Wednesday, 19 July 2017

TRA tightens screws on fuel trade cash system

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By SAULI GILIARD

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has said the decision to close fuel stations whose owners didn’t comply with its directives of issuing electronic fiscal device (EFD) receipts, was a last resort after fines imposed on defaulters didn’t yield results.

However, the Director for Taxpayer Services and Education, Mr Richard Kayombo, told ‘Daily News’ in an exclusive interview that the aim wasn’t to punish traders or the public, but to “cultivate a culture” of paying taxes as the country was gearing towards a full electronic economy.
He said the system was supposed to be implemented since 2014 but for the sake of making it workable for all, including one EFD serving four pumps, the system and its operations were rescheduled to September, 2016.

“This is why big firms in the industry have already complied with the system and are comfortable with it,” Mr Kayombo noted, citing Total, Engen, Puma and Gapco, as among the big players who had set the tone.

On why some traders are reluctant to use the fuel specialized electronic devices, he responded: “Some traders are hiding their incomes because they have made under-declarations in order to deny the government the deserved taxes.”

The decision, according to him, had pushed traders to pay for the EFDs while others had pledged that they would use the system. Mr Kayombo exonerated the government from blame, remarking: “The traders are to blame because it was easy for them to evade tax. Some had already installed the machines but were not using them; but after the operation, they have started using them.”




Friday, 14 July 2017

Optimism high as Magu town project advances

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By MOSES MATTHEW in MAGU

MAGU District Council, in collaboration with Landspecs Developers Limited, are undertaking the Kisesa-Isangijo satellite town project, under which informal settlements in Magu district council in Mwanza Region would be eliminated.

Under the flagship project that started in July 3, 2017, over 500 plots in Isangijo village in Kisesa Ward would be allocated. The project has total of 4,000 plots. The Magu district land officer; Mr Damas Mwakindingo, told the ‘Daily News’ over the weekend that the project is located about 20 kilometers from Mwanza City.

“With the project size of 4,000 plots developed for mixed use, it is expected that the project will raise Mwanza’s profile as far as urbanisation and modern town planning is concerned,” Mr Mwakindingo said.

He said the projected satellite town located within Ilendeje, Bukandwe and Busangijo villages, located 500 plots in the past and would locate over that figure. He elaborated that the plots were in surveyed and serviced residential areas and the recipients would be given title deeds.

Read more.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Tour operators told to be more proactive in tourism promotion


From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By MOSES MATTHEW in Mwanza

LAKE Zone based tours operators have been urged to be more proactive in promoting tourism in the area so as to record desirable economic impact as well as creating a vibrant tourism industry.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting attended by about 40 companies here over the weekend, the Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) coordinator, Mr Philip Chitaunga, said that local
companies have a major role to play to increase their economic contribution in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the subsector.

Mwanza has a lot of tourism destinations that are not well promoted and in my view the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) need to be more proactive in making sure the tour attractions are known particularly domestic tourism to both local and foreign tourists and then increase the income substantially,” said Mr Chitaunga.

He said that Mwanza Tour operators in the Lake Zone in collaboration with TTB should work entirely in promoting domestic tourism in a bid to improve their economy, the local community and the nation at large.

Read more.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

KOICA lends hand to street children

From Daily News. Dar es Salaam
MOSES MATTHEW in Mwanza

ALL over the world, education provides children and adults with the skills they need to address social issues, break the cycle of poverty, and improve the health and well being of communities.

This can be done through two ways. One is in the Millennium development goals which targeted children to complete a full course of primary schooling by the end of 2015.

The second method uses the term to highlight organizations undertaking education projects to benefit
the community. This includes disease prevention, health education, skills training and social change.

Recently Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in collaboration with Hands on Science Organisation Tanzania (HSOT), Tanzania Rural Health Movement and Mwanza regional Library is implementing vocational education project to 130 street children in Mwanza City.

