MISCELLANY

Submarine cable
Pemba Island in Zanzibar has been connected to the national power grid through a submarine cable installed in the Indian Ocean from Tanga Region. The project was co-financed by the governments of Tanzania and Norway. The 78-kilometre-long cable replaces three old diesel generators, to ensure reliable electricity supply in the island with much higher capacity and reliability than before. The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hamad Rashid Mohamed, said that Pemba’s connection to the national grid was a step forward in strengthening the Union and the move would bring about better integration between the peoples of Pemba and Unguja – Guardian.

Douglas & Brad Pitt
According to the Citizen, cocoa producers in Mbeya Region will in future selling their produce directly to markets in the US through middlemen. This is the result of efforts by Tanzania’s honourary ‘goodwill ambassador to the US,’ Mr Douglas Pitt (the brother of the actor Brad Pitt) who is linking local farmers to US chocolate factories.

Switching to BP
A few days after five vehicles from the President’s Office broke down due to being filled with adulterated petrol at a Total filling station in Moshi, the government announced that the vehicles would in future be filled at BP filling stations– Mwananchi.

World Cup fever
While some World Cup matches were taking place in South Africa many MP’s skipped sittings of parliament. Deputy Speaker Anne Makinda had to adjourn the House on one occasion as it was virtually empty because most of the MPs were watching the matches on TV channels. Earlier, Speaker Samuel Sitta announced that the House would be dissolved on 20 July and so the sitting hours would have to be extended to evenings and Saturdays – Mwananchi.

Luxury vehicles
Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has banned importation of luxurious vehicles for government officials. Instead, emphasis would be put on the mechanisation of agriculture – Daily News.

Music School
A community based organisation in the UK, HDO, has launched a School of Music in Dar es Salaam. Professor John Howard from Thames Valley University told reporters that the school would run theoretical and practical classes. Training would start at certificate level and go up to degree level and the school would also record albums to be sent overseas – Majira.

London Congestion Charges
The Guardian, in an article written by Jaston Binala, reported that the Tanzanian Government had made it clear that it did not owe the Greater London Authority (GLA) anything for unpaid traffic congestion charges which the Authority was trying to recover. Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Permanent Secretary, Sazi Salula, expressed surprise that Tanzania was said to owe £753,520 (for 7,203 fines) for the period since the charge was introduced in 2003 and that a diplomatic vehicle could be charged any form of tax anywhere.

Tanzania is one of 57 diplomatic missions owing more than £100,000. The British government says that the charges are not taxes but are similar to highway tolls.

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