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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – March 26,2024

In our briefing today: M-mama expands nationwide, linked to emergency health line 115; Nchimbi on Zanzibar GNU debate: 'CCM cannot abdicate its responsibility’;CCT concerned over the government's push to register faith-based social services initiatives as NGOs

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, March 25, 2024.

M-mama expands nationwide, linked to emergency health line 115

The emergency transport system for pregnant women and newborn babies, known as M-mama, is now accessible in all regions of Tanzania. This announcement was made yesterday during the International Primary Healthcare conference at the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Convention Centre in Dodoma.

Initiated in 2013, M-mama represents an innovative solution to transportation challenges during health emergencies. It integrates a mobile app, a toll-free number, and a network of readily available vehicles to respond to emergencies. This initiative is supported through a collaboration between the Vodaphone Foundation, USAID, Pathfinder, and the Tanzanian government.

During the launch of the service, Deputy Prime Minister Doto Biteko expressed pride in the initiative, stating that what started as an idea has now attracted interest from other countries seeking to learn from Tanzania.

“Every year, approximately 2,370,000 women deliver newborns, but 75,000 of them face health emergencies requiring transport to healthcare facilities. That’s why, in 2022, the government directed that M-mama services be made available to every woman,” said Biteko.

“I am proud to announce that we have made significant progress; M-mama is now accessible at all regional hospitals through coordinators who receive emergency calls via 115,” Biteko added.

During the conference, the government disclosed that the health emergency number 115 which is currently available at the regional level will soon be available for community health centers, five regions in Tanzania’s mainland are set to serve as test pilots.

Nchimbi on Zanzibar GNU debate: ‘CCM cannot abdicate its responsibility’

The Secretary General of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Emmanuel John Nchimbi emphasized that the ruling party CCM cannot abdicate its responsibility as the party in power in the protection of the Zanzibar government of national unity.

Nchimbi was speaking with CCM elders at the CCM offices in Kisiwandui Zanzibar on March 24, 2024.

“Our colleagues sometimes get emotional and speak harsh words, but we have no reason to go there. We are the ruling party; we are the ones entrusted with the authority to lead our country. We have the responsibility of a parent in this country,” he said.

“Our party must not abdicate its responsibility of being the caretaker of our nation. Our party should never forget this and start acting like any other party,” he added.

Nchimbi’s remarks come amidst ongoing debates regarding the future of the Zanzibar Government of National Unity. On March 08, 2024, the Secretary-General of the main opposition party in Zanzibar, ACT Wazalendo, announced their intention to withdraw from the government.

ACT Wazalendo blames the ruling party for failing to fulfill several agreed-upon issues, including compensating victims of the Zanzibar election violence, establishing a commission to investigate atrocities, and reforming the electoral system.

In response, the CCM’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Khamisi Mbeto, stated that the agreements made between the party leaders have no legal basis, and the CCM is not obligated by law to fulfill them.

“Let’s not think of hurting each other, our priority should be on the safety of the Zanzibaris. No matter how much development we can attain if the blood of people is spilled, progress is meaningless. The lives of our people should come first before anything else,” emphasized Nchimbi.

ACT Wazalendo party has written to request a meeting with Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi and Tanzania President Samia Suluhu. The party has called for the issues raised to be resolved in six months.

CCT concerned over the government’s push to register faith-based social services initiatives as NGOs

The Chairperson of the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), Bishop Dr. Frederick Onael Shoo, has expressed concern about what he termed as a government push to transfer some faith-based social services to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“There is a push from the government to require religious institutions to register NGOs for their social service initiatives. This contradicts the way religious institutions have operated even before independence,” explained Shoo.

“It makes us wonder what is hidden behind this push. Social services remain part of the church’s mission, and we have been providing them without having to register as an NGO,” added Shoo.

Bishop Shoo also complained about unwise decisions made by some government officials that risk paralyzing the provision of social services by faith-based institutions. Shoo cited an example of a district hospital where the government withdrew support for 30 medical personnel.

“There are a few government officials who do not act prudently, risking the paralysis of the health sector. We urge them to change,” emphasized Shoo.

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.

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