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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – August 7, 2023

In our briefing today: Bridging the digital divide: Village with years of network challenges is finally to be connected;Frightening moment as a fuel tanker crashed and exploded in Dar; UK university ties up with IIT Madras for Zanzibar student exchanges; Tanzanian held in India over rape allegations.

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania over the weekend.

Bridging the digital divide: Village with years of network challenges is finally to be connected

Mtepera, a village in the district of Kilwa, in the Lindi region, which The Chanzo recently exposed its network connection challenges, has been selected as one of the villages across Tanzania that will be provided with cell towers under the government’s Universal Communications Service Access Fund (UCSAF).

Richard Soteli, an engineer with the UCSAF, which was established in 2006 to cater for marginalised communities in Tanzania, confirmed that the cell tower would be provided to the people of Mtepera, saying its part of the government’s plan to build 758 towers in 713 wards across the country.

“In this project, Mtepera village is one of the beneficiaries in which Miguruwe ward in Kilwa district will receive two towers from Tigo service providers,” Mr Soteli told The Chanzo during an interview.

In its report, published on August 3, 2023, The Chanzo showed how Mtepera, with over 14,958 residents, faces a serious network connection problem, with many of them being forced to rely on cumbersome tactics to connect to the outside world.  Read the full story here.

Frightening moment as a fuel tanker crashed and exploded in Dar

Residents of Ubungo Kibo experienced a frightening moment when a fuel tanker crashed and exploded on a busy road in the Ubungo-Kibo area. The accident happened at around 11 in the morning and efforts to control the fire went on until around 3 pm.

The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the tanker and crashed into a road lamp post causing it to fall into the road drainage systems. The driver and his assistant were able to leave the accident scene unharmed.

While at first there were fears that fire might spread to residential areas, the fire and rescue force was able to attend and deal with the incident in time. The Dar es Salaam Police Commander Jumanne Muliro explained that the Police are opening the investigation to establish the cause of the accident as well as the associated damages.

On the other hand, the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Albert Chalamila said that government intervention was successful and urged people building in road reserve areas to abandon the practice.

“We had three priorities first ensuring the fire doesn’t spread, rescuing people, and stopping any associated incidents such as banditry,” said Chalamila.

Two motorcycles were burned and a few stalls were destroyed. No injuries or deaths were reported from the accident.

UK university ties up with IIT Madras for Zanzibar student exchanges

The University of Birmingham’s UK and Dubai campuses have partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras to facilitate student exchanges with its new Zanzibar campus.

According to a report by Financial Express, the partnership will see outstanding undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral scholars do coursework and research at Birmingham University campuses while studying at IIT Madras Zanzibar.

It will also involve “Study Abroad” opportunities for Zanzibar-based undergraduate students to spend up to a year at the University of Birmingham, gaining coursework credits that will count towards gaining their IIT Madras degree.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Birmingham, described the exchange programme as “exciting” during an interview with Financial Express, adding that the initiative illustrates how the relationship between the two higher learning institutions is fast developing.

“We look forward to welcoming students from the new IIT Madras Zanzibar Campus to our beautiful, leafy Birmingham campus and our iconic Dubai facilities as more education and research collaborations emerge as our two universities work ever closer together,” he said.

The first IIT located outside India, talks of a possible establishment of IIT Madras’ campus in Zanzibar have been going for some time but were concluded on July 6, 2023, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Zanzibar, paving the way for its establishment.

The signing of the MoU was part of the activities undertaken by India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s four-day visit to Tanzania to strengthen the relations between the two countries.

The top-ranked educational institute in India announced on July 10, 2023, that classes at its Zanzibar campus will commence in October 2023. The campus admission application’s last date was yesterday, August 5.

IIT Madras Zanzibar campus admits students to a BSc programme in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) and a two-year MTech programme in data science and AI.

Candidates must appear for a selection test and an interview to secure a seat on the IIT Madras Zanzibar campus.

The agreement between the University of Birmingham’s UK and Dubai campuses IIT Madras follows the universities’ founding of a Joint Masters programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which welcomed the first cohort of students earlier this week to Chennai, India.

Tanzanian held in India over rape allegations

Indian authorities are holding a 41-year-old Tanzanian for allegedly raping a 34-year-old event anchor several times and promising to marry her.

According to India’s Hindustan Times report, Viran Patel, who holds a Tanzanian passport, reportedly met the complainant at a friend’s birthday party in October 2022.

“They later exchanged numbers and soon became good friends. In February 2023, the woman shifted to his Lower Parel-based flat,” the paper quoted a police officer as saying.

As they both were from the same community and unmarried, they decided to get married, and accordingly, the complainant introduced him to all her relatives.

The woman opposed a physical relationship before marriage, the accused used to insist on a physical relationship leading to quarrels.

“Both of them started staying together at his flat in Lower Parel, where he sexually assaulted her,” the police officer continued. “He then took her to his friend’s farmhouse in Alibag, his flats in Pune, and a luxurious hotel in Pune where he forced himself on her, promising to marry her in December.”

Patel, born in India but grew up in Tanzania and has an import and export business of tiles, faces charges of rape and punishment for voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here), as that is the best way to ensure you do not miss any of these briefings.  And in case you have any questions or comments, please drop a word to our editors at

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