Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Road accidents kill over 900

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Alex Malanga

Dar es Salaam. At least 970 people died and over 2,470 others injured in road accidents in the past four months, police said.

Traffic Police Commander Mohamed Mpinga told journalists here yesterday that 273 died in January alone and 876 others were injured in road accidents.

He explained that 238 died in the accidents in February and 726 others were injured.

“It is saddening that between March 11 and April 12 some 103 people died in road accidents and 138 others were injured.”

He said to a large extent speeding was the main source of accidents followed by other factors such as poor infrastructure, sharp corners and sliding.

Mr Mpinga is planning to meet Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) officials to work out new strategies to control speed.

“There is need for Sumatra to review the schedule for buses going upcountry,”
he said.

He said it would be better to spend two days for long routes like that from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza to reduce road accidents.

Read full story.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Thousands in Dar, Mwanza stranded as drivers strike

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter

Mwanza. Hundreds of passengers yesterday endured hours of agony and frustration after bus drivers went on strike to demand a reverse of an order to redo driving training and fair employment contracts.

Some drivers separately told The Citizen on Saturday that a directive by the Traffic Police Commander Mohamed Mpinga to re-do the driving course and limit speed or face two weeks in jail or have their licences revoked was draconian.

The strike was apparent at the main bus stands of Nyegezi and Buzuruga where hundreds of passengers desperately sought for alternatives to reach their destinations in vein.

This paper visited the two stands as early as 6am and witnessed empty buses parked.

“We don’t know what to do. We really suffer. We are asking responsible authorities to find ways of ending this strike soon,” a stranded passenger, Mr Joseph Wambura, said.

Victor Gervas who is employed by Bunda Express said they resorted to a strike in protest of decision by bus owners to heed to new directives by head of traffic police.

With the new directive, drivers are required to undergo a two-week driving course at Sh560,000 every three months. The drivers there was no need to do so because they have already undergone the same course after paying Sh200,000.

Read full story.

Read also related stories:

18 burnt to death in yet another road smash

At least 12 die in accidents

Monday, 6 April 2015

300 passengers stranded at Ubungo as road rules bite

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Kelvin Matandiko

Dar es Salaam. More than 300 passengers planning to travel up-country got stranded yesterday at Ubungo Bus Terminal after the buses they were to travel with arrived late in the city.

The delay resulted from implementation by traffic police of the road rule that wants drivers not to surpass the 80-kilometre per hour speed limit.

Police imposed the regulation as one of the measures to try and reduce road accidents that have been claiming tens of lives of passengers as well as causing huge property losses.

More than 50 buses travelling from Mwanza, Kigoma, Bukoba, Tabora, Kahama and other regions had to stop when it got 10pm as they are not allowed to travel during the night for security reasons. This means they arrived late in the city.

As of yesterday, many passengers were in dilemma at Ubungo as they were not aware of the traffic regulation.

Read full story.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dar, Mwanza on terror plot.

From IPP Media/The Guardian, Dar es Salaam
By Godfrey Obonyo

Al-shabaab militants are planning to carry out terrorist attacks in two cities of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, The Guardian on Sunday has learnt.

Information that started circulating in public domain early yesterday stated that the Islamist militant group is operating under detour camouflage to organise terror activities in the country’s big cities.

The plot to inflict terror mayhem among Dar es Salaam and Mwanza dwellers would target Uganda as well, the civic intelligence reads, but without mentioning the location.

This paper took it up to establish the authenticity of the information and revealed that security sources were also working with the second ear.

The information that sparked attention of both local and international social media and spread first to the newsmen reads that BREAKING NEWS: The Australian, UK and US Governments have issued an enhanced terrorist alert for Uganda. Al Jazeera TV have intimated possible attacks in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Read full story.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Dark side of Fastjet: Why it’s not cheaper anymore

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporters

Is Fastjet really a low-cost airline? This question has been asked several times by passengers flying Tanzania’s budget airline, but the answers have been confusing, sometimes misleading.

Think about these facts. If you booked your flight to Mwanza from Dar es Salaam seven days before travelling, the return ticket will cost you a whopping Sh696,000 if you don’t have any luggage weighing 20kg or more, which costs an extra Sh20,000. This means that a return ticket for a traveller with at least 20kg of luggage costs Sh716,000.

That is what happened last week, when Asha, a 34-year-old businesswoman, booked a Fastjet flight to Mwanza, hoping to travel next Sunday, on Easter, and return to Dar es Salaam on April 14, this year.

“I was shocked to hear that it would cost me that much money (Sh716,000) for a return ticket to Mwanza…is Fastjet still a low-cost airline?” she asked in a text message to The Citizen.

Read full story.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Fastjet to introduce KIA-Entebbe flights

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Patty Magubira

Arusha. Fastjet Tanzania starts flying between Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and Entebbe in Uganda tomorrow as the budget airline cements its presence in the region’s growing aviation sector.

The Dar es Salaam-based airline is deploying its Airbus A319 on the route in a move that also seeks to promote KIA as one of Tanzania’s most promising international gateways, surrounded by the country’s tourism hotspots of Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, the Mount Kilimanjaro as well as the Arusha National Park on Mount Meru terrains.

“We will offer three flights each week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – on the route,” the airline’s general manager Mr Jimmy Kibati said here at the weekend.

He said the decision to turn KIA into one of its bases in the country also stems from the fact that the airport is close to Arusha which is the headquarters of the East African Community (EAC).

“It is in this belief that we are also introducing flights between KIA and Mwanza starting from March 30, 2015 (today) where we will offer four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays,” he said.

Read full story.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

UN set to investigate albino killings in EA

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter & AFP 

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday decided to appoint an expert to investigate abuses suffered by albinos in East Africa. The 47-member council adopted by consensus a resolution establishing a three-year watchdog position. It expressed “grave concern at attacks and widespread violations against persons with albinism, including women and children, persons with disabilities and the elderly.”

The resolution, presented by Algeria on behalf of the group of African states, comes after UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein earlier this month decried a steep hike in attacks on albinos in East Africa. “These attacks are often stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted,” Zeid said.

The move by UN Human Rights Council comes when the number of incident of violation against people living with albinism, which include abduction, mutilation and even killing have started to surge in Tanzania. Last year, three such cases occurred each in Mwanza, Tabora and Simiyu regions, while this year one case was reported in Geita. In Mwanza, an albino child, who went missing, has not been recovered.

Read full story.