1. Tanzania Presents Its Case Of Extending Its Maritime Border To The United Nations (UN)
Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements presented the case of extending Tanzania’s maritime border in the Indian Ocean to the UN on the 7/08/2012. Some neighbouring countries have also claimed for extension of their maritime borders in the Indian Ocean, the third largest Ocean in the world.
2. Updates On The New Social Security Law
About 10,000 mining workers protested against this new social security law. The law will be re-submitted to the parliament for review. The shocking question remains on how did the parliamentarians pass it in the first place. There is a worrying sign of them not being careful enough on what laws they pass in the parliament. In a new development, the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) has asked workers not to withdraw their benefits if they are in employment.
3. Tanzania-Malawi Boundary Row
The parliament committee for Defence, Security and Foreign Affairs headed by Edward Lowassa has supported the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation headed by Mr. Bernard Membe that the dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over Lake Nyasa should be ended amicably and if necessary through military intervention. Malawi has stopped all its oil and gas prospecting activities on the Lake Nyasa.
4. The Parliament Budget Session
The budgets tabled this week by the government went through. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation headed by Mr. Bernard Membe presented its 2012/13 to the parliament on the 6/08/2012. The Ministry for Labour and Employment headed by Ms. Gaudentia Kabaka presented its budget to the parliament on the 7/08/2012. The ministry stated there will be more than 800,000 jobs created for the 2012/13 budget year. It is not clear on what type of jobs they are; long term or short term, poor or well paying, dead end or career promising jobs. Hopefully, the youth will benefit from the new employment opportunities and reasons such as lack of experience and Tanzanians being lazy and incompetent compared to neighbouring countries labour would not be used to deny them the much needed employment. There was also complaint from a Member of Parliament that the government was not taking enough action to ensure that foreigners without permits do not work in Tanzania, denying the opportunity for Tanzanians to get employment. The ministry also promised to introduce a law that will protect house-workers from mistreatment and sexual abuse. The government also stated it will introduce a minimum wage for the low level workers like hotel workers and house helpers. Another MP requested the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to look into building teachers houses all over the country. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development headed by Mr. Mathayo David Mathayo presented its budget to the parliament on the 9/08/2012. The ministry claimed it will exempt taxes on milk and leather processing machines. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism presented its budget to the parliament on the 10/08/2012.
5. Updates On Ebola
There were concerns that a child of 6 years in Kagera region showed signs of Ebola. The government sent a team of experts to investigate the matter. The government emphasised to its citizens to continue taking necessary precautions, particularly for those living along the regions bordering Uganda including; Mara, Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma and Rukwa.
6. A Follow Up On The Integrity Of Our Members Of Parliament
Corruption allegations, carelessness in passing laws and allocating themselves generous wages are amongst the serious disappointments of our MPs. This week the Bahi MP’s, Mr. Omar Badwel, corruption case of receiving a bribe of Tshs. 1 million from a district executive has been postponed to the 3rd of September 2012. Meanwhile, another MP, Salim Abdulla Turky, has been associated with violence in a Sunni Jamaat mosque of Mosco area in Dar es Salaam . The overpaid MPs have also been sleepy in the parliament. Some have claimed it is due to fatigue though the deputy speaker, Mr. Job Ndugai revealed that this problem is due to some MPs attending the parliament drunk and smoking some ‘unusual’ cigarettes. It is heartbreaking that the MPs are losing their credibility.
7. London 2012 Olympics: No Medals So Far For Tanzania
The seven sports people that represented Tanzania in the London Olympics 2012 are all about to return home without a single medal. There have been questions as to whether the team was well prepared and supported to win. In addition, there are also questions on the selection of the competitors if it is based on merit and whether they are really the best to participate in such highly esteemed games.
8. Updates On Radar Money
Tshs. 75 billion was returned by the UK government on conditions of spending 75% of the money on books, teachers’ guides, syllabi and syllabi guides for all 16,000 primary schools in Tanzania. It has now been revealed by the opposition camp in the parliament that the contract to publish the books has been given to Oxford University Press (OUP). The MPs questioned why was the contract not given to a local publisher so that the money could remain in the local economy rather than be sent back to UK through the OUP.
9. Tanzania Constitutional Review Commission (TCRC) Warned Of Meddlers
Prof. Issa Shivji warned the commission that there are some people in Zanzibar going from house to house asking people to say to the commission that they want a contractual union. The TCRC has said it will investigate the matter and take stern action against meddlers. TCRC has already completed the first phase of collecting views in Zanzibar in two regions of Pemba South and Zanzibar South where the issue of contractual union dominated. Three regions including; Zanzibar North, Zanzibar West and Pemba North, are remaining to present their views to the TCRC.
10. Prof. Mahalu Not Guilty
The Kisutu Resident Magistrate found the former envoy to Italy not guilty of the conspiracy to steal over 2.5bn from the government citing lack of adequate evidence. The principal Resident Magistrate Irvin Mugetta delivered the judgement in one and a half hour. Some people have questioned whether the government should open such costly cases which they are likely to lose, hence wasting precious public funds.
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