The KOICA country’s director, Tanzania Office, Mr Joonsung Park says the objective of the education project is to create ability to street children to sustain themselves. “These vocational skills will last for six months of training, as this class has only 10 months after it was established that more children have developed interest to join the training,” said Mr Park.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Tanzania: Our commitment on L.Victoria Basin is total

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By PIUS RUGONZIBWA in Mwanza

TANZANIA has expressed its commitment to work with other East African Community (EAC) member states to safe guard the Lake Victoria Basin whose prosperity is highly threatened, rapid population being one of the major fact.

Addressing the 18th Sectoral Council of Ministers for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) here at the weekend, the Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Mr Edwin Ngonyani, said despite Lake Victoria having much economic potential, it is experiencing multiple threats, for whose elimination the country is very keen to contribute.

He mentioned some of them as declining water levels, soil erosion, industrial and municipal waste pollution and over-fishing. These render nature and the well-being of over 40 million people living in the basin at greater risks.

“While we make our commitment in contributing to the well-being of our people in the Basin, we are also stressing the need for having clear policies, laws, and harmonized structures for controlling and limiting further degradation of Lake Victoria,” he said.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

New health scheme targets moms and babies

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By DAILY NEWS Reporter

NUTRITION International, formerly known as the Micronutrient Initiative, is launching a new health scheme for women, adolescent girls and newborn and young children to be known as the ‘Right Start Initiative’ to improve their nutritional status, all covered under a 4.7bn/- (2.8 million Canadian dollars) investment over the next five years to the year 2020.

Supported by the Government of Canada, the programme aims at reducing anaemia, neonatal mortality, as well as the number of low birth weight newborns. It also seeks to reduce stunting in children under five years.

The five-year project will target Mwanza and Simiyu regions and reach over 130,000 pregnant women with WHO recommended iron and folic acid supplementation, more than 90,000 newborns with a package of interventions at birth, 94,000 adolescent girls with weekly iron and folic supplementation and nutrition education and up to 366,000 children under two years old with nutrition services.

This will be the largest programme to be implemented by Nutrition International in Tanzania since the organisation opened its country office in Dar es Salaam in September 2016.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Govt vows to intensify illegal fishing war

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By PIUS RUGONZIBWA in Mwanza

THE government has said that it will impose tougher measures that might include the introduction of mobile courts and military intervention to eliminate illegal fishing and destruction of Lake Victoria waters and its resources.

Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan hinted about the measures on Thursday after she received reports on the alarming acts of illegal fishing.

The vice-president spoke tough against the destruction of the environment of the lake saying:” These acts will not be tolerated any further and my office will institute strict punitive measures against the individuals involved.”

According to VP Samia, fighting illegal fishing and other acts of destruction will become a national agenda instead of leaving the battle against criminals to be waged by the affected regions alone.

“We are witnessing a sharp decrease in revenue from the fishing industry as opposed to the past and that scenario should be dealt with henceforth. The government will provide every support possible in this noble crusade,” stressed the VP.


Thursday, 8 June 2017

East Africa unveils national budgets

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By HENRY LYIMO in Dodoma

IT is budget day for East African region as partner states are set to present their national budget estimates simultaneously today. And, for Tanzania, all roads lead to Dodoma where the government is pencilled to table the national budget estimates for the 2017/18 financial year

The government is expected to increase spending to 32.945tri/- from the current 29.5tri/-, to finance implementation of flagship infrastructural projects aimed at enabling Tanzania to make optimal use of its strategic position as a transport hub in the region.

The 2017/18 budget is aimed at financing the second year of the ambitious Five- Year Development Plan II (2016/17 - 2020/21) which is geared towards heavy investments in infrastructure to transform the nation from an agricultural economy to an industry based economy.

Key development projects with significant multiplier effects to the economy as outlined in the plan include construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) to link the Dar es Salaam Port with Mwanza on Lake Victoria and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika, as well as neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Researcher advocates cotton as the major cash crop

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By FATMA ABDU in Buchosa

IN efforts to transform Tanzania into an industrial economy, farmers in Mwanza region’s Buchosa district have been challenged to revive production of cotton as their main cash crop.

Speaking here during the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) organised training under Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Cotton Pathologist from Ukiliguru Research Centre Stella Chiriini said cotton has great potential of boosting the national economy and farmers’ income.

The training that attracted extension officers in the district aims at increasing awareness among agro-extension officers on the importance of using modern technology in production of cassava, potatoes and cotton crops in the district.


EAC to intensify Lake Victoria maritime safety, curb Nile Perch decline

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By DEUS NGOWI in Arusha
THE East African Community (EAC) is moving in to ensure maritime safety, boost environmental conservation as well as tackle illegal fishing as massive decline of Nile Perch has hit Lake Victoria.

A research carried out by Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO) indicated that in 2015, there was a major decline in Nile Perch stocks from 1.2 million tonnes to 0.8 million tonnes while stock of sardines went down to 0.7 million tonnes from 1.3 million tonnes.

That has been revealed by the Chairman of EAC Council of Ministers, Dr Ali Kivenjija in his budget speech to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for 2017/18, saying LVFO conducted the survey in order to estimate the amount of fish in the lake and the proportions available for harvesting.

Dr Kivenjija further revealed that the results of the biennial Fishery Frame Surveys, the last conducted last year recorded an increase of illegal nets (monofilaments) by 59 per cent, hence calling for intensive surveillance to curb illegalities.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Why stigma? Fistula can be treated

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By MAUREEN ODUNGA

IT WAS all smiles as Sikujua Mabula (19) from Mwanza Region went through successful obstetric fistula surgery when aged 17 years which had posed threat to her normal labour delivery.

“For seven consecutive days, I experienced labour pangs, but still could not give birth. On the eighth day, I delivered a stillborn baby whose only head managed to come out,” she pointed out while evading eye contacts.

Mabula hinted that the pregnancy forced her to get married to the man who had impregnated her despite not being prepared to tie a knot with him.

“A few months after the marriage, my husband advised me to return to my parents because life was becoming uncompromising and return when things becomes normal. “Back home, I used to attend clinic where doctors told me that the baby was big and I would only give birth through caesarean surgery.

A few months to my delivery time, my mother-in-law advised me to return so that they would give me company,” she further narrated.





Thursday, 25 May 2017

Preps for Lake Victoria vessel tender in high gear

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By Daily News reporter

TENDERS for the purchase of a new passenger vessel to ply between the Lake Victoria ports of Mwanza and Bukoba will be opened next month, as the old vessels are in different stages of massive rehabilitation.

The Acting General Manager of Marine Services Company Ltd (MSCL), Mr Benedict Hamisi, said yesterday that the opening of the tenders will signal a preamble to the assembling of a brand new and specialized vessel that will improve maritime transportation in Africa’s biggest lake.

“We will open the tenders on 12th June, as one of the decisive steps towards implementing a pledge made by then candidate John Magufuli, during the 2015 General Election campaign,” he said.

He recalled that, as candidate on a Chama Cha Mapinduzi ticket, Dr Magufuli had pledged that, if he were to emerge victorious and become Head of State, he would be instrumental in facilitating the purchase of a new vessel with a capacity of 1,200 passengers.

According to Mr Hamisi, apart from the envisaged purchase of a new vessel, the government had also invested heavily in the rehabilitation of Mv Victoria, Mv Butiama and Mv Liemba, to improve services in Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika.

Read full story.



Ebola advisory: No handshakes, please, you’re in Mwanza

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam
By PIUS RUGONZIBWA in Mwanza

AN alert on the deadly Ebola disease is sweeping across Mwanza Region as residents here are cautioned to check the movements of visitors from the DR Congo.

The ‘advisory’ now making the rounds was issued Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC) John Mongela yesterday during a stakeholders meeting called strategically to brainstorm and chart out measures the region could in case of an outbreak.

The City of Mwanza and its environs receives many visitors from across the Great Lakes Region, with at least 100 fish traders alone coming into Mwanza every day – invariably all of them from the DRC where four people are reported to have died from Ebola and 37 others infected lately.

Mr Mongela says even though his officials were yet to report any Ebola cases or suspect, the authorities had “reason to start taking precautionary measures due to its proximity with DRC.”

Our region is not spared when it comes to threats of Ebola due to a number of factors … such as migrations of people from our neighbours in the DRC being the main factor.

Read full text