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The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News – July 10, 2024

In our briefing today: Vodacom files objection to Kabendera’s $10 million lawsuit over alleged role in his 2019 abduction; NALA, a company founded by Tanzanian Benji Fernandes, secures Sh. 100 billion investment; Why Tanzania needs a mindset shift to guarantee journalists’ safety?; Former Simiyu RC in court for sodomy allegations; Four police officers expelled after being involved in tampering

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Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on July 9, 2024.

Vodacom files objection to Kabendera’s $10 million lawsuit over alleged role in his 2019 abduction

Vodacom Tanzania Plc has filed a preliminary objection to the USD 10 million lawsuit by Tanzania’s international journalist Erick Kabendera citing that the suit has been filed out of time.

Registered under civil case no 12799 of 2024, at the Dar es Salaam High court, Erick Kabendera through his lawyer Peter Madeleka alleged that Vodacom played a crucial role in his abduction in 2019 after the network had desrupted his communication.

Represented by Gaspar Nyika of Imma Advocates, Vodacom argues in its preliminary objection that ‘the suit is hopelessly time-barred’ and prayed for the dismissal of the suit with cost.

Kabendera was taken from his home by state security authorities on July 29, 2019, and was held for several days before being charged with economic sabotage charges. Kabendera claims that the incident has caused him economic and non-economic damages, including social, mental, and emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, personal development, and professional credibility.

He is seeking compensation from Vodacom for actual losses and interest from the date of judgment until full payment, as well as general damages as assessed by the court, legal costs, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Presiding Judge Salma Maghimbi directed that the objection be addressed through written submissions, which both parties agreed to. The court has given Vodacom until July 24, 2024, to submit their supporting documents for the objection and Kabendera’s team must respond by August 6, 2024. The court will rule on the matter on August 21, 2024

NALA, a company founded by Tanzanian Benji Fernandes, secures Sh. 100 billion investment

NALA, a money transfer company founded by Tanzanian Benji Fernandes, has secured an investment of USD 40 million, equivalent to TZS 100 billion. This comes after the company’s continued success in facilitating financial transactions across Africa.

The funding round was led by venture capital firm Acrew Capital. Notable investors include Norrsken22, DST Global,  HOF Capital, and existing investors including Amplo and NYCA Partners as well as individual investors including the CEO of Robinhood Vlad Tenev and Chime Co-founder Ryan King.

This investment comes two years after the company received a USD 10 million (TZS 23 billion) investment in January 2022. Commenting on this achievement, NALA’s founder said that, ‘our work isn’t over we are just getting started’, highlighting various challenges people face when sending money to Africa, especially the lack of interconnected companies and banks.

The company has expanded its services by launching a second service, Rafiki, aimed at simplifying money transfers across Africa. Rafiki aims to provide essential infrastructure to help businesses like NALA overcome challenges that make money transfers a significant hurdle affecting business operations.

NALA began its international money transfer services in 2021, obtaining its first license in East Africa, specifically in Kenya. The company relocated its offices to Nairobi in 2022 and now employs over 100 people, operating in more than 17 countries.

In Tanzania, NALA received its payment service provider license from the Central Bank in March 2023. Currently, NALA serves over 500,000 customers, with its revenue increasing more than tenfold last year.

Most of the funds remittance through the NALA app come from the United States and the United Kingdom. The company’s founder states that their major goal now is to build a money transfer system for Africa’s one billion people.

Why Tanzania needs mindset shift to guarantee journalists’ safety?

 Recent arrests of journalists from across Tanzania have raised concerns among press freedom actors in the East African nation over the safety of the members of the Fourth Estate, which they think is growing more elusive despite state assurances that it recognises the role of journalists and will safeguard their welfare and security.

Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC), an umbrella body of press clubs in Tanzania, says it has recorded 57 press freedom violations from 2022 to date, with six incidents recorded in the past six months of 2024 alone. Almost all incidents involved government officials and members of the country’s security forces.

During an interview, Victor Maleko, UTPC’s programme officer, told The Chanzo that most incidents happen to journalists doing public interest journalism, mostly stories pressing for public accountability, inviting the ire of public officials who would otherwise prefer to keep things under the rag.

“If you look closely, you find that most journalists who had found themselves in troubles are those who did stories that uncovered wrongdoing within a particular government agency or a certain public official,” Mr Maleko said. “Essentially, they’re stories that reminded public officials of what the people, taxpayers, expect from them.”

Read the full story here

Former Simiyu RC in court for sodomy allegations

The former Regional Commissioner of Simiyu, Dr. Yahaya Nawanda, has been arraigned in the Mwanza Regional Court and charged with one count of sodomy. Dr. Nawanda appeared in court today, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, before Mwanza Regional Court’s Chief Resident Magistrate, Erick Marley. The charge was read by government prosecutors Magreth Mwaseba and Martha Mtiti. According to Mwaseba, the accused (Nawanda) committed the offense contrary to section 154 (1) (a) of the Penal Code, Chapter 16.

After the charge was read, which he denied, Mwaseba informed the court that the investigation of the case was complete and requested another date for the preliminary hearing. After pleading not guilty, Dr. Nawanda, represented by lawyer Constantine Mutalemwa, applied for bail, stating that the offense was bailable.

After hearing both sides, Resident Magistrate Mwanza region, Erick Marley said that bail was granted on condition that the accused has two sureties, one of whom must be a public servant and the other from the private sector, with a bond of immovable property worth not less than Sh5 million.

“Bail will be revoked if the accused violates any condition, including failing to appear in court,” said Magistrate Marley.

The accused met these conditions and was released on bail. The case was adjourned to July 16, 2024, for the preliminary hearing and commencement of the trial. Dr. Nawanda, a resident of Nyamata in Bariadi District, Simiyu Region, is accused of committing the offense on June 2, 2024, at the parking area of Rock City Mall in Ilemela District, Mwanza Region.

News of the incident began circulating on social media on June 9, 2024, before President Samia Suluhu Hassan revoked his appointment on June 11, 2024.

On July 05, 2024, Tumsime Mathias the student who accused Nawanda of the incident held a public press calling for justice to take its course citing that there were signs that the issue was stirred to be left out of court processes.

Four police officers expelled after being involved in tampering

The Tanzanian Police Force has dismissed and expelled four of its traffic officers from Mwanga District, Kilimanjaro Region, over allegations of deleting images from the force’s speed monitoring cameras. A statement by the Tanzanian Police Force’s Spokesperson, David Misime, issued on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, said the officers were dismissed on Monday after an investigation

The officers in question were working in the Traffic Safety Unit in Mwanga District, Kilimanjaro Region

“After the investigation was completed, it was found that these officers had deleted images from the Police Force’s speed cameras, which they were using to measure the speed of drivers who violated road safety laws, for their gain,” reads the Police statement.

In May 2024, there were reports of public fund theft through systems within the force in the regions of Iringa, Pwani, and Kilimanjaro, with traffic officers allegedly implicated.

Various news sources indicated that over two years, these officers were allegedly taking photos of vehicles breaking speed laws, then negotiating with drivers and taking money.

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see left), 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

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