Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Saturday that the east African nation will start engaging in massive cultivation of oil palm from October to end importation of edible oils.
A statement by the Prime Minister’s office issued in Kigoma region after Majaliwa had inspected oil palm seedlings nursery owned by Bulombora National Service, an affiliate of Tanzania People’s Defense Forces, said the premier told oil palm farmers in the region to get prepared for massive cultivation of the crop.
“Massive cultivation of oil palm starts in October. Each farmer, be individuals or cooperative farming groups will be provided with free-of-charge seedlings across the region,” said Majaliwa.
The statement said the Prime Minister said 1.8 million oil palm seedlings have already been grown for distribution to farmers, adding that Tanzania looked forward to end imports of edible oils.
In February, 2019, Majaliwa announced that the government had set aside 4.3 million U.S. dollars to boost cultivation of oil palm as part of its strategy to ending importation of edible oils.
The Kigoma region accounts for more than 80 percent of the palm oil produced in the country and has the potential to make Tanzania one of the world‘s leading producers and exporters of palm oil due to its soils and weather.
Tanzania imports almost half of its total edible oils despite having a vast and promising production potential in palm oil and sunflower sub-sectors.
Tanzanian gov’t to crack down on hiking of sugar price
Dar Es Salaam, June 3, 2020 Tanzanian Authorities said on Wednesday it will launch a crackdown on sugar traders who have been hiking price.
Japhet Hasunga, the Minister for Agriculture, said the crackdown followed complaints from the public that traders sold the commodity higher than the indicative price set by the government.
“If there are traders who think the crackdown is a joke, let them continue selling the commodity at a high price.
“They should not blame anyone when they face the music,’’ added the minister.
The rise in sugar price was allegedly attributed to traders, who had hoarded the commodity in warehouses, to create an artificial shortage.
Hasunga said Tanzania’s sugar demand stood at 470,000 tons a year, while the country’s five sugar processing factories had the capacity of producing 378,000 tons in 2019.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Tanzania’s anti-graft body arrests 6 over election bribe
Tanzania’s anti-corruption watchdog announced on Monday that it has arrested six people in connection with taking bribe from a prospective candidate for the October 2020 general elections.
Pilly Mwakasege, the head of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) for Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam, said in a statement five of the six suspects were arrested at Ubungo on Sunday, adding that the sixth suspect surrendered himself to PCCB on Monday.
Mwakasege said PCCB officials arrested the suspects shortly after the prospective candidate dished out envelopes containing 50,000 Tanzanian shillings (about 22 United States dollars) each for the suspects who are leaders of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party Mbezi ward on the outskirts of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“The prospective candidate bribed the suspects so that they can help him to campaign in the initial electoral process,” said Mwakasege in a statement.
Mwakasege said PCCB was still holding the six suspects, including the prospective candidate, for questioning.
John Mbungo, the PCCB Director General, in January 2020 vowed to stop electoral fraud in the October general elections.
Mbungo said PCCB will leave no stone unturned toward the investigation of corrupt candidates or political parties in the course of the electoral process, adding that offenders will face full force of law.
According to Tanzania’s electoral body, more than 30 million voters have their information updated in the voter registry between July 2019 and February 2020.
Tanzanian universities reopen on cautious note over COVID-19 pandemic
Chancellors of universities in the country said they had taken precautionary measures days before they reopened according to instructions of education authorities.
They said the measures included making sure that the students wash hands as they enter the academic buildings, wear face masks, undergo thermal scanning and observe a one-meter social distance.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor for private-owned Tumaini University’s Dar es Salaam College, Andrew Mollel, said 70 percent of students at the college based in Mwenge area have already reported for studies.
“We have made adjustments to the academic program to enable them to cover their curriculum in the remaining 12 weeks before they sit for their examinations,” said Mollel.
Jackson Isdory, communications officer for government-owned University of Dar es Salaam, said many students reported on Monday, adding that all precautionary guidelines against CIVID-19 were already in place.
Faustian Bee, the chancellor of state-run University of Dodoma, said 12, 533 students, an equivalent of 42 percent of total students, have already reported for studies.
“We have placed buckets for hand washing all over the university. All students have been instructed to wear face masks. In short, we are observing guidelines given by the Ministry of Health,” said Bee.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced the shutdown of schools and universities on March 17 and March 18, respectively, following the outbreak of the virus in the east African nation.
Tanzania plans to increase annual sisal production to 120,000 tonnes by 2024
Tanzania has put in place strategies aimed at reviving sisal production from the current 30,000 tonnes of the crop annually to 120,000 tonnes by 2024, an official said on Monday.
He said the annual production of sisal from 30,000 tonnes to 120,000 tonnes to be done from 2020 to 2024 will first focus on five out of the country’s 12 sisal growing regions.
In his remarks, Majaliwa said the revival of sisal production was part of the government’s plan to revive production of all major crops, including cashew nuts, tea, tobacco, cotton, coffee and oil palm.
“The government will give full support toward the revival of sisal production,” said Majaliwa, adding the crop will be cultivated by individual farmers, small and large scale farmers, including major investors.
Tanzania’s leading sisal growing regions are Tanga, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Coast, Lindi and Mtwara.
Feature: Home delivery businesses booming in Tanzania amid COVID-19 pandemic
Since the COVID-19 outbreak started in Tanzania in mid-March, 30-year-old Hassan Teja has been a busy man from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Teja is a co-founder and chief operating officer of duka.direct, a start-up online shopping platform that was launched in February. The online platform allows customers to order products across various categories such as groceries and household essentials, and delivers them to doorsteps.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, customers’ demand for home delivery services has increased by two times, said Teja in an interview with Xinhua at his office located in the city center of Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
During the period of self-isolation, online shopping through app with free courier service has become the first choice for people living in the commercial hub of the east African nation, as a way to avoid shopping in crowded open markets, said Teja.
“This has been a great opportunity for us to witness a change in customer behavior in the nation, including their growing acceptance of digital payment,” said Teja.
He said currently, the company’s delivery coverage is within a 25 km distance from the city center, but as they are seeing more and more suburban customers inquiring about the service, they are aiming to expand the business to reach more corners in the city.
Teja says plans are afoot to expand duka.direct online services to neighboring countries of Kenya and Uganda.
Demand for delivery also increases in other businesses. Jibril Mohamed, a restaurant owner in Dar es Salaam, said despite the fact that the number of dine-in customers have largely decreased due to the pandemic, requests for home delivery service have doubled last month.
Kauthar D’Souza, a Tanzanian housewife residing in Kariakoo, a major market area in the commercial capital, said COVID-19 had doubled her online shopping needs.
“Online shopping is the best way of avoiding mass gathering. It gets me less exposed, especially during this time when authorities request us to avoid mass gathering as a way to protect ourselves against the COVID-19“, said D’Souza.
Bora Chitanda, a Tanzanian salesman working in marketing industry, said the culture of online buying and home delivery in Tanzania that had been accelerated following the outbreak of COVID-19 should be maintained even after the disease was contained.
Meanwhile, he also hoped that the trend of online shopping may not render the employees in supermarkets and restaurants jobless.
Tanzanian court finds opposition leader guilty of sedition, sets him free
A Tanzanian court ruled on Friday that an opposition leader was guilty of sedition and incitement on accusations that he falsely said some 100 people were killed in clashes between herders and police in his home region in 2018.
The court however set Zitto Kabwe, the head of ACT Wazalendo party, free on condition that he refrain from saying or writing anything that would be considered sedition.
Kabwe, who is member of parliament for Kigoma urban constituency, in western Tanzania, was charged in November 2018 with three counts related to incitement after saying that 100 people were killed in clashes between herders and police in the region.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the time, the head of police in Kigoma said just two herdsmen and two officers had died during an operation to stop pastoralists keeping livestock illegally on a government-owned ranch.
Huruma Shaidi, principal magistrate of Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court in Dar es Salaam, said he found Kabwe guilty on all three counts.
In a written order setting out conditions for Kabwe’s discharge, Shaidi said Kabwe should commit no seditious offence for a period of one year, and if he did, he would be liable to be sentenced for the offence.
Kabwe’s defence lawyers said they were going to appeal the verdict.
“Zitto Kabwe is a politician and we are in the elections period, we are going to appeal this ruling to clear him,’’ Jebra Kambole, Kabwe’s lead counsel, told reporters outside the court.
Kabwe split away from the main opposition CHADEMA movement in 2015 and is now his party’s only lawmaker.
The East African country has been one of the continent’s most stable, but opposition leaders and rights groups have accused the government of cracking down on dissent an accusation it dismisses.
Tanzania is expected to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in October.
Edited By: Halima Shehu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
IFAW deploys wildlife rangers to curb poaching along Kenya, Tanzania border
An international wildlife organization said Thursday it has deployed more than 50 community wildlife rangers from Kenya and Tanzania in a joint border patrol in response to a potential risk of poaching.
James Isiche, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) regional director for East Africa, said the safety of wildlife is paramount in the midst of the deadly pandemic.
Isiche said the patrol sought to ensure the safety of wildlife at risk of being poached because of the lack of visitors and hospitality staff in the area due to the global pandemic, which has impacted the local economy and incomes.
“The role and presence of the community wildlife rangers particularly during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic when operations have been hampered by lack of tourism revenue to sustain them is of paramount importance as they continue to protect wildlife from potential poaching for bush-meat and other wildlife products,” Isiche said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said the rangers simultaneously monitored the wildlife-rich landscapes along their respective borderlines while staying within their international boundaries.
“Cross border landscapes are particularly difficult to preserve as would poachers take advantage of the fact that they cannot be pursued across the common border after committing their acts. Synchronized patrols such as this one ensure that this is not the case,” he added.
Over 500 wild animals killed by motorists in northern Tanzania in 2019
At least 588 wild animals, including lions and giraffes, were killed by motorists in 2019 as they crossed roads within the Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks ecosystem in northern Tanzania, a statement said on Tuesday.
The statement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism said the knockdown of the wild animals was mainly caused by lack of road signs that cautioned drivers over the presence of the wild animals.
Following the killings of the animals by motorists, Constantine Kanyasu, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, ordered relevant authorities to fix road signs in the area that alerted motorists over the presence of the animals, said the statement.
The statement said Kanyasu made the order to fix road signs to the Tanzania National Parks Authority and the Tanzania National Roads Agency in a meeting with wildlife conservation experts held in Babati district in Arusha region that discussed ways of protecting wildlife corridors.
On the protection of the wildlife corridors, Kanyasu directed the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to form a task force to guard wildlife corridors.
Tanzanian police kill 7 suspected armed gangsters in business capital
Tanzanian police killed seven suspected armed gangsters in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam after their robbery attempt became abortive, a senior police officer said on Monday.
The suspected gangsters were killed at midnight on Sunday as they planned to raid a warehouse for construction materials in the business capital, said Lazaro Mambosasa, the Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander.
“Acting on intelligence reports, a special anti-crime police task force trailed a vehicle in which the suspected bandits were driving towards Mwenge area,” Mambosasa told a news conference.
He said when the suspected gangsters realized that they were being followed by the police they started firing at the law enforcers who fired back killing the suspects on the spot.
“When police searched the vehicle used by the suspects they found a pistol with three rounds of ammunition, two gas cylinders, machetes, a mobile telephone and a rope,” said Mambosasa.
He said the gas cylinders were to be used for breaking into the warehouse.
On May 11, police gunned down four suspected armed robbers after an exchange of fire in the east African nation’s western region of Kigoma.
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