An agreement in July last year between Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique to step up the attack on illegal fishing boats has brought results. In March a trawler was found in Tanzanian waters with no proper documentation, flag or valid fishing permit. It had already caught some 70 tons of tuna. It had a crew comprising fifteen Chinese, three Kenyans, eight Philippinos, five Vietnamese and six Indonesians. President Kikwete commended the South African government for providing a modern surveillance ship to assist in the operation – Guardian.

The government has ordered the Development Entrepreneurship for Community Initiative (Deci) Tanzania to stop operations pending investigations as to whether it is operating a pyramid scheme. Deci, run by the Jesus Christ Deliverance Church, is understood to have been promising depositors up to 250 per cent interest on their deposits for periods ranging from three and 12 months, and may have links with a now defunct company in Kenya which is also under investigation.

A fire attributed to an electrical fault in a kitchen gutted three beach hotels – Paradise Holiday Resort, Livingstone Hotel and Oceanic Bay Hotel on March 23. Some 800 people depended on the hotels for their livelihood and one of the hotels was hosting four seminars involving 70 guests at the time. Fire fighters had to drive from Dar as there are no fire engines in Bagamoyo. While waiting for the engines some people were said to have been busy helping themselves to fridges, bedding and drinks.

The Ministry of Education has revealed that the government is spending TShs 5 billion as loans to Tanzanian students studying abroad. The numbers are: China 255, India 158, Poland 64, Ukraine 86, Algeria 238, USA 4, UK 12, Uganda 594, Kenya 17, Cuba 25, South Africa 54 and Canada 4 – Guardian.

Girls secondary schools topped the list of ten leading schools for the second year running in last year’s Form Four examination results. St. Francis Girls’ Secondary School of Mbeya, which emerged number one in 2007, retained the position. Likewise Coast Region’s Marian Girls’ Secondary School remained at number two. 168, 420 (75.82%) out of 233, 848 candidates who sat for the exams passed. However, the pass level dropped by 10.13% from 85.95% in the previous year to 75.82 per cent.

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