Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, July 3, 2023.
TARI Dakawa hatches robust project to purify, acknowledge landrace rice seeds
Tanzania has embarked on implementing an ambitious project to acknowledge and purify the landrace rice seeds in the country.
The country’s pilot project to purify the local rice seeds at the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), in its Morogoro-based Dakawa centre, covers at least four acres, attracting 25 diverse seeds from 54 landraces collected.
Dr William Titus, the Plant Breeder and Coordinator of Research and Innovation at TARI Dakawa Centre, told The Chanzo that the timely initiative focused on elevating quality and availability from reputable sources of local rice seeds for farmers across Tanzania.
In an interview, Dr Titus explained that although currently standing at the helm of the East and Central Africa (EAC)’s rice production sector, Tanzania was grappling with numerous challenges in the rice seed sub-sector.
“Most of the rice growers in Tanzania are yet to adopt the improved rice seeds as they prefer landrace seeds, which are unproductive and have not been registered in the country’s formal seed system,” he expressed.
Full story here.
French university begins work to return human remains to Tanzania
The University of Strasbourg has set up a scientific council whose task is to provide accurate information on the origins of the human remains in its collections, which date back to the colonisation of Africa under German and French rule.
The process will see the university returning human remains in its collection to Tanzania and Namibia as part of a restitution process demanded by both countries.
French state-owned radio news network RFI quoted the university’s vice-president and chair of the scientific council Mathieu Schneider as saying that the move is part of the university’s process of looking back on its history and addressing it.
“Holding on to objects and human remains obtained during colonisation might be problematic if we want a peaceful dialogue between Europe and Africa,” he said. “That’s why if we have a request from Africa, we cannot ignore it.”
“We have to engage in a dialogue to understand what they want, undertake a scientific evaluation of what we have and what happened. Only then can proper restitution take place, as long as it is legally possible,” he added.
In March this year, Namibia’s Ovaherero Genocide Foundation requested the return of human remains obtained after the massacre of Ovaherero and Nama people by German troops in Namibia between 1904 and 1907, considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Germany formally recognised it as such in 2021.
The Namibian request followed another by the Moshi district in Kilimanjaro in January 2020, seeking the restitution of remains belonging to the Wachagga people from around Mount Kilimanjaro. Many of the group’s leaders were killed after resisting colonial rule.
At the time, the Germans collected skulls and bones to support a pseudoscientific theory supposedly proving the supremacy of the Caucasian or white race over African or black people, based on the false idea that skull shape and size were indicators of ethnic origins and mental abilities.
Tanzania: Time to have two separate intelligence services?
The debate over the recent Tanzania Intelligence and Security Service (TISS) amendment bill has opened up the agency to scrutiny and discussion in a way we have not seen in a while.
Due to the service’s secretive nature, discussions usually centre around myths and hearsay. However, with the TISS amendment bill, gazetted on May 15, 2023, the public got an insight into the service’s inner workings for the first time in a long time.
After having gone through the amendment, which has recently passed through the parliament, I would like to delve into some of the changes that have been proposed to suggest the service’s improvement.
However, I would like to caution the readers that I am neither a security nor intelligence expert; hence, any suggestions are from an observer’s perspective and might not be feasible regarding implementation!
For the sake of this article, I will limit my analysis to the sections of the amendment that have proven to be controversial to the public. I will put myself in the shoes of the public and the agency to see if a middle ground can be reached.
Full analysis here.
Southern African Chief Justices’ annual forum to be held in Tanzania
The Southern African Chief Justices’ Forum (SACJF) has agreed to host the next forum meeting in Arusha from 23-28 October this year, the body’s management committee resolved during its meeting in the Namibian capital of Windhoek.
Over the weekend, Namibia’s Chief Justice Peter Shivute said that the forum, established in 2003, will bring Chief Justices from across the region to discuss matters of common interest aimed at bettering judiciaries.
SACJF was established to recognise and amplify the important role that judiciaries play in the Southern African region.
Shivute told the Namibian press that Chief Justices must occasionally meet to share ideas and experiences on how to strengthen the rule of law and discuss current scientific topics to the challenges that SACJF faces as a regional body.
He extended his gratitude to the Chief Justice of Tanzania, Prof Ibrahim Juma, and the Government of Tanzania for agreeing to host the upcoming forum meeting there, adding that he looks forward to attending it.
The Chief Justices from member states of the forum, which include Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and senior judges from the southern and eastern African regions will attend the forum.
Chief Justice of Mozambique Adelino Muchanga was also at the management committee meeting in Windhoek.
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