Archive for Politics

FOURTEEN SOLDIERS KILLED IN DRC

President Magufuli expressed grief and shock when 14 Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) peacekeepers died in December while on duty in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 44 others were injured during the attack.

“I have been saddened and shocked by the reports of the death of the Tanzanian soldiers who were killed while in their peacekeeping mission in DRC,” said the President.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, condemned the attack. “I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at Thursday night’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” he said. “I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to the Government and people of Tanzania. I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured,” he added.

The UN said in a statement that the attack is the worst on UN peacekeepers in the Organisation’s recent history, another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop contributing countries in the service of global peace.

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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT BLOCKED

Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) has blocked Human Rights Watch (HRW) from launching a report on abuses against migrant Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and United Arab Emirates. Dr Willium Kindekete of COSTECH said the commission decided to ban the report because the researchers did not follow procedures.

He said HRW officials who were to launch the report have some immigration issues. “Their visas do not identify them as researchers, but just visitors; so they aren’t allowed to work in the country,” said Dr Kindekete.

HRW researcher on Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, Rothna Begum, said she had followed the correct procedures – including getting agreement for the launch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labour – but received information of the ban one hour before the scheduled launch. She noted that something must have happened behind the scenes leading to the ban. She added that the real focus of the research was to give a chance to the government to find a way forward in helping domestic workers from Tanzania abused in Oman and UAE.

She said HRW interviewed 87 people including Tanzanian officials, trade unionists, recruitment agents and 50 Tanzanian female domestic workers who worked in Oman and the UAE. “All the respondents said their employers and agents confiscated their passports. Many worked long hours (up to 21 hours a day) without rest. They said they were paid less than promised or not at all, forced to eat spoiled or left-over food, shouted at and insulted daily and physically and sexually abused.”

The report, “Working Like a Robot’: Abuse of Tanzanian Domestic Workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates” was released by Human Rights Watch on their website. It found that Tanzanian domestic workers in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) face excessive working hours, unpaid salaries, and physical and sexual abuse. Abusive visa-sponsorship rules in those countries and gaps in Tanzania’s policies leave the women exposed to exploitation, according to the report.

There are thousands of Tanzanian domestic workers in the Middle East. While some have decent working conditions, many others face abuse, said Human Rights Watch.

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ENERGY & MINERALS

by Roger Nellist

Tanzanian mining – some progress
2017 was a particularly dramatic year for Tanzania’s mining sector. The mineral sands export scandal resulted in the sackings of senior government personnel and far-reaching changes in the governing legislation and administrative machinery for management of the country’s mineral resources. In our feature article, TA118 presented the background to the saga and highlighted the radical responses initiated personally by President Magufuli.

Whilst things now seem to be settling down on the gold mining front, in recent months the President’s crusade against proven and presumed malpractise in the mining sector has turned to the country’s tanzanite and diamond operations.

Important agreement reached with Barrick Gold (Acacia)
On 19 October at a ceremony presided over by President Magufulu in State House, and after three months of intensive high-level negotiations between the government and Barrick Gold Corporation, the two parties signed a framework agreement which in the words of Barrick’s chairman (John Thornton) signals “… a modern, 21st century partnership that should ensure Acacia’s operations generate sustainable benefits and mutual prosperity for the people of Tanzania, as well as for the owners of Barrick and Acacia”. (Barrick – a Canadian multinational based in Toronto – is the world’s largest gold producer and is the parent company of Acacia Mining plc whose Tanzanian gold mining operations triggered the crisis last year. Tanzania is the African continent’s fourth-largest gold producer and Acacia is its largest miner).

Although there are still important details to be negotiated between the two sides, it is expected that the agreement will put an end to the acrimonious state of affairs that has existed between Tanzania and Acacia over the last year. It is understood that the main principles agreed are: (a) the net profits (‘economic benefits’) generated by Acacia’s operations will be shared with Tanzania on a 50/50 basis from now on; (b) additionally, the government will take a 16% stake in the venture (with a new company being established in Mwanza to reflect the new shareholding arrangement, under which Tanzanians will also be appointed to the Board); (c) all income of the company will be banked in Tanzania, no longer abroad, and any disputes will be settled in Tanzania, not internationally; and (d) significantly it has also been agreed that a smelting plant will be built in Tanzania so that the gold, copper and silver produced by Acacia can be processed in the country, obviating the need to export the raw materials. These terms are a big departure for Tanzania and are expected to create more jobs and revenues and generally boost the domestic value-addition from the country’s substantial gold mining operations.

