Monday, July 24, 2017

Japan assures its continued financial support in Tanzania

Tanzania has been a donor recipient country since independence time, and has managed to plan its economic development strategies due to financial aid from various donor countries. Among the major donor country is Japan which has been funding various projects worth billions of Tanzania shillings. Despite of this, the Embassy of Japan has assured Tanzania of its continued support on development projects in the country and especially in the Iringa region and other areas in its quest to support the fifth phase. Currently the embassy has helped in the construction of Idodi Secondary School’s dormitory in the region at a cost of 270m/-.Speaking during the official inauguration of the dormitory last week, the Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Masaharu Yoshida, said the money was donated by the people of Japan who appreciate development projects being undertaken by the Tanzanian government. He added that construction of the dormitory was done after a request from the Ismani Member of Parliament and Lands and Human Settlements Development Minister, William Lukuvi, who made the appeal soon after the dormitory was gutted down by fire.“Mr Lukuvi gave us a request for several development projects including the Isimani Secondary School girls’ hostel that was constructed between 2005 and 2008, the Mlowa Health Centre’s Outpatient Department (OPD) as well as the purchase of the Centre’s motor vehicle,’’ he said. The envoy said that an agreement for the construction of the Idodi School’s dormitory was signed in February 2016. “I am glad to witness the completion of this project and it is gratifying to see that this hostel can now accommodate 208 students,’’ he insisted. Mr Yoshida added that because of the great supervision that was done, a Japanese company, Koyo Corporation, had also offered to supply the solar electricity to all students staying in the dormitory. He also promised to support the Magufuli-led government under its famous slogan: ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’. Iringa Regional Commissioner (RC), Amina Masenza and Mr Lukuvi, thanked the Japanese government for its support and assured the envoy that the dormitory would be well preserved so that it can help the students in the region.

Magufuli applauds Kafulila over IPTL deal

In a bide to strengthen support the fight over graft in the country, President  John Magufuli himself has appreciated former Kigoma South legislator David Kafulila’s firmness on the infamous Tegeta Escrow scandal, saying Kafulila demonstrated the highest level of patriotism. This is a phenomenon outlook ever since President Magufuli became head of state. President  Dr. Magufuli uttered his emotions on Saturday last week when  addressing the residents of Nguruka ward during the launch of a mega water project in Uvinza district. He said he would have left the area with guilty consciousness had he not congratulated the youthful politician. He said although Mr Kafulila belonged to an opposition party, on the Escrow saga he stood firm and put the national interests forward. The president accused the Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) of occasioning substantial loss to the government. “At some point, Mr Kafulila was dragged to court and was admonished, calling him a monkey but, he remained bold for the interest of the nation,” he said amid cheers from members of the public. 

Former Kigoma South legislator David Kafulila (On NCCR-Mageuzi ticket before he joined Chadema party) showing a valid document to fellow legislators in Parliament as proof that substantiated what he had revealed as illegal transaction entered by some government officials during a debate session that discussed the Tegeta Escrow scandal in 2014.

The president said people who mocked and likened the former MP to the monkey for unearthing the IPTL scam are now the real monkeys. While in Parliament in 2014, former Attorney General (AG) Judge Frederick Werema crushed with Kafulila, branding him monkey as the legislator described the former AG to have involved directly with financial loss of Escrow money. Regarding the IPTL saga, Dr Magufuli said he would in his entire life salute the former Kigoma South MP on NCCR Mageuzi ticket as a hero who dedicated his energy for the nation. The president implored all Tanzanians to remain united on issues of national interest, charging that previously, many elected leaders thought of their personal gains at the expense of the nation. The Tegeta Escrow scandal has seen two business tycoons, James Rugemalira and Harbinder Seth Sigh arraigned before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court, charged with several counts, including economic sabotage and occasioning over 22 million US dollars and 309bn/- loss to the government. The parliamentary session in November 2014 endorsed eight resolutions, one of them being the investigations and arrest of all people who were involved in the Tegeta Escrow scandal. The decrees followed a report by a special committee of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the now Kigoma Urban MP, Zitto Kabwe, to probe the dubious deal.

Magufuli hates tree felling without a particular purpose

The negative aftermaths caused as a result of indiscriminate tree felling are numerous an aspect that bring about loses resulting to land degradation. This is not good at all and in order to prevent the menace, stakeholders need to be careful and abide by the policy frameworks imposed by the government in order to defend natural resources. Due to the prevailing situation which has been noticed to have been practiced by some unscrupulous business people, President John Magufuli has come up in arms and cautioned Tanzanians to be careful with the situation, thus blaming them for not taking care and precautions over the matter for the country’s destruction due to environmental degradation. Dr Magufuli decried the indiscriminate clearing of forests, directing District Executive Directors (DEDs) and District Commissioners (DCs) to take actions but through observance of human dignity. He issued the directive over the weekend at Kasungu grounds in Kaliua district in Tabora region, shortly after he had inaugurated the 56-kilometre Kaliua-Kazilambwa road, which the Chinese contractor CHICO has constructed. The president condemned whom he described as ‘pseudo politicians’ from his own CCM party bent on corrupting Wananchi through “allowing them to invade forests and clear some oldest and unique species of trees just to make charcoal for the sake of getting votes but we are killing our own country.” He charged, “Just imagine a 20-year-old man clearing a 150-year-old tree merely for charcoal and worse still, there is no replacement. I must tell you the truth, this is not allowed.”  President Magufuli warned that should people be granted the freedom to destruct the environment from one place to another, the country will be courting a disaster, and soon Tanzanians will be forced to relocate to other countries like Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due unsupportive environment at home. He said even the world’s first class honey from Tabora region is at risk should the habit of clearing trees continue unabated, with water crisis likely to persist due to environmental degradation related drought.

Direct students’ admission in higher learning institutions starts

Tanzania universities are  ready to admit students who pursue higher learning studies in all universities accredited in the country. This is after the government had recently diverted its system it used before and it has now empowered higher learning institutions with full authority to do so just as it had been doing before.  The government’s call was made public by President Dr. John Magufuli. Before the new changes came into being, the task was entirely left for Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) who had the mandatory of admitting students to pursue higher learning studies. MAJOR universities in the country said last week that., they were fully equipped to expertly handle direct applications from students. University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Vice- Chancellor Professor Rwekaza Mukandala said the institution has already installed computerized system to handle the applications. “We have also agreed with the National Examination Council of Tanzania (NECTA) to team up in verifying the authenticities of the academic certificates attached in the applications,” Prof Mukandala said, hinting that effective today the university’s programmes will be unveiled on the website. He was optimistic that the country’s oldest university will get enough qualified applicants to fill all available slots for each programme. Previously, aspirants for higher learning institutions applied through the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), which dictated for students and which universities to study. But, TCU, in its statement last May, announced the procedural change in admissions to undergraduate programmes, effective this 2017/18 academic year. Under the new arrangements, higher learning institutions will directly handle the applications and selections of students for their respective programmes, with July 22 to August 13 set as the application timeframe. The change follows President John Magufuli’s directive to TCU to shift from dealing with applications into regulatory tasks, allowing students to correctly make choices pertaining to their educational pursuit to suit personal dreams.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tanzania is able to collect up to Tshs. 17 trillion

TAXATION pundits remain optimistic that the country is on the right track to collect the projected 17.1tri/- in tax revenues in the 2017/18 fiscal year. With the 2016/17 tax collection target of 15.1tri/- met by over 95 per cent, the government’s newly outlined measures to widen the tax base will help in attaining this year’s ambitious goal. Speaking with the media in an exclusive interview over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, a day after the government announced the collection of 14.4tri/- in the previous fiscal year, analysts commended the government especially for its dream of getting rid of donor dependency. The newly introduced property tax on both surveyed and non-surveyed homes at the rates of between 10,000/- and 50, 000/- is among factors that will strongly contribute to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)’s achievements. TRA announced on Tuesday last week that it had collected 14.4tri/- in the previous year, an increase of 7.6 per cent from the 13.3tri/- collected in the previous year. However, the tax collection agency missed its target of 15.1 tri/- by 700bn/-. A lecturer with Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus, Professor Honest Ngowi, said “The collections are not bad although TRA needs to strengthen its efforts to attain this year’s target of 17.1tri/.” The economist argued that there is a challenge to recover the missing 700bn/- gap, remaining hopeful, however, that TRA will do better, with big boost expected from well managed collections from land and houses. “But, improving the business environment will help the country toenhance the government revenues because traders will not fear to do businesses,” the don advised, commending the appointment of Professor Florens Luoga as TRA Board Chairman. Professor Delphine Rwegasira from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)’s economics department appreciated TRA progress, saying the authority is most likely to achieve its future targets. “For a country like Tanzania, this (14.4tri/- collection) is a great achievement … TRA has slightly missed the target but I agree they have done a recommendable job. We have to appreciate,” said the don, adding: “TRA should now double efforts to achieve the new target.” The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget, Ms Hawa Ghasia congratulated TRA for the achieved milestone, saying the country is heading towards donor-independency budget.