DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian law
enforcers have seized 36 kilograms of gemstones, including
Tanzanite, at a border entry town with Kenya, an official said
Frank Mwaisumbe, Longido District
Commissioner in Arusha region, said the gemstones were being
smuggled out of the country through neighboring Kenya.
Mwaisumbe said the value of the gemstones were yet to be
established by officers.
He said the gemstones were seized by a special team of law
enforcers who received a tip off on an attempt to smuggle the
gemstones using a bus plying between Tanzania’s safari capital
Arusha and Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Mwaisumbe said another type of the seized gemstones was ruby,
adding that the gems were found mixed with a consignment of
"After receiving information on the attempt to smuggle the
gemstones out of the country, we dispatched policemen and
security officers who used sniffer dogs to locate where the
gemstones were hidden in the bus," said the district official.
He said both the bus driver and conductor were being held by
police for questioning after claiming that they have had no idea
of the owner of the consignment.
Arusha regional minerals officers said they expected to
establish the actual commercial value of the seized consignment
later in the day.
Tanzania to double
coverage of irrigated farming by 2025: PM
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on
Friday told parliament that plans by the government were
underway to double coverage of irrigated farming from the
current 475,056 hectares to 1 million hectares by 2025.
Majaliwa said the expansion is aimed at lessening dependence
on rains that were erratic because of climate cliamte, according
to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Adjourning a three-month marathon parliamentary budget
session in the capital, Dodoma, Majaliwa directed the Ministry
of Agriculture to oversee 22 irrigation projects being
implemented across the country and new ones to be put in place
in the 2019/2020 financial year, the statement said.
Majaliwa said other measures undertaken included the
overhauling of the Tanzania Commission for Irrigation to enable
it to diligently oversee irrigation projects.
In May, Deputy Minister for Agriculture Omary Mgumba told
parliament that plans were afoot to inspect all constructed
irrigation projects in the nation.
"The inspection of irrigation projects constructed across the
country is aimed at assessing their standard and whether funds
released by the government for their construction were spent
accordingly," Mgumba said.
He made the statement one day after Majaliwa suspended seven
directors of irrigation from the Tanzania Commission for
Irrigation for negligence, following reports of corruption,
office abuse and embezzlement of public funds.
official denies banning genetically modified crop trials
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania has not banned trials on genetically
modified (GM) crops but has warned against unauthorized
publication of results on genetically modified organism (GMO)
trials, a government official said on Friday.
Fred Tairo, a principal agricultural research officer at the
Ministry of Agriculture, denied reports that the government
intends to destroy genetically modified crops.
"What the government has done is to stop releasing results of
GMO trials without following proper procedures," he told a
one-day conference on the political economy of GM crops in
Tanzania, held in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Tairo said two government institutions are conducting trials,
one on GM cassava and the other on GM maize.
The government has not yet authorized commercialization, he
Tairo assured attendents at the conference that the
government has put in place measures aimed at protecting the
environment during the GMO trials, including bio-safety
Kenyan president sending
message to Tanzanian
counterpart over xenophobic remarks by politician
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday wrote
to his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli, expressing his
disappointment over recent xenophobic remarks by the country’s
Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa received the
message on behalf of President Magufuli who is on a short
vacation in his native village of Chato in the country’s
northwest region of Geita.
Last week, Charles Njagua Kanyi, a Kenyan Member of
Parliament, made xenophobic utterances against foreigners,
including Tanzanians, operating businesses in the Kenyan capital
Speaking shortly after he had received the message, Majaliwa
said Tanzanians were pleased by various measures taken by the
Kenyan government following the Kenyan politician’s racist
Majaliwa said in a statement issued by his office in the
business capital Dar es Salaam that Tanzanians and Kenyans have
been friends since time immemorial and when conflicts arose
between them the two governments resolved them amicably.
The premier appealed to leaders and peoples from the East
African Community (EAC) partner states of Tanzania, Kenya,
Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan to avoid making
statements that were likely to ignite misunderstandings amongst
"Trade and business in the EAC partner states will be
undertaken smoothly if there was peace and tranquility in the
region," Majaliwa said in the statement.
Following the xenophobic remarks, Tanzanian authorities
summoned Kenyan ambassador to Tanzania Kazungu to explain the
MP’s remarks in which he threatened to attack foreign traders
operating in the capital Nairobi.
In a clip that went viral on social media, Njagua was seen
talking about traders from Tanzania, Uganda, Pakistan and China,
accusing them of dominating markets in Nairobi and harassing
After the comments went viral, Speaker of Tanzanian
Parliament Job Ndugai ordered his government to issue a
statement on the safety of Tanzanians living and working in
The politician was arrested by Kenyan police and he was taken
in custody for questioning.
Last week, the East African Business Council (EABC) based in
Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha condemned the xenophobic
comments made by the Kenyan politician.
Peter Mathuki, the EABC Chief Executive Officer, said in a
statement that the xenophobic comments were unfortunate and
unwarranted as they negated the spirit and gains of the East
African Community (EAC) regional integration.
Kenyan lawmaker arrested
over incitement against foreign workers
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan police on Wednesday arrested a lawmaker
over inciteful remarks against foreign traders in the capital,
Charles Kanyi was picked up by the police outside Parliament
buildings and driven off to criminal investigations department
(CID) for grilling ahead of possible arraignment.
Kanyi’s arrest follows remarks he made while visiting traders
in Nairobi where he condemned foreign traders from running
businesses in Nairobi.
He was captured in a video that has since gone viral, telling
foreigners engaged in business in his constituency to shut down
and vacate the country failure to which they will be forcefully
"If you assess our markets, Ugandans and Tanzanians have
taken over our businesses...
"Now we are saying enough is enough.
"If a 24-hour ultimatum is not enough for them to be
deported, we will remove them and we’ll beat them up and we will
not fear anyone," the lawmaker said.
The remarks caused a diplomatic spat with Tanzania which on
Tuesday summoned Kenyan ambassador to Dar es Salaam to explain
‘xenophobic’ remarks made by the legislator threatening to have
their traders kicked out of city markets.
Kenya’s foreign ministry however reassured foreign investors
in the country of their security and that of their properties.
"This aggressive and ill-tempered language goes against the
letter and spirit of Kenya’s welcoming ethos, as well as the
progressive nature of the Constitution of our Republic," said
"We wish to take this opportunity to reassure all foreign
nationals living and working in Kenya of their personal safety
and also offer a firm guarantee of the security of their
investments in Kenya," the ministry added.
It said Kenya in turn expects that all her neighbors and the
international community at large will continue to welcome
Kenyans around the world, where their valuable contributions and
entrepreneurial spirit continues to be a source of pride for all
Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna also denounced the
lawmaker’s remarks adding that "mitigating measures have since
been instituted against them".
"We wish to state that this is not the position of the
Government of the Republic of Kenya, and we denounce the
comments carried in the video in the strongest terms possible,"
"Such comments are unfortunate and have no place in today’s
globalized environment. Kenyans are peace-loving people who have
over the years coexisted with others of different
nationalities," he added.
The legislator had issued Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred
Matiang’i with a 24-hour ultimatum to deport all foreigners
carrying out businesses in Gikomba, an open air market in
Nairobi’s Starehe Constituency, which Kanyi represents in the
National Assembly, includes the expansive Gikomba market popular
in Kenya for second-hand clothes and construction materials.