Two other important matters have also been agreed in principle, with the details yet to be worked out. First, arrangements will be established to ensure that the local communities surrounding the gold mines benefit more from the mining operations, and that the mine workers will be much better treated (in terms of contracts, housing, health and social services and the like). Second, Acacia will make a “good faith” payment of US$300 million to the government whilst experts from the two sides continue to haggle over the enormous amount (US$190 billion) that Tanzania has demanded by way of unpaid taxes, fines and interest.

This deal (which was to be approved by the Acacia Board and shareholders) has been acclaimed as especially good news for Tanzania. At the televised signing event the Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi (who led the government negotiating team with Barrick), clarified that – with the 50/50 profit split, 16% government shareholding and the other payments to be made by the company – Tanzania’s overall share should amount to about 70%. President Magufuli said “Now that we are all shareholders, we can sit down over a cup of coffee and amicably resolve any outstanding issues”. The deal means that, as a shareholder, the Tanzanian government will be involved in key decisions governing the gold operations (such as investment, employment and training of Tanzanians, procurement of goods and services, and marketing). There appeared to be investor relief too, as Acacia’s London-listed share values rose 16 percent on news of the agreement.

Nevertheless, there continues to be fall-out from the 2017 saga. In the autumn, because of the original ban imposed on the export of gold and copper concentrates, Acacia scaled back production at one of its three gold mines (Bulyanhulu) and retrenched about 2,000 workers. This led to fears of serious impacts on their families and the local economy and worries from banks that many of the mineworkers would default on the personal loans that had been extended to them.

Then, a day after signature of the framework agreement, a senior representative of Acacia said his company did not have $300 million with which to pay the upfront “good faith” sum. That prompted Barrick to announce that it would meet part of the bill. Finally, in the first week of November Acacia’s top two executives – Chief Executive Officer (Brad Gordon) and Chief Finance Officer (Andrew Wray) – resigned and the Board announced their replacements. It was unclear whether their departures were directly related to the October framework agreement with government, but commentators hinted that the two had been excluded from the negotiations that Barrick had conducted effectively on Acacia’s behalf.

More widely, a few experts were predicting in September that no Tanzanian mining venture would be economic after the recent changes in the mining tax laws, and in early October, two weeks before the Barrick agreement, a government spokesman denied that Tanzania was moving to nationalise mining operations. He said: “The laws are not intended to lay the ground for nationalisation but seek to ensure sovereign ownership of natural resources … in conformity with international principles. … The government will continue attracting and protecting investors in the mining and other sectors so long as they adhere to the law and regulations”.

Diamonds and Tanzanite
In July 2017 the Bunge Speaker appointed two parliamentary teams to probe alleged malpractice in Tanzania’s diamond and tanzanite mining operations. Reporting to the Prime Minister and President in early September both teams were very critical of the country’s mineral sector regulatory bodies (especially the Ministry of Energy & Minerals, where the last three Ministers were singled out for having supervised the gemstone industry poorly); they pointed to the likelihood of substantial tax losses whilst also questioning missing revenues in that Ministry’s accounts.

The diamond probe identified huge differences in diamond production statistics kept by different organs of government and, startlingly, asserted that “…. one high-level government leader was given a gift of diamonds with a current value of $200 million”. Amid public and parliamentary controversy, that leader was not named.

Decrying the secrecy surrounding tanzanite mining, the other probe team suggested that only 20% of Tanzania’s tanzanite production passes through official channels (the remainder disappears through smuggling) and that government gets only about 5% from the likely global sales and other disposals of that gemstone, which is uniquely produced in Tanzania.

