[update] Deadly papaya mealy bug invades Tanzania

Mapapai yaliyoharibiwa huko Zanzibar)

*nikawaonga isomeke NIKAWAONA amerekebisha typos hiyo.

THE FAST spreading and highly destructive papaya mealy bug has invaded Tanzania, IITA has reported.

“The pest is rapidly spreading through the coastal areas of Tanzania around Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar,” IITA statement posted on its website says.

The pest is attacking important food crops such as papaya and cassava, and ornamental plants such as hibiscus and frangipani.

However, apart from Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, EABW has discovered that the pest has also invaded the Lake Victoria Zone attacking papaya mostly in Mwanza and Mara (some 1,200 km northwest of the city of Dar es Salaam) regions.

The rest of East Africa is most likely to be affected because of its proximity to Tanzania.

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have identified it as the Papaya mealy bug (Paracoccus marginatus).

In recent years, this highly invasive pest has also been spreading and causing damage in many Asian and West African countries.

The pest originated in Mexico, and was first observed in Africa (West Africa) in the countries of Ghana in 2010 and later spread to BĂ©nin, Nigeria, Togo, and Gabon.

“Mealy bug are tiny, white, flat insects which suck the life out of plants. The preferred host is papaya, but the insect also affects a wide range of crops including cassava, beans, coffee, pepper, melon, guava, tomato, eggplant, cotton, and jatropha,” IITA says.

IITA says if not controlled, the pest may cause widespread damage and loss of livelihoods for many farmers in Tanzania.

Nyumba za mradi wa NHC za bei nafuu Mtwara

Baadhi ya Nyumba za gharama nafuu Masasi zilizoko mkoani Mtwara.

Mkurugenzi wa Bodi ya Shirika la Nyumba la Taifa, Subira Mchumo akielekