Thursday, 27 August 2009

Pastor launches ferries in Africa

From Washington Times, Washington, United States
By Julia Duin

Evangelical Christians have been plowing money into Africa for decades, even before megachurch pastor Rick Warren made it fashionable with his development program in Rwanda.

One of the more unusual ideas that's come across my desk belongs to a South Africa-born Seattle resident who believes that Africa needs capital investment, not another handout.

So Rob Smith, the son of a Nazarene pastor, has begun EarthWise Ventures, which seeks to build a fleet of ferries on Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. Thirty percent of the Ugandan economy once depended on a water-transport service built by the British during colonial days but which Africans failed to keep up once the British left.

There are two untrustworthy ferries operated by the Tanzanian and Ugandan governments that have very limited service, but most of the 1,600 people who journey between the two countries instead choose a two-day grueling bus trip. EarthWise's ferries will move between Kampala, Uganda, and Mwanza, Tanzania.


Muslims cautioned over document on elections

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam

Minister says guidelines to be released on Friday should not cause disharmony

By Paul Dotto from Dar and Patty Magubira in Mwanza
The Government yesterday cautioned Muslim leaders against issuing a document similar to the controversial Catholic booklet containing guidelines for voters on how to choose leaders in next year's General Election.

The State Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Co-ordination and parliamentary Affairs), Mr Philip Marmo, advised the religious leaders to avoid anything that could create disharmony in the country. He cited the Catholic Church document, which he said had sparked heated exchanges among politicians, professionals and even ordinary citizens.

But speaking in Mwanza during a requiem Mass for Bishop Anthony Mayalla, which was also attended by President Jakaya Kikwete (see separate story Page 3), top Catholic Church leader Polycarp Cardinal Pengo told the Government not to meddle in religious affairs by censoring evangelical circulars.


Old women bear brunt of witchcraft murders

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David and Jane Kajoki in Mwanza

Over 90 per cent of elderly persons killed in witchcraft-related incidents in Mwanza Region were women, the Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr Abbas Kandoro, said on Tuesday.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Tanzania Police Force, observed at the regional level at Nyamagana Stadium, he said 56 out of 60 elderly persons killed in the region between January and this month were women.

Four melanin deficient persons were also brutally killed for similar beliefs during the period, he said. Assistant Commissioner of Police Alexander Mushi said the police force was educating primary school pupils on the impact of crime in the society, including the witchcraft-related killings.

Lessons taught to the pupils included security, which enlightened them on the impact of crime in their upbringing. Mr Mushi urged members of the public to refrain from harassing and discriminating children by caning, raping, sodomising or exposing them to child labour.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Albino killers murder two accomplices

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Patty Magubira, Mwanza

Unidentified people have killed two suspected contract killers of albinos who were being hunted by the police force in Mwanza Region.

Bodies of the suspects, Magessa Makala, 46, and Magole Nagabona, 35, were found abandoned in a bush at Ihebo village in Ukerewe District at around 10:00am on Sunday, Mwanza regional police commander, Jamal Rwambow, confirmed yesterday.

Sources in Ukerewe believe the duo were killed by their colleagues in the crime for fear of being named as was the cases with the deceased suspects who were named by their colleagues, who were nabbed with an albino organ, while scouting for a market for the bone in the city.


Monday, 24 August 2009

Mayalla to be buried on Wednesday

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Patty Magubira, Mwanza

Mwanza Archbishop Anthony Mayalla will be buried in Epiphany Church at Bugando Hill in Mwanza this Wednesday, a spokesperson of the archdiocese has said.

The Citizen yesterday witnessed the road leading to the church being rehabilitated ready for the funeral ceremony expected to attract several dignitaries from in and outside the country.

The body of the second local Roman Catholic Archbishop for Mwanza Archdiocese after the late Archbishop Renatus Butibubage, would on Tuesday be sent to his residence at Kawekamo Hill, also in the city for a requiem mass and for mourners to pay their last respects.


Friday, 21 August 2009

NGOs, civil society said to lack negotiation skills

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Paulina David, Mwanza

Most non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations in the country lack negotiation skills required to convincee the Government to buy their arguments.

Chairman of Mwanza NGOs Network Abubakar Karsan, observed that the majority of NGOs and CSOs are good at raising their voices, but failed to constructively present their arguments while negotiating with the Government.

It is high time the NGOs and CSOs leaders are trained in identifying issues and presenting constructive arguments to convince the Government to amend laws that hamper development programmes in the country.

Speaking during the launching of a resource centre in Mwanza City on Wednesday, Mr Karsan said the facility would provide NGOs and CSOs with information and impart to them negotiation strategies.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Local firm emerges top at regional trade fair

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Patty Magubira, Mwanza

The Kibo Seeds pavilion emerged the overall winner of the fourth East Africa Trade Fair being held in Mwanza. Kibo was closely followed by Tanica and Premium Food of Kenya.

The trade fair attracted exhibitors from Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, UK and Tanzania, according to the Mwanza regional chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Joseph Kahungwa.

Kibo Seeds pavilion did not only steal the hearts of the judges, but impressed almost every visitor to the Saba Saba grounds show.

The seeds supplying firm, which spent about four months grown various demonstration crops in the pavillion, also emerged winner in Agriculture and Livestock category.

The pavilion manned by an exhibitor, Ms Lydia Mtani, is covered by a variety of crops like maize, water melons, okra, aubergines, onions, cabbages, spinach, sun flower and pasture for livestock.


Monday, 17 August 2009

Jobs at risk as fish stocks fall

From East African Business Week, Nairobi, KENYA

MWANZA, TANZANIA Over 21,000 employees in various fish processing plants and around Lake Victoria may soon lose their jobs because of the decline of Nile Perch stocks.

This was revealed by Meshaki Mpanda, a researcher from the non-governmental organization Health and Environment Journalists.

Lake Victoria which has an area of 26,830 square had one million tonnes of Nile Perch fish in 2000, but a current report by Tanzania Fishery Research Institute (TAFIRI) shows that by the year 2008, there were only 252,000 tonnes of Nile Perch fish, about 75 per cent decrease.

The report released in February this year by TAFIRI indicates that there is an increase of tonnage for Nile Perch fish by 30 percent which indicates the current tonage of Nile Perch fish in the lake is 362,00.

A statement released by Mwanza Regional Fisheries Officer, Angelous Mahatane, says the decline of Nile Perch fish in Lake Victoria is caused by illegal and indiscriminate fishing.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Disabled jailed for rape

Fram The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Patty Magubira, Mwanza

Misungwi District Court in Mwanza Region has sentenced a disabled person to a 30-year imprisonment plus four stokes of the cane after convicting him of raping a secondary school student.

The disabled, Masai Sitta, 40, a traditional healer from Ibongoya 'A' village in the district, was treating the student before he committed the offense.

Senior resident magistrate Said Kasongo, meted out the punishment on Friday last week.

Mr Kasongo said the court was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt by the evidence produced by the prosecution side at the court. He added that the offence was increasingly becoming a social problem in the society.


Friday, 14 August 2009

Rock City Marathon to honour Nyambui

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Suleiman Jongo

Organisers of the Rock City Marathon have said the inaugural event is meant to honour the greatest marathoner Suleiman Nyambui.

Nyambui, who earned Tanzania one of the two Olympic medals in the 1980s, hails from a small Mwanza's island called Ukerewe.

Tanzania Tourist Board's marketing manager Geoffrey Meena said the 21-killiometre race also aims at unearthing many long distance runners in the lake zone.

Apart from fostering athletics, Meena stressed that the race would help to promote plentiful tourist attractions that are available in the region.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mwanza to host Rock City Marathon

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Suleiman Jongo

Capital-Plus International, a sports marketing firm, has organised a 21-kilometre race dubbed Rock City Marathon 2009 slated for Mwanza on October 4.

