Tuesday, 31 March 2009

12 feared dead in Tanzania mine collapse

From The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalam, Isreal

At least 12 people were feared dead after a small gold-mining pit collapsed Sunday in Tanzania's northwest, officials said Monday.

The mine collapsed Sunday near the southern edge of Lake Victoria 90 kilometers west of the town of Mwanza. A regional commissioner in Mwanza, James Msekela, said Monday that rescue workers were still trying to extricate the bodies.

"We're here to assist in the investigations and quickly retrieve the bodies and rescue the survivors," Msekela said by phone.

He said 12 families reported relatives missing. But illegal miners often enter the mines without registering their names, so the death toll could be higher.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Another Train crash Dodoma kills six

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Faraja Jube, Dodoma

A passenger train smashed into a goods train in Mpwapwa District early yesterday, killing at least six people.

The accident took place between Gulwe and Igandu stations near the spot where two trains collided in 2002, killing nearly 300 people in Africa's worst rail disaster.

Speaking at the scene of the accident, Infrastructure Development minister Shukuru Kawambwa blamed the crash on "sheer negligence", and ordered the arrest of the drivers of the ill-fated trains and stationmasters in charge of the two stations.


Taswa FC set for 3 friendlies

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter

The Tanzania Sports Writers Association football team (Taswa FC) will tour Mwanza for three friendly matches early next month.

The team chairman, Majuto Omary said a contingent of 30 players would leave for Mwanza on April 10.

The chairman said the players eligible for the trip would be announced next week after coaches make their selections.

According to him, the purpose of the tour is to exchange views and skills among Mwanza soccer veterans, Lake zone sports journalists and soccer stakeholders.


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Would - be bribe dies in Chenge accident

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Team

A woman who was to have wedded today was killed along with her friend early yesterday in Dar es Salaam in a road accident involving former Cabinet minister Andrew Chenge.

Mr Chenge, who was still being held at Oysterbay Police Station last evening, is likely to be arraigned next week in connection with the fatal crash.

However, senior police officers could not say whether Mr Chenge, who is the CCM MP for Bariadi West, would spend the weekend behind bars ahead of his arraignment.

A visibly shaken Mr Chenge narrated to the deputy director of criminal investigations, Mr Peter Kivuyo, how the crash took place at 4am, causing the deaths of the two women identified as Jackie John and Beatrice Constantine.

The two died on the spot after a three-wheeled Bajaj scooter they were riding in collided with a four-wheel-drive double-cabin pickup driven by Mr Chenge.

The driver of the tricycle escaped from the scene of the accident. Beatrice's brother, Mr January Constantine, said her sister was accompanying Ms John, who was scheduled to get married in Zanzibar today.

"They arrived in the city at around 8pm on Thursday from Mwanza, and were due to leave in the morning for Zanzibar for the wedding," Mr Constantine told reporters at Mwananyamala Hospital where the bodies were taken.


Kikwete appoints 15 new DCs

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter

President Jakaya Kikwete has begun re-arranging his government ahead of the 2010 general election with a major reshuffle of district commissioners.

In what turns out to be the biggest shake-up of his administration in his first elective term, the President has appointed 15 new district commissioners and dropped seven others.

A statement released by the Prime Minister's Office (Local Government and Regional Administration) shows that there was also a restructuring involving 54 DCs.

The statement said the reshuffle was aimed at enhancing the "supervision and close follow-up of the Government's development policies and activities" so that the administration could meet its targets.

Political analysts said yesterday the move was some kind of "housecleaning" and a deliberate strategy by the President to have a strong team for the elections.


CRB deletes seven construction firms from register

From IPPMedia, Dar es Salaam
By Mgeta Mganga

In a move to improve the construction industry in the country, the Contractors Registration Board (CRB) early this month deleted from its register seven local contractors for failure to abide by laws and registration regulations.

Speaking to this paper in an interview recently, CRB board chairman Charles Kitwanga said the deregistered contractors failed to abide by the Contractors Registration Act.

Most of the deleted companies were found to have allowed unqualified building contactors to use their names in winning contracts, a move which undermined the engineering profession.

However, he did not reveal the names of the culprit contractors but said six were from Dar es Salaam Region while one was from Mwanza Region added that the companies were in class five to seven.


Friday, 27 March 2009

NEMC in bid to identify underground pesticides

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

The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) has embarked on identification of buried stocks of expired pesticides and assessment of soil contaminated by poisonous agricultural chemicals.

The NEMC director general, Mr Bonaventure Baya, said US$7 million would be spent on the four-year programme being implemented under the Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) in seven countries on the African continent, including Tanzania.

Other countries involved in phase one of the programme covering over 14 countries, according to Mr Baya, are Ethiopia, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Mali.

The programme would, among others, identify expired pesticides buried at various sites, remove them, assess the impact of the poisonous chemicals on the soils and devise remedial measures, he said.


Ngassa sets sights on his dream trials

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Majuto Omary

Young Africans striker, Mrisho Ngassa is taking all precautions to stay injury free ahead of the impending trip to London for trials with West Ham United.

Speaking to the Citizen by telephone from Mwanza, Ngasa said he was careful to avoid unnecessary tackles that would jeopardise his bid to play competitive soccer in Europe.

"I want to avoid injuries because I can't show my best if I am not fit," said Ngassa.

Ngasa is busy with Young Africans who are seeking a Vodacom premier league record setting finish.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Etihad crystal cargo increases African network

From Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), Beirut, Lebanon

Etihad Crystal Cargo will now operate its A300-600 freighter aircraft between Abu Dhabi and Nairobi twice a week following a new interline deal with Astral Aviation.

The partnership also gives Etihad Crystal Cargo access to the following seven Astral destinations across Africa: Entebbe, Zanzibar, Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, Juba, Kigali and Bujumbura.


Saturday, 21 March 2009

Last nails in Dowans as Tanesco shifts gear

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Orton Kiishweko

With its abortive bid for the Dowans power plant now behind it, Tanesco has decided to buy two new generators to inject 160MW of electricity into the national grid and avert a looming power crisis.

Senior officials of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the two new power-generating plants would be installed in Dar es Salaam (100MW) and Mwanza (60MW).

Tanesco distribution manager Declan Mhaiki told the monthly Editors' Forum that tenders for the project would be announced in the next four months, in accordance with the public procurement procedures and rules.


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

TRA feels effects of downturn

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

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) office in Mwanza has reported massive loss in revenues as the global financial crisis continues to bite the country's economy.

TRA Mwanza regional manager, Mr Jeremia Lussana, said Pay As You Earn (PAYE) revenues collected from mining firms fell by Sh1.7 billion between December last year and last month.

Mr Lussana said they managed to collect Sh800 million instead of Sh2.5 billion during the period under review because several mining companies cut jobs.


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Record sum of €3,150 collected at Bay Street

From Malta Independent Online, Malta

A record sum of €3,150 was collected last weekend at the Bay Street Complex in aid of the Mission Fund projects.A weekend of activities was held over the weekend in aid of the Mission Fund prjects in Tanzania where two Maltese missionaries work incessantly.

A weekend of activities was held over the weekend in aid of the Mission Fund prjects in Tanzania where two Maltese missionaries work incessantly.

Sr Domenica Ciliberti, based in Mwanza, works in a clinic which cares for 400 persons who are AIDS afflicted. Sr Maria Borda, is also a doctor and is responsible of a 170-bed hospital in Singida.


FEWS Tanzania Food Security Update Fev 2009

From ReliefWeb, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

- Failure of the vuli rains in the northern, northeastern, and coastal bimodal areas, which generate 30 percent of annual national crop production, is limiting the food access of lowincome households and households dependent on agriculture.

- Because poor farmers who lost their vuli crop during 2008/09 will likely have difficulty obtaining seed for the masika season, the government has released TZS 1.7 billion from the disaster fund for seed procurement and distribution in Morogoro, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Mwanza Mara, and Singida regions.


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Seven feared drowned in Lake Victoria accident

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Frederick Katulanda in Mwanza

Seven people are feared drowned after an overloaded boat they were travelling in capsized at Kamanga area in Sengerema district.

Eyewitnesses said the boat; christened Mv Kuruthumu was, in addition to 30 passengers, overloaded with cargo, which included bamboo baskets laden with tomatoes and charcoal bags.

The cargo belonged to traders, who transport the goods from Sengerema district to Mwanza City everyday for sale.

Mwanza regional police commander, Mr Jamal Rwambow, confirmed reports on the fatal accident, saying at least seven out of the 30 passengers were feared dead, as rescuers had not located them by yesterday afternoon.


Low turnout in vote to name murderers

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

Few urban dwellers took part in the vote on contract killers in Mwanza region yesterday, it has been learnt.

A survey conducted by The Citizen at various polling stations situated at primary schools in Mwanza City indicated that between one and two dwellers cast their vote by noon yesterday.

Mwanza regional commissioner, Dr James Msekela, admitted that the voting exercise was not successful in urban polling stations because the witchcraft-associated killings mostly affected rural areas.

However, hundreds of residents turned out for the vote in Geita, Misungwi and Kwimba districts with some of the polling stations asking for additional ballot papers.