As with gold earlier, government responded robustly. In early September London-listed Petra Diamonds (which owns 75% of Williamson Diamond Ltd) temporarily suspended diamond mining at its Shinyanga Williamson mine after a parcel of diamonds destined for export to Antwerp had been seized by government on 31 August at Dar’s international airport and some of the company’s key staff had been detained for questioning by the authorities. It was alleged that the diamonds had been deliberately under-valued by half (with a declared preliminary value of some $15 million instead of nearly $30 million established through a government re-valuation of the stones) as a result of possible collusion between mine workers and dishonest officials. Petra’s share price fell by 28% on news of the seizure but the company maintained that it had sought and been granted all relevant export documentation, and even published copies of the government’s certificates on its web-site.

On tanzanite, in mid-September whilst on a visit to the north, President Magufuli ordered the military to build a wall around the tanzanite mining areas at Mirerani (close to Mt Kilimanjaro), allowing only one way in and out of the mine, and to install enhanced electronic security equipment, so that smuggling of the precious stones can be stopped and the government can secure its proper share of their worth. Mirerani is the only known tanzanite mine in the world. Magufuli also instructed the Bank of Tanzania to start buying stocks of tanzanite to boost its reserves.

It is understood that following the conclusion of the gold framework agreement with Barrick, the President ordered government officials to commence talks with diamond and tanzanite miners with a view to reaching similar agreements.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

Israel
Relations between Tanzania and Israel have become much warmer during the last two years following a surge of tourists from Israel and the visit of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to Uganda. Planes full of Israeli tourists now arrive regularly at Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar airports. However, as this edition of TA goes to press the surprising decision of President Trump that the USA will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could have serious consequences for relations between the two countries.

Trade and diplomatic relations between Tanzania and Israel were first established in 1963 but were severed in 1973 following the Arab-Israeli war, while diplomatic relations were re-established in 1995. Israel has been operating until recently from its embassy in Kenya in its dealings with Tanzania. The number of tourists visiting Tanzania has risen from 3,007 five years ago to 14,754 in 2015. The Israeli Ambassador said Tanzania was now among African countries that Israel has been looking to for business and diplomatic cooperation.

Relations were strengthened further when President Magufuli expressed his intention to open an embassy in Tel Aviv in a letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and hoped that the establishment of an embassy in Dar would make it easier to process visas and help to boost trade between the two countries.

Turkey and Portugal: rail contract
A joint venture between one Turkish and four Portuguese firms has won a tender for construction of 205 km of Tanzania’s new standard gauge railway, part of the 1,216 km stretch that will eventually link Dar es Salaam with the rest of the country as well as with Rwanda and Burundi. The two firms beat 39 other bidders to win the tender after meeting both technical and financial criteria for implementation of the project, which will take 2½ years. The line will run parallel to the existing central railway line built by the Germans 120 years ago. This consortium will be responsible for the stretch linking Dar es Salaam with Morogoro.

Oil exploration
Tanzania has entered into an agreement with Uganda to help in the search for oil in Uganda’s Eyasi Wembere Basin and Lake Tanganyika. This puts in doubt Tanzania’s previous agreement with Democratic Republic of Congo signed a year ago to work on joint oil exploration in Lake Tanganyika.

Charm offensive
President Abdel Al Sisi of Egypt recently visited Tanzania as part of a four-state tour of Africa. His objective was to drum up support for Egypt’s position on the use of water in the Nile Basin prior to a meeting of the countries through which the Nile flows. Tanzania recently ratified a Nile basin common framework agreement that Egypt opposes as it lobbies for its own renegotiated and updated Common Framework agreement.

President Al Sisi pledged support for the Nile Basin countries in return for favourable sharing terms of the Nile waters which he said were a matter of life and death for his people. The Nile Basin countries dispute Egypt’s historic share of the Nile’s waters.

Fears over Kenya dam proposals
A 10-year plan to build several dams on the river Mara and its tributaries could pose a threat to the rich animal and plant life of the Serengeti ecosystem. The river Mara flows from Kenya into Tanzania and is the only permanent source of water for Masaai Mara and Serengeti reserves and the herds of wildebeest and other wildlife that migrate between the two countries. Conservationists are concerned that the dams will reduce or even eliminate flows in the river at some times of year and lead to environmental problems, and could spark a diplomatic row between the two countries unless the East African community agreement is invoked in support of sections of the proposed project. Experts say that international efforts are needed soon to save the Serengeti as Kenya stands to reap all the economic benefits from the dams while Tanzania could remain saddled with environmental problems.

