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Tanzania to spend  U.S. $4.5 billion dollars on debt repayments

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania will spend 4.5 billion U.S. dollars on debt servicing during the financial year 2018/19, a senior official said on Monday.

Philip Mpango, the East African nation’s finance minister, told parliament in the capital Dodoma that the debt, measured by several sustainability indicators, was still “very sustainable” and that Tanzania still has a wide room for further borrowing.

He told the House that a debt sustainability analysis, which was conducted in November 2017, showed that the debt was sustainable for both the medium and long term periods.

“The ratio of government debt to Tanzania’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 34.4 percent as of June 2017 against a threshold of 56 percent,” said Mpango.

As for the foreign debt, Mpango said its ratio stands at 19.7 percent of the GDP against a threshold of 40 percent.



Tanzania installs state-of-the-art Ebola screening facility at leading airport

DAR ES SALAAM  Tanzania (Xinhua) -- State-of-the-art Ebola screening facility has been installed at Tanzania’s leading airport following an outbreak of the disease in neighbouring 

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that has killed over 20 patients, an official said on Saturday.

Faustine Ndugulile, the Deputy Minister for Health, inspected the facility and directed relevant authorities that all passengers arriving through the Julius Nyerere International Airport  (JNIA) in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam must be screened.

Ndugulile added that the east African country has created a special centre at the airport for treating patients diagnosed with the deadly disease.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that the disease does not enter into the country,” said the minister, adding: “Nobody has been diagnosed with Ebola in the country until now.” He said measures have also been put in place to ensure that there was enhanced screening in other entry points, including airports and ports, around the country.

On Wednesday, Ndugulile allayed fears of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, saying no person has been diagnosed with the disease in the east African nation.

Ndugulile said people should not panic following unconfirmed reports of the outbreak of the disease in the country, the second largest economy in the east African region.

The minister was forced to allay the fears after the World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirmed that at least 27 people died from Ebola in DRC.

“There is no suspected case of Ebola or Ebola-like symptoms that have been detected in the country, and people should not panic,” Ndugulile told a news conference in the  commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Last week, Tanzania joined neighbouring Uganda and Kenya on issuing an alert.

Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, said the government has directed regional medical officers across the country to strengthen surveillance in an effort to prevent the Ebola  outbreak in the country.

With this reappearance of the Ebola outbreak, the DRC is at its ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976. The last outbreak recorded by the country took place in May 2017 in the northern  province of Bas-Uele which killed four people.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external  bleeding.

Mortality rates of Ebola fever, according to WHO, are extremely high, with the human case-fatality rate ranging from 50 percent to 89 percent, depending on viral sub-type.


Tanzania to assess land conflicts between villages and military camps

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Minister for Defense and National Service, Hussein Mwinyi, said on Wednesday the government was taking measures aimed at resolving land conflicts between villages and military camps.

Mwinyi told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that the government was worried over the increasing wave of land conflicts between villagers and military camps.

“We have planned to undertake nationwide surveys to establish the magnitude of the problem and take corrective measures,” the minister told the House.

“The conflicts have been reported in many parts of the country, thus the need to intervene,” added Mwinyi.

Mwinyi was responding to a question asked by the Morogoro Urban Member of Parliament, Abdul-Aziz Abood, who had wanted to know when the government will resolve land conflicts between residents of Kauzeni and Luhongo villages in Morogoro region and the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF).

The MP said the residents in the two villages had been left without land for farming as the army has installed beacons in what used to be their farming land.

Abood argued that it was the TPDF that encroached on the land villagers have been farming, calling on the government to reverse the situation and hand over the portion of land to the villagers.


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