Events coordinator Phillipo Simon said the race would start at CCM Kirumba Stadium and pass through city's streets, then back to the stadium.

He said runners from all over the country as well as neighbouring countries were encouraged to participate in the gruelling race.

The official said they had already sent invitations to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.

"We expect it to be the biggest sporting event to be staged in the region and we also hope that it will unearth many young talents," he said.

Apart from promoting sports, the event would also serve to market plentiful country's' tourist attractions. "We realised sports can play a very big role in promoting tourism, therefore we decided to organise the race so as to market some attractions in Mwanza," he said.

Mwanza has a number of attractions like the Saa Nane Island, Rubondo and huge boulders around Lake Victoria.

Read even more >>

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

TRL train services under fire

From ThisDay, Dar es Salaam

THE government’s transport sector regulator has raised safety concerns over Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) operations, describing the national railway carrier as the worst public transport service provider in the country.

Latest findings by the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) suggest that the safety of thousands of people using TRL services could be at risk.

SUMATRA’s assessment on the state of the country’s railways network comes against the backdrop of a spate of accidents involving both TRL passenger and cargo wagons.

A TRL passenger train derailed at the weekend in Morogoro Region in a near-fatal accident, injuring more than 60 passengers. This was just the latest in a series of similar railway crashes.

SUMATRA’s consumer consultative council assessed the quality of railway services after receiving a string of complaints from passengers, and council members travelled by train from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma to get first-hand experience of the horrid conditions.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Traders threaten to sue Government

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Anthony Mayunga, Mwanza

Guesthouses here have threatened to sue the government for continuing to impose 20 per cent levy on the business while hotels, a related industry, paid only 18 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT).

The secretary general of the guest house owners association known in its Kiswahili acronym of Uwanza, Mr Kilphence Herman, said the levy was a big burden as it forced them to set high room occupancy rates, making many customers to shun their businesses.

Uwanza has an estimated 350 members. The move, Mr Herman said, was the only recourse left to them as the Government has decided no to listen to their demands, raised at different occasions.

"We have since January last year been complaining over the levy to the Finance and Economic Affairs Ministry, yet the government is still silent," he said.

Mwanza City council has been claiming to be merely acting according to the law. Mr Herman said that requirement ought to change in order to harmonise taxes in an area of related service.


Friday, 7 August 2009

Ten killed, 36 injured in Singida bus crash

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Awila Silla, Singida

Ten people including a Chinese national, died yesterday in yet another road accident involving a commuter bus along the Manyara-Singida road.

The accident which occurred at Gehandu area in Hanang District, left 36 other people injured and were rushed to the regional hospital in Singida for treatment.

The bus christened 'Jordan' overturned at a sharp bent on a bridge, some 55 kilometers to Singida town. The bus was heading to Mwanza from Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region. The accident comes barely two weeks after a Mohammed Trans bus killed 28 people near Korogwe when it rammed into a trailer.

According to one of the injured, Mr Aminiel Kitoi, 50, from Arumeru, the accident happened yesterday afternoon allegedly over speeding. The victim suffered multiple fractures on his left arm.

Mr Kitoi said the driver failed to negotiate a sharp bend and hit a bridge. "The bus hit the bridge rails before it overturned several times throwing some passengers out," said the victim.


Albino group worried about stalled Tanzania cases

From Reuters, London, UK
By George Obulutsa

DAR ES SALAAM, Aug 7 (Reuters) - A Canada-based rights group has questioned Tanzania's commitment to stop albino murders after courts in the northwest of the African country suspended cases against suspected killers due to lack of funds.

At least 53 Tanzanian albinos have been murdered since 2007, with most of the killings taking place in the remote northwest regions of Shinyanga and Mwanza, where superstition runs deep.

To date, the authorities have arrested more than 90 people, including four police officers, for involvement in the killings or trade of albino body parts - which witchdoctors tell their clients will bring them luck in love, life and business.