Monday, 9 March 2009

Finn’s Facts: Govt must end laxity in mining sector use of dangerous chemicals

From ThisDay, Dar es Salaam
By The Editor

LAST January, police in Coast Region arrested a convoy of SDV Transami while shipping a dangerous consignment of Resolute Golden Pride sodium cyanide chemical. Six SDV Transami trucks loaded with the deadly chemical destined for Nzega District of Mwanza Region were not properly equipped with protective gear or bear a requisite sign to warn other road users of the danger being shipped.

Coast Regional Police Commander Godwell Njau said the trucks were transporting the chemicals dangerously without following any regulation and that even the drivers were not aware of what was contained in the consignment they were shipping.

Read full story >>

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Irony of huge funeral rituals

From IPPmedia, Dar es Salaam
By Staff Writer

When James Apiyo (not his real name) was admitted to Sekou Toure Hospital in Mwanza City last year, his family and relatives said they could not raise $30 needed to pay for his medical bill. And unfortunately he died six months later, at the age of 65 years.

Ironically preparations for a showoff funeral started as soon as news of the death reached his family.

Within 24 hours, a total of 2.5m/- had been raised, 10 per cent of which was set aside for a modest coffin; the rest was spent on special uniforms for the burial ceremony.

At least a thousand people attended the funeral marked by much singing and dancing. "One day the family is unable to raise 30,000/- to treat my father, and next day they can get millions for the burial ceremony…this is not fair," complained Miriam Achieng, the second born in the family of the late Apiyo, who lived at Kitangiri in Mwanza.

Read full story.

Albinos as a hunted segment of society

From IPPmedia, Dar es Salaam
By Ley Mlelwa

n the middle of last month, on the 14th February to be precise, lawyer George Bakari reviewed the killings of albinos in the country, capping it with a crucial quote by German cleric Pastor Martin Niemoller.

The cleric, who lived between 1892 and 1984, remarked: "First they came for Jews, I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. They came for the communist, I did not speak out because I was not a communist.

They came for trade unionists, I did not speak out because I was not a communist. When they came for me, no one was left to speak out."

Pastor Niemoller pointed out that he thought that by not taking any measures when Hitler began torturing and killing people, he was safe; but he later ended up in detention camps.

Read full story.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Police arrest six linked with highway attacks in Mwanza

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

Police here are holding six people in connection with a series of highway robberies that have rocked the Lake Zone regions.

The attacks took place in Misungwi and Kwimba districts early this week and in January, where the highway robbers pounced on the passengers, after brutalising them, took away their valuable belongings.

Similar attacks, which are perpetrated by armed gangs, have also been reported on buses that ply Mwanza - Bukoba route.

The attackers usually use piles of rocks to halt buses before descending on passengers at night time. Mwanza RPC Jamal Rwambow said four more suspects were still on the run and that the police had mounted a manhunt against them.

Read full story.

PM Pinda launches ballot to find killers

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporters

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda yesterday launched the secret ballots that will be used to identify people suspected of involvement in albino killings. Mr Pinda at the same time warned local authorities against diverting funds to the countrywide exercise.
The warning came in the wake of reports that some councils were planning slash their development budgets to get funds needed to finance the exercise ordered by President Jakaya Kikwete.
The councils have opted to divert funds from their development budgets because the central government has not provided money for the exercise.

Ilala Municipal Council has already announced that it will spend Sh206 million from its budget to finance the exercise. Mwanza Regional Commissioner James Msekela also announced yesterday that the region planned to spend Sh145 million for the exercise. Mwanza is among the regions worst hit by albino killings.

Read full story.

Official calls for work on road, rail networks

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Samuel Kamndaya

The on-going concerted efforts to ease congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port will not bear any fruits if the road and rail networks are not improved, it has been said.

The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director of Corporate Planning, Ms Florence Nkya, told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that bad railways and roads are partly to blame for the congestion at the country's largest port.

Over $500 million (about Sh650 billion) invested in improving the country's ports since 1980s has not made any big impact due to poor inland infrastructure, she said. Under its current condition, the railway transports less than seven per cent of the total containers arriving at the port, leaving over 93 per cent to rely on road transport.

Former Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) managing director Narasim Jayaram conceded that the railway line was in terrible state -operating only two trains per week between Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Kigoma.

Read full story.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Union mulls suing district

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

Legal action will be taken against Bunda district authorities for stripping a school headteacher of his post because of allegedly taking part in last year's strike the union had organized.

"A district commissioner is not supposed to interfere with the education system," said the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) secretary in Bunda district, Mr Ruhumbika Francis.

Speaking over the phone from Bunda yesterday, he admitted that his office had received complaints from the headteacher, Mr Dotto Bwire, of being stripped off the post. He was also indefinitely suspended from teaching for allegedly taking part in the strike.

