.38 trillion, from domestic sources.
Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is expected to collect Sh26.73 trillion in revenues, while non-tax revenue is expected to be Sh4.66 trillion. About Sh5.44 trillion would be borrowed from domestic non-concessional sources, and Sh2.1 trillion would be borrowed from external non-concessional sources.
Today, lawmakers in the capital Dodoma will have the opportunity to debate the budget, with many hoping that they will allow the government to go ahead with its financial plans for the 2023/2024 financial year.
The government’s key priorities for the coming financial year appear to be developing its mega projects that remain unfinished, which include the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project, and revamping the national airline ATCL, to name but a few.
While tabling the budget in the parliament yesterday, Mr Nchemba announced several fiscal and non-fiscal measures that the six-phase government plans to take to finance its budget.
The measures include a proposed Sh600 levy per litre of imported energy drinks, a 30 per cent excise duty on cigarettes and shisha, and a 1.5 per cent levy on vinyl, MiniDisc, Compact Disc, DVD and SD Memory, among other measures.
In its drive to attract investment in the county, the government seeks to amend the Immigration Act, CAP 54, by issuing a residence permit (Residence Permit Class B) to any investor who is not a resident in Tanzania but will invest in buying a house with a capital of not less than $150,000 in the country.
The government will also exempt the excise tax on electric and gas vehicles, with Mr Nchemba saying the goal is o spur the use of alternative fuels such as electricity and gas and save foreign currency.
Mr Nchemba also unveiled the government’s plan to establish the National Gold Reserve, saying that it has completed procedures for purchases of gold through the Bank of Tanzania (BoT).
He also told lawmakers that the government would review policies, laws, and tax administrative procedures to ensure that the gold extracted in the country gets purified before exportation.
The threats to journalists’ safety in Tanzania are gendered, new report finds
A new study on the safety of journalists in Tanzania has concluded that journalists in the East African nation work in unsafe conditions, but even more so for female journalists.
The study was conducted by the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), a pan-African membership-based civil society network promoting the right of access to information between 2016 and 2021. It also covers Kenya and Uganda.
Using UNESCO Journalists Safety Indicators, the study sought to reinforce the safety of female journalists and enhance legal and institutional frameworks in Tanzania by providing recommendations to support the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
In Tanzania, the study found that male journalists are more likely to be employed in permanent, full-time positions than their male counterparts. The women are also likely to be paid less than their male colleagues even if they have the same qualifications or do similar work.
Titled Examing the Gendered Dimensions of Journalists’ Safety Based on UNESCO Journalists’ Safety Indicators, the study found that fewer female journalists practice in Tanzanian newsrooms than male journalists. This is despite more women than men graduating from journalism tertiary colleges and universities.
Speaking during the launching of the report in Dar es Salaam yesterday, AFIC Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator Charity Komujjurizi said that while male journalists tend to be more vulnerable to physical abuse in the line of duty through arrests, unlawful detention, and abductions than their women colleagues, it has informed the decision by women journalists to avoid fields like politics and business reporting.
“In contrast, female journalists are exposed to more sexual harassment than their male counterparts,” she noted. “Female journalists are asked for sexual favours to be employed, assigned work, given contracts, or promoted. Sexism, misogyny, and cyberattacks were worrying threats to female journalists.”
The study calls on the government to enact and effectively implement gender-responsive laws and policies to improve the safety of journalists, especially female journalists who are most at risk.
“Gender responsiveness should be depicted in state institutions promoting media freedoms and safety in the three countries,” Ms Komujjurizi told journalists.
“This is because, in an environment where the governments do not have specific laws, policies, and institutional frameworks addressing the safety of female journalists and impunity, the criminal and civil justice system, too, cannot deal effectively with threats and acts of violence against female journalists,” she added.
A panel discussion followed the launching of the report, where the chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Tanzania Chapter (MISA-TAN) underlined the need to have more women in newsrooms.
“Having more women in newsrooms help change the narratives not only about women but also about several issues of societal concerns,” Kitomari, who also works as an editor for Kiswahili daily newspaper Nipashe, said. “What can be overlooked by a man would be taken seriously by a woman and thus pushing for necessary changes.”
Tanzania’s female founders urged to apply for 2023 She Techs the Future project
Calls are open for Tanzania’s female founders to apply for 2023 She Techs the Future Program aimed at building structures to foster female-led digital ventures in East Africa from idea generation to first investment.
The project is implemented by StartHub Africa in partnership with the Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) by the Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and Sequa on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Benefits include five days boost bootcamp to refine the founder’s product, business model and strategy to grow your business. One startup will be selected to participate in an international conference for exposure and fully sponsored networking.
To be eligible, the product must be open to early-stage tech startups, with at least one female founder working at least 20 hours per week on the startup. It must be operating in Uganda or Tanzania. Must have a prototype.
It also should be available to participate in the bootcamp (Tanzania: last week of June; Uganda: first week of July), mentorship and Demoday.
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