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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – March 01, 2024

In our briefing today: Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Tanzania president who liberalized the economy, dies at 98 ; Concerns arise for 4 Million NHIF beneficiaries as private health providers begin boycott today; Tanga Police solve an abduction case, it was a drug deal gone wrong; Development From Below? This is the story of a Daladala co-op in Dar es Salaam

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Tanzania president who liberalized the economy, dies at 98

The second president of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi has died at the age 98. Mwinyi died at Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was receiving lung cancer treatment.

The announcement of his death was made yesterday by Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who said that President Mwinyi was initially hospitalized in London in November last year. Subsequently, he was transferred back to Mzena Hospital in Dar es Salaam for further treatment.

Mwinyi became the President of Tanzania in 1985 and served until 1995. President Mwinyi is remembered as the leader who steered Tanzania into the free market economy, due to his policies he was popularly known as Mzee Rukhsa loosely translated as ‘everything goes’ or somebody who allows things.

The national flag will be lowered at half-mast for seven days starting today, his funeral is expected to be held in Unguja, Zanzibar on March 02, 2024. Mourners will have an opportunity to say goodbye today at the Uhuru ground.

Concerns arise for 4 Million NHIF beneficiaries as private health providers begin boycott today

Several private healthcare providers have announced that starting March 01, 2023, they will no longer accept insurance from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) following a disagreement between them and NHIF on the proposed rates.

Several hospitals such as Regency Medical Centre, Kairuki, Aga Khan, and the Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA), a body representing over 1,000-member healthcare facilities, have already released their announcement on the issue online saying that they will no longer accept NHIF cards.

In response, NHIF has issued a statement urging its members to use the alternative health center, and informing the public that it is looking to register more health centers.

The new proposed rates, which the government intended to bring into force on January 1, 2024, NHIF, under the excuse of reflecting current market prices, reduced the payments it would cover for medical consultation and treatment, forcing the private health sector providers to protest, threatening to withhold services from NHIF cardholders.

Following the backlash, on January 4, 2024, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu met with private health providers in the country and announced the formation of an independent committee that will engage relevant stakeholders to resolve the issue. The committee was given one month to finalize all engagements.

In a joint statement released on February 27, 2024, The Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA), the Christian Social Service Commission (CSSC), and the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) said that NHIF has failed to accommodate their views about the rates, leaving them with no other option than refusing to provide services to the Fund’s cardholders.

Tanga Police solve an abduction case, it was a drug deal gone wrong

Tanga Regional Police Commissioner Almachius Mchunguzi has confirmed the rescue of Buki Mnazi Kizinga, a resident of Tanga who was kidnapped on February 14, 2024. During their investigation, the police confirmed that the culprit behind the kidnapping was Khalid Salim Mwarangi, a resident of Kimara, Dar es Salaam.

Mchunguzi explained that the motive behind the kidnapping was to pressure Buki into producing lost drugs. “In our investigation, it was revealed that the kidnappers demanded 50 million in compensation or the return of their drugs,” said Mchunguzi. “It is believed that Buki was given illicit drugs by the kidnappers for transportation, but he claimed to have lost them in Ethiopia after being arrested.”

Mr. Mwarangi was found in possession of two passports and 25 grams of illicit drugs during his arrest.

Recently, there has been increased pressure from the public for the government to solve cases of abduction and disappearances. Unlike in the past, where many abduction cases involved government critics or individuals in conflict with the government, recent cases have been random, involving businessmen and ordinary citizens.

In response to concerns raised in parliament on February 09, 2023, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hamad Masauni, stated that the main causes of recent abduction cases are marital jealousy, witchcraft, land conflicts, self-abduction, revenge, and scams. Masauni noted that the government has resolved about 21 out of the 29 reported kidnapping cases in 2023.

However, complaints from citizens persist, with many cases implicating members of the security forces. For instance, Diana Kubebeka, who spoke to The Chanzo, has complained that despite seeking help from the Prime Minister regarding Shinyanga Police officials who abducted her and stole about 19 million from her, no action has been taken to date.

Development From Below? This is the story of a Daladala co-op in Dar es Salaam

“You know, we’re at war through life,” says a long-time daladala driver, listing the many challenges informal transport workers face, from no salary and long working hours to no overtime pay and social protection or pension.

Still, drivers battle on. “We’re all the children of poverty. We’ve got ahead on our own strength.” But what happens when drivers “overripen,” too exhausted by hard work to continue? “How will we get by?” In this case, the answer is through collective effort. 

The speaker is one of five association leaders gathered in a sparse office down a rain-furrowed dirt track. They are together to discuss their organising history and how, as informal workers, they did not wait for anyone to save them. They fought their “war” themselves. 

The results of their struggle offer a powerful example to other workers, policymakers, and anyone interested in what it means for precarious workers to seek the “good life.” 

Read the full analysis here.

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below), following us on X (Twitter) (here), or joining us on Telegram (here). And if you have any questions or comments, please drop a word to our editors at editor@thechanzo.com.

2 Responses

  1. One thing about Mr everything goes that is never mentioned by our leaders or journos is during his rule buildings that were nationalized by Mwalimu were returned to the ex owners in a strange, unethical and illegal way
    This is fully revealed by Warioba report with full list of properties that were thus reinstated UNLAWFULLY. This was done under the watch of Mzee Ruksa
    Do our journos know anything about the Warioba report? Or is it thrown in dustbin?

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