Read full story.

Interpol: We've full list of albino killers

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Mkinga Mkinga

Tanzanian police officers, working under the auspices of the International Police (Interpol) have compiled a list of key suspects in the brutal albino killings and the slaying of elderly people.

During an operation carried out recently mainly in the Lake Region, which has been epicentre of the fatal attacks on albinos to harvest their body parts that have shocked the entire nation and the world, preliminary investigations by Interpol easily yielded the suspects' names.

However, sources told The Citizen that the joint Tanzania/Interpol team was now waiting for the results of next week's national referendum to flush out the killers, to compare the names and draw up the final list.

Read full story.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Five teams for Twenty20 meet

From This Day, Dar es Salaam
By ThisDay reporter

FIVE teams are set to battle it out in the inaugural national Twenty20 cricket championship opening in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

The tournament, which is organised by the Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA), aims at promoting the sport in the country.

TCA official Kazim Nasser said in the city yesterday that participating regions include Arusha, Morogoro, Mwanza, hosts Dar es Salaam and a selected TCA Academy squad. ’’

Arusha, Morogoro and Mwanza are expected in the city on Friday ready for the tournament set to start on Saturday,’’ he said.

Read full story.

Emulate Mwanza, minister tells Dar

From The Citizen, Dar es Salaam
By Consesa John

The Minister of State in the vice president's office (Environment) Ms Batilda Burian yesterday urged Tanzanians to observe cleanliness in their homesteads as a preventive measure against diseases.

She made the appeal when addressing Ubungo residents during commemoration of the World Environment Day, held at the Ubungo commuter bus terminal.

She said observing cleanness in residential areas should not wait for government interventions.

"You should try and maintain cleanliness in the city and stop waiting for the government to clean the streets for you' working together with the government will help keeping our city clean," she said.

She gave an example of Mwanza City, which has been declared, as the cleanest city in the country noting that Dar es Salaam was also capable of doing that.

Read full story.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

ANALYSIS: Lake Victoria diversion project invokes national pride but

From This Day, Dar es Salaam

DURING the Mkapa reign one project roused a sense of national hubris like no other. That project was the diversion of Lake Victoria to supply villages with clean water in semi arid lands such as Shinyanga and Mwanza.

The then minister for water Edward Lowassa moulded in the House a case of national prestige as a launching pad to endue our own puny budgetary allocations to foot the entire bill for a project of iffy beneficial value to the country for posterity to come.

Read full story.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Tanzanians to name albino killers

From BBC World News, London, UK

Tanzania is launching a nationwide exercise urging the public to identify those behind dozens of murders of people with albinism

In the secret "referendum", citizens will be invited to write down on slips of paper the names of those they suspect of involvement.

Legal officials will gather the names and pass them to the police.

President Jakaya Kikwete said the public should not fear retribution for naming the culprits.

Read full story.

Varsity earns education body's praise

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

University students made headlines last year when they walked out of lecture rooms to demand for 100 per cent sponsorship from the Higher Education Students' Loan Board (HESLB).

The government's offer, they complained, was inadequate owing to poverty levels and high inflationary trends. Getting no positive response, they protested and saw some six public institutions closed for several months.

However, in Mwanza where a handful of higher learning institutions are accommodated, the story was different.

St Augustine University (Saut) students who also enjoy HESLB sponsorship, were cool, and unlike their colleagues elsewhere, did not disrupt learning despite facing even more financial burdens.

Read full story.

Special referendum for albino killers for...

From IPPmedia, Dar es Salaam
By Guardian Reporter

The government will soon launch a special countrywide referendum whereby people will vote secretly within their localities for those they suspect to be behind the vicious killings of albinos.

In his end of the month speech on Saturday night, President Jakaya Kikwete said the exercise would be carried out in zones.

According to the Head of State, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda would launch the campaign.

Kikwete explained that for "specific reasons" the voting exercise would start in the Lake Zone regions - Mwanza, Kagera, Mara and Shinyanga.

Read full story.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Nile Perch sector collapses

From IPPMedia, Dar es Salaam
By Mbena Mwanatongoni

The Nile perch sector, once described as the saviour of Lake Victoria`s economy, is now collapsing as the global economic recession ravages Europe, leaving 300,000 Tanzanians without jobs.

Export data for December, January and February show that Nile perch fillet sales to European countries tumbled by 70 percent - the biggest drop in export sales since 2000 when the EU lifted the ban on importing fish from Lake Victoria.

The news comes amid this week’s conference of experts and stakeholders, who met at a Dar es Salaam hotel to discuss the escalating impacts of the global economic recession but failed to come up with solutions on how to bailout the dying sector.

Read full story.