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CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

Government resists mounting pressure to kickstart Katiba process The appointment in April 2017 of Prof Palamagamba Kabudi as Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister was seen by many to be a catalyst to restart the process of making a new constitution. This expectation was enhanced further when he indicated soon after his appointment that a resumption would take place soon.

At the time of writing, however, there has been no progress at all. There remains a growing concern of human rights abuses in Tanzania which has led to criticism that a new constitution should be high on the priority list. CCM MP Lazaro Nyalandu resigned both as an MP and a member of the party on 30th October, citing these alleged human rights abuses and a lack of separation of powers amongst the three pillars of the state: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. It is understood that he plans to join Chadema.

The Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) has demanded that preparations for a new constitution should start now. Similar appeals to the government have been made by the Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF) and representatives of over 80 civil society organisations.

Opinion survey on constitution by Twaweza

Meanwhile, a recent survey by Twaweza suggests that two thirds of Tanzanians want a new constitution.

Despite these appeals, on 9th November Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa reaffirmed the government’s previous stance on this issue, in that it is not high on their list of priorities. In response to questions put to him in Parliament he replied that “after satisfying ourselves that the provision of social services has reached the ideal standards, especially in the rural areas, that is when we will resume the exercise of completing the new constitution-making process”.

One factor is cost. It would cost several billion shillings to continue with the constitution review process, whereas the government would rather allocate those funds for what they consider to be more important projects.

How long it will take to bring social services to “ideal standards” is anyone’s guess and open to very wide interpretation. Some of the more cynical political commentators would say that it is merely a way to avoid the issue. Once again, it looks as though we will have to wait a very long time for any change to the status quo.

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VIOLENCE IN KIBITI

by Ben Taylor

There are some signs that the police may have turned a corner in addressing the spate of violence that has afflicted Kibiti and neighbouring districts of Coast Region in recent months.

In February three people, including a police officer, were killed by a group of bandits at a farm and forestry levies collection centre at Jaribu Mpakani. In April, eight police officers who were deployed there from Morogoro Region to bolster security were ambushed and killed as they were returning to their base from patrol.

In mid-June, a local leader and two villagers in Nyamisati village, Kibiti District, were abducted and shot at by unknown gunmen. Two weeks later, the chairman and executive officer of Mangwi Village were killed in cold blood by armed men, according to sources in the area. The killers also shot and blinded the chairman of a sub-village. And a former CCM ward chairperson was shot dead outside his home in Nyambunda village.

The total number of those killed in the area since 2014 has risen to over 40 people, according to The Citizen newspaper. The list includes local government leaders, local CCM leaders, police officers and civilians. Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba recently informed Parliament in Dodoma of plans to establish a special police zone in Kibiti in a bid to deal with the crisis head on.

The recently-appointed Inspector General of Police, Simon Sirro, cited the restoration of peace and tranquillity in Coast Region as his number one priority, and sought to reassure residents of the affected districts that the violence will soon be brought to an end.

Policing activities in the area have stepped up, and the police claimed significant victories after each of two recent shootouts. In late June, a police patrol car was reportedly ambushed, and in the exchange of fire that followed, four of the six attackers were killed by the police. Then, in early August, the police raided a forest camp, killing 13 suspects in the confrontation.

In a statement, Mr Sirro said the police had arrested one of the suspects, who led them to the camp that the suspects had been using as a hideout. “We made efforts to try and rush them to Muhimbili National Hospital for treatment but they died on the way from the gunshot wounds,” he said.

He also said the police recovered some weapons and other items from the camp – including five sub-machine guns, 2 anti-riot guns, a pair of police uniform, one magazine and 153 rounds of ammunition as well as hand grenades and two motorcycles – adding that investigations showed that the weapons had been used in various criminal incidents, including some of those mentioned above.

