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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – April 03,2024

In our briefing today: Zanzibar Police: No law prohibits people from eating during daytime in the month of Ramadan ; Government to return funds confiscated from the Foreign Exchange Bureaus in 2018 and 2019; Tanzanian national convicted of money laundering in a US court ; CCM to decide on new deputy secretary and propaganda chief today; Infographic: Chinese contractors lead in building Tanzania’s roads

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Tuesday, April 02, 2024.

Zanzibar Police: No law prohibits people from eating during daytime in the month of Ramadan

The Zanzibar Police Commissioner, CP Hamad Khamis Hamad, clarified that there is no law prohibiting people from eating during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, which is widely observed as a holy month by Muslims worldwide, during which they fast from dawn until sunset.

This clarification comes in response to a police report issued on March 28, 2024, which said that about 12 individuals were arrested for eating during the daytime.

“There is no law that prohibits people from eating during the daytime in the month of Ramadhan,” he said.

He continued to explain that there was a slip of the tongue during the readout of the Police report which emphasized the operation to arrest people who were eating openly on Ramadhan will continue. The report was shared by the Mjini Magharibi Regional Police Commissioner, ACP. Abubakar Khamis Ali.

“People who were supposed to be arrested were those caught smoking marijuana at Mnazi Mmoja. Unfortunately, in the operation some of the people who were arrested are those who were found eating,” added Hamad.

Following the report of the arrest of twelve people in Zanzibar, there was a huge debate online regarding the legality of the operation. This prompted the Zanzibar State House to release a statement calling for religious tolerance.

At least 98 percent of the Zanzibaris are Muslims making the month more special to the Zanzibaris. The government in the isles has also stopped all entertainment events during the month.

Government to return funds confiscated from the Foreign Exchange Bureaus in 2018 and 2019

Tanzania’s government announced its decision to return funds confiscated from the foreign exchange bureau in 2019 and advised that people affected should not expect any interest.

This was revealed in Parliament yesterday by the Deputy Minister for Finance, Hamad Chande who explained that several bureaus in 2019 due to violation of regulations. This was after a multi-agency special operation.

“Sixty-eight forex exchange bureaus were closed, but up to now only seven of them remain closed, they will also be allowed to re-open soon,” said Chande.

“All those whose shops have been found to have no faults will be refunded their money and all other resources. Government will not return the money with interest. Because the traders themselves admitted to the mistakes they made,” he added.

Many traders have been complaining to the government that their properties were arbitrarily confiscated by security agencies and needed government explanation on the issue.

On August 26, 2023, Government Spokesperson Gerson Msigwa said the government has returned Shs.9 billion to Bureau de Change traders whose cash was confiscated in an operation undertaken by security forces in 2018 and 2019.

Tanzanian national convicted of money laundering in a US court

The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, presided over by Judge Samantha Elliot, has found Sunna Sepetu, a 37-year-old Tanzanian woman, guilty of money laundering in a scheme that operated between 2013 and 2019. Sepetu was charged alongside Nafise Quaye, 47.

Sunna Sepetu, along with her co-conspirator, identified as a couple, allegedly received approximately $3.2 million in proceeds from a fraud victim located in Texas. Notably, Sepetu, who is also the sister of Tanzanian celebrity Wema Sepetu, is implicated in a scheme targeting elderly individuals in the US.

Details of the case show Sepetu served as a signatory of a shell company called Logitech Group LLC, which received wire fraud proceeds from a vulnerable victim in the United States. These proceeds were then sent to the fraud perpetrator operating in Africa, with Sepetu and her co-conspirator retaining a portion of the funds for themselves.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.

CCM to decide on new deputy secretary and propaganda chief today

The ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), will decide today through its National Executive Council (NEC) who will assume the roles of Ideology and Publicity Secretary, as well as the Deputy Secretary of the party.

Samia Suluhu will preside over the CCM’s NEC meeting in Dar es Salaam starting from 4 pm today. Many observers anticipate that by the end of the day, the new Deputy Secretary and Ideology and Publicity Secretary will be announced.

Former Deputy Secretary of the party, Annamringi Macha, has been appointed to a new role as the regional commissioner of Shinyanga. Similarly, the former Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Paul Makonda, has been appointed as the Arusha regional commissioner.

Debate has ensued regarding the removal of Makonda, a CCM populist known for operating beyond the boundaries of the law. Many have expressed mixed feelings, with some arguing that due to his controversial past, he should not hold any public office. However, others have appreciated his removal as a necessary corrective measure.

It is expected that the new Ideology Secretary will be a blend of youthfulness and media savvy, as well as someone who possesses sobriety and experience in decision-making.

Infographic: Chinese contractors lead in building Tanzania’s roads

Our analysis of the road construction contracts issued by the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROAD) shows over 80 percent of the monies goes to Chinese companies. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) led in receiving the largest share to the tune of Shs. 4.9 Trillion.

You can check the infographic analysis here.

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