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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – July 9, 2024

In our briefing today: Simu 2000 traders protest over plans to relocate them for a new World Bank-supported BRT depot; Public contributions free youth who burned the president's portrait; Tanzania reaffirms commitment to strengthen East African community; Families appeal to the government to expedite the repatriation of their ancestor's remains from German museums

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Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on July 8, 2024.

Simu 2000 traders protest over plans to relocate them for a new World Bank-supported BRT depot

Hundreds of small-scale traders have protested the government’s plans to relocate them to build a new depot for the fourth phase of the World Bank-supported Bus Rapid Transit systems. Traders started their protest early in the morning of July 08, 2024, closing roads around Simu 2000, a popular bus stand, chanting, “We don’t want a depot, we want our market.”

The planned depot is part of the third and fourth phases of the Dar es Salaam BRT Systems which is supported by a USD 287 million loan from the World Bank. The forth phase involve the construction of BRT roads from Posta-Mwenge to Ubungo and Mwenge to Tegeta as well as the construction of two depots at Simu 2000 and Mbuyuni Tegeta.

The planned depot at Simu 2000 and Mbuyuni as well as Kivukoni terminal will be constructed by a joint venture of Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting Co. Ltd and Seoul Housing & Communities Corporation for TZS 60.9 billion.

“There are thousands of us who depend on this market, we don’t have anywhere to go. A depot is not something that will add value to this space, Ubungo has many vacant areas that can be used for a depot,” said Musa Ndile, a small-scale trader and Market Improvement Subcommittee Chairperson

Ndile expressed disappointment at the Municipality’s decision, noting that the traders had invested heavily in their businesses and had faced multiple relocations since 2014.

Between March 8 and March 22, 2024, a World Bank mission team met with representatives of the Government of Tanzania for a joint technical review of the project’s implementation progress, one of the items noted was the relocation of traders for the construction of a depot was yet to be implemented.

World Bank report reads: “The land for the two BRT-4 depot is yet to be acquired, although the Ubungo municipality has preliminarily agreed to allocate 39,000 square meters of Simu 2000 site for a BRT-4 depot, the process for relocation of the petty traders market is yet to be concluded.”

Read the full article here

Public contributions free youth who burned the president’s portrait

Shadrack Chaula, a young artist who was sentenced to pay a TZS 5 million fine or serve two years in prison for burning a portrait of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, has been released from Ruanda Regional Prison in Mbeya. The contributions were made through the X platform.

Chaula, 24, was arrested and charged for spreading false information. Unable to pay the fine, he was sent to prison. However, just four days after sentencing, some Tanzanians online rallied together and raised the necessary funds to secure his release.

“I thank Tanzanians for their love and for contributing money to get me out of prison. I also thank the lawyers who worked hard to secure my release. May God bless you all,” said a visibly relieved Chaula, while speaking to the press on Monday, July 8, 2024, alongside his lawyer, Michael Mwangasa.

Mwangasa, who represented Chaula, announced their intention to appeal the verdict at the High Court of the Mbeya Zone. “We are not satisfied with the current verdict, so we are organizing all legal procedures before filing an appeal at the High Court in Mbeya ,” Mwangasa said.

Chaula was charged under the Cybercrimes Act, Section 16, for spreading and disseminating false information through the social media platform TikTok. The Senior Resident Magistrate of the Rungwe District Court in Mbeya, Shamla Shehagilo, handed down the sentence after Chaula, a resident of Ntokela Village, pleaded guilty.

Tanzania reaffirms commitment to strengthen East African community

Tanzania has reiterated its unwavering dedication to ensuring the East African Community (EAC) remains strong, united, and successful. This affirmation was made by Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, during a three-day retreat of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers responsible for East African Affairs in Zanzibar.

The retreat, which began last Saturday and concluded yesterday, focused on reinforcing the EAC, enabling it to function effectively. Minister Makamba emphasized Tanzania’s commitment as a founding member to fostering unity and strength within the community. He highlighted the importance of achieving the EAC’s plans, projects, and goals.

“Unity is our strength. We have witnessed the past consequences of the community’s disintegration, and we must avoid repeating those mistakes,” said Mr. Makamba. He expressed confidence that the ministers would engage in honest and transparent discussions aimed at fortifying the community.

Kenya’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Musalia Mudavadi, praised Tanzania for hosting the meeting and underscored the importance of EAC leaders seizing opportunities for the benefit of the community’s citizens.

The retreat was organized in collaboration between the government of Tanzania and the Secretariat of the East African Community, following directives from the EAC Heads of State summit held virtually on May 7th of this year.

Ministers from the eight EAC member states—Burundi, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania—attended the retreat, along with permanent secretaries from these ministries and members of the EAC Secretariat.

Families appeal to the government to expedite the repatriation of their ancestor’s remains from German museums

Families of Tanzanians advocating for the repatriation of their relatives’ remains from abroad have criticized the government for failing to expedite the process, despite some countries holding the remains, such as Germany, agreeing to return them to Tanzania for proper burial procedures.

These families include those of notable figures like Mangi Meli of Moshi, Mangi Lobulu Kaaya of Meru, Chief Songea Mbano of Songea, and Sindato Kiutesha Kiwelu of Moshi, their relatives have been fighting for the return of the remains, particularly skulls, from Germany, where they were taken after being executed by the brutal colonial rulers who governed Tanganyika for nearly four decades.

The remains are among thousands that Germany holds in its museums, universities, and some private institutions. These remains are at the center of a global movement and campaign pressuring Germany to return them to the relatives of those killed during its colonial rule in Tanganyika and other parts of Africa.

Relatives of these families, especially those who have identified the locations of their ancestors’ remains through DNA testing, told The Chanzo that German authorities have assured them they are ready to return the remains to Tanzania. They are now waiting for instructions from the Tanzanian government and are urging the relevant authorities to provide these instructions to speed up the process.

“Since Germany is ready to return our ancestors’ remains, we believe it will be faster if the government intervenes than if we handle it ourselves,” John Mbano, a great-grandson of Chief Songea Mbano, told The Chanzo in a phone interview. “There are many skulls there. We can’t ask the government to bring them all at once; that’s not feasible. The government should work with us, the families of these people. I think it will be much easier to achieve this.”

The German Embassy in Tanzania stated that it could not comment on the matter, directing the reporter to seek answers from the Tanzanian government. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, who is responsible for the issue, was unavailable for comment despite several attempts.

Read the full story here

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One Response

  1. The issue of these local chiefs’ skulls in Germany museums needs to be handled with care. It must be proved that each skull being brought is the actual one after proper DNA testing. The families must be prepared to receive them in the appropriate cultural approach; and the transport costs must be paid by the host government [Germany].

    It is embarrassing to their past deeds but they need to take responsibility. Is our government ready to supervise this process and support the re-burial of these skulls in the custom acceptable by the communities These ra some of the key issues to work on.?

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