Following this, Kibiti District Authorities called upon whose ward and village executives who had fled because of the violence to quickly return to their stations of duty so as to keep serving residents. He said that for now the district’s defence and security had been stepped up, so it was District councillors applauded the efforts of the government and the defence and security services for restoring peace and security in the district. (The Citizen, The Guardian, Daily News)

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CLAMPDOWN ON FAKE ACADEMIC CERTIFICATES

by Ben Taylor

President John Magufuli announced the firing of nearly 10,000 civil servants after receiving a report on public servants’ academic certificates. The following day, the full list of those accused of possessing fake certificates was published.

The Minister of State for Public Service Management, Angela Kairuki, noted that from a total of 435,000 civil servants who had their certificates verified, 9,932 were found to possess forged certificates.

The evaluation was commissioned by the President’s Office Public Service Management and Good Governance, and conducted by a 15-member team. It was a follow-up exercise after an earlier nationwide crackdown on “ghost workers” that struck 19,706 non-existent employees off the public payroll.

The exercise considered Form IV and VI academic certificates as well as teachers with certificates and diploma qualifications. It did not look at elected representatives or holders of positions directly appointed by the President, such as District Commissioners, as the law does not require such officials to hold academic qualifications beyond the ability to read and write.

Some civil servants were found to possess certificates that did not match those issued by academic institutions, while others were found to be using certificates issued to other people.

The President ordered all those whose names are in the document to voluntarily leave their jobs within two weeks or otherwise face seven-year jail terms. He also ordered any salary payments for them to be suspended.

Some of those whose names appeared on the “list of shame” have maintained their innocence, claiming possession of genuine credentials. They have said they are considering an appeal against the dossier.

Further, several commentators noted that dismissing such a large number of civil servants at the same time could have a significant negative impact on public services and public administration, particularly as there was already an estimated shortage of around 50,000 public servants in health, education and justice sectors.

“We should expect quite a disruption on social service delivery due to lost expertise and experience,” said Prof Gaudens Mpangala of Ruaha Catholic University.

“It is sad to say but the government has approached the issue of fake certificates in the civil service the same way as the anti-corruption crusade. Selective justice is at play. And the people are right to ask why should some people in the same government be forgiven while others are made accountable,” he said.

Dr Hellen Kijo-Bisimba of the Legal and Human Right Centre said to avoid the disruption of social services and to ensure justice is done to all those concerned President Magufuli should have pardoned all who were found with forged certificates and should focus his attention instead on preventing use of fake certificates among future recruits. “The war on fake certificates should be forward looking. A system should be put in place to ensure no one would be employed if they use forged certificates,” she said.

The Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) said they intend to file a case against the controversial Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, over alleged use of fake academic certificates. TLS President Tundu Lissu said that claims had been circulating widely that Makonda is using another person’s certificate and his real name is Daudi Bashite.

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CUF’S ONGOING TRAVAILS

by Ben Taylor

The power struggle within the opposition party, the Civic United Front (CUF), shows no signs of letting up, with several dramatic incidents having taken place over the past few months. The dispute pits a predominantly mainland faction of the party aligned with former Presidential candidate, Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, against a Zanzibar-dominated faction aligned with the former Vice President of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad.

The crisis in CUF began last year after Prof Lipumba, who had resigned as chairman ahead of the 2015 General Election, decided to rescind on his resignation. During an extraordinary national congress that had been called to elect his successor in August, Prof Lipumba dramatically forced his way in to the meeting. That did not prevent delegates voting to confirm his resignation. However, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi, dismissed the decision by the Supreme Governing Council to expel him from the party, in a ruling that gave the professor a major boost in his bid for the CUF chairmanship.

In late April a press conference, arranged by members of the Seifaligned group in Dar es Salaam, was raided by four masked men wielding weapons, including a pistol. Several people were injured, including journalists and one of the attackers who was arrested when the police arrived. Members of the Lipumba-aligned faction admitted they had sent the people who interrupted the meeting.

In July, Professor Lipumba, empowered by Judge Mutungi’s decision, expelled eight of the party’s special seats MPs from the party, thus stripping them of their seats in parliament, and appointed eight new MPs to the positions. The changes were upheld by the Speaker, Job Ndugai.
Mr Hamad issued a press statement accusing the office of the Registrar of Political Parties, the Office of the Speaker and the Police of working to weaken the party by backing Prof Lipumba. He said the axed MPs are going to High Court to challenge the decision by Prof Lipumba, and will ask the court to declare them legitimate CUF members and therefore legitimate members of parliament.

Prof Lipumba accused Mr Hamad of abandoning office and his responsibilities.

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

by David Brewin

Foreign relations and the ‘economic war’
Ever since independence in 1961 Tanzania has enjoyed warm and friendly relations with most countries around the world. The formidable leadership of the first president (Nyerere) and his determined fight against colonialism in Africa kept him constantly in the news but there were many up and owns. Relations were broken off for a period time between Britain and Tanzania over what was then Southern Rhodesia (and later Zimbabwe) over its progress towards independence and his relations with East and West Germany because of their diverging policies.

Friction also arose over the different policies of the Communist governments in Eastern Europe and the capitalist governments in much of the rest of Europe. Nyerere had little enthusiasm for Western capitalism and tried hard to establish good relations with the then communist world. Above all he wanted Tanzania to be self-reliant and pursued this policy through, amongst other things, his forced ‘villagisation’ programme. He showed no hesitation in nationalising huge swathes of foreign owned enterprises including all the banks usually without payment of compensation.

His actions resulted in the gradual collapse of the sisal industry which had been one of the main elements of the country’s exports at that time although other factors played a part in this. A policy on tourism, which, in later years, became a major source of income for the country, was not on his priority list.

However, his great charm and the very warm relations he established with the newly emerging China and the Scandinavian countries have persisted to this day and helped to alleviate the economic situation.

By the end of his term the economy was in crisis while Nyerere concentrated on the hugely time-consuming tasks of liberating the rest of Africa, entering into a Union with revolutionary Zanzibar and on social development, particularly in education, at home. Many considered Tanzania’s economy to have become a virtual ‘basket case’ but the foundations had been laid for a socially more equitable state.

His two successors as president (Mwinyi and Mkapa) concentrated on revival of the economy and foreign capital investment began to flow again. Mwinyi and Mkapa realised that Europe and America were where the money was and efforts were made to attract some of it to Tanzania. Relations with the West became warmer again.

Then president Magufuli arrived on the scene and began a radical transformation of the economy. He calls it the ‘Economic War’’ The latest developments on this are outlined in other parts of this issue.

The arrival of the spectacularly successful new world in China has made it possible for Tanzania and other developing countries to obtain huge investment without the strict restrictions placed on other foreign direct investment. His policy of putting ‘Tanzania First’ has some features in common those of President Trump in America and his ‘America First’ policy.

Thus, Tanzania is entering a period of economic change, the eventual results of which are very difficult to determine as foreign investors wonder what their future might be and whether Tanzania still welcomes such investment.

Lake Nyasa/Lake Malawi
The boundary dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over the ownership of this lake continues. The Malawian government has threatened to escalate the dispute by taking it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague as several attempts to find a resolution have failed.

An issue of particular concern to Malawi as that the lake’s geographical space represents about a third of Malawi’s total space. Malawi argues that its economic life, culture, folklore and sentiment as a nation are linked to the lake and that therefore much is at stake. Tanzania however points to the large number of Tanzanian fishermen and their ancestral burial places in the Lake.

Malawi and Tanzania both have a common interest in the form of a massive reservoir of the most valuable natural resource – fresh water. There is talk also of hydrocarbon deposits but at the very least, the lake is filled with fish.

A longer version of this article appeared first in ‘The Conversation’ by Gbenga Oduntan, Associate Professor in International Commercial Law at the University of Kent, UK – Editor.

Zambia and Kenya
When, in mid-August, Zambia agreed to supply Kenya with 100,000 tons of maize, to relieve its serious shortages, plans were made to supply it by road. But Tanzania said no. It could not agree to these large loads passing over Tanzanian roads. However, before the dispute could become more serious, it was agreed between Zambia and Tanzania to provide a special lane on their TAZARA railway line. These commodities were to be shipped by rail to Dar es Salaam and then on to Mombasa by sea. Zambia also agreed to cut the time spent in the issuing of permits to 24 hours rather than the normal seven days. Zambia and Kenya also agreed reduce the trade turn-around time.

Congo
President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo paid a three-day state visit to Tanzania in September with the emphasis on improving trade links with Tanzania. The two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct joint oil exploration on Lake Tanganyika. The leaders agreed that they would fast-track the construction of the standard gauge railway linking Congo with the Dar es Salaam port. Tanzania said it would allocate dedicated inland container terminals at Ruvu for cargo destined to go to Congo.

President Magufuli said that the two countries had cemented their trade, security and economic ties. President Kabila said that it was the first time since he became president that he had visited Tanzania to discuss trade. All his previous visits had concentrated on security. President Magufuli said that traffic through the Dar port was growing at the rate of 10.6% annually and that trade volumes between the two countries had increased from TSh 23 million in 2009 to TSh 396 million in 2016.

Some observers questioned the timing of this state visit as President Kabila was originally persuaded to step down as president in December 2016 at the end of his constitutionally mandated two-term limit in a deal mediated by the Catholic Church. There was a clear commitment to hold elections by the end of 2017 and that President Kabila would not be a candidate or try to amend the constitution. But these commitments seem to have been largely ignored and it is not known what the future holds.

Mauritius
Tanzania and Mauritius have committed themselves to promoting themselves jointly as twin tourist destinations. Mauritius national carrier Air Mauritius launched flights to Tanzania two years ago. The two countries have also signed special contracts with three consulting agencies from Europe and America to develop a marketing strategy for Germany, the USA and UK designed to penetrate world tourist markets. Mauritius recorded 2 million tourist arrivals in 2016 while Tanzania received 1.1 million. Tanzania is also targeting European travel markets, plus China, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and the Gulf states and promises more aggressive tourism marketing in the future.

‘Feza schools’ and Turkey
After the violent failed coup d’etat aimed at removing Turkish President Erdogan in late 2016 a massive purge began against anyone suspected of having been involved. Tanzania, which has warm relations with Turkey, has been the subject of allegations of involvement by 10 Feza schools which have been established in Tanzania. Turkey has targeted businesses associated with a Muslim cleric involved with these schools and has accused them of funding terrorist activities. Turkey’s ambassador to Tanzania has called for deregistration of the 10 schools as well as other businesses alleged to be funding the opposition against the Turkish president. However, Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga has explained that the 10 schools in Tanzania, which are run under the Ishik Medical and Educational Foundation, like other businesses in the country, had been vetted before being registered to operate in the country.

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CONSTITUTION

by Enos Bukuku

“The People’s Opinion”
I had hoped to be able to write about developments in the constitution making process, which has stalled for approximately two years. In early April, the Minister of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, declared that the process would resume. Since then, however, there have not been any statements from him or President Magufuli as to when this important issue will be put back on the political agenda.

CCM Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole, who was a member of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) which prepared the first draft constitution (known as the “Warioba draft”), has expressed his desire that the process should revert to Warioba draft, and therefore scrap the final draft constitution which caused such deep and irreconcilable divisions amongst those involved in the process. He calls the Warioba draft “the People’s Opinion”. The final version, “the proposed constitution”, was created by the Constituent Assembly (CA), which comprised a vast majority of CCM politicians, and made substantial changes to the Warioba draft, many of which are seen to be unpopular. By implication, the final draft may well be considered “CCM’s opinion”, or perhaps the opinion of the previous CCM government.

The legal process for the formation of a new constitution, which outlines very clear timescales and procedures, does not provide for the CA’s work to be ignored. The next step, according to the legal requirements, is for the final draft constitution to be put to a national referendum for whether it should be approved. If Mr Polepole’s wish is to be granted, then there will need to be a change in the legal procedures, which will not be a quick process.

Certainly, the nation is eager to hear Prof Kabudi’s plans. There is no expectation that we will have a new constitution any time soon. For this to change, the President must be the one to initiate the momentum.

At a time when many are complaining that the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals are being trodden on, this is when a robust and reliable constitution is needed. There have been various human rights interest groups who have voiced their concerns over the way in which the government is exercising its power. This is supposed to be the people’s constitution – so the people, not just politicians, need to speak up (if they feel they are able to). The likely alternative is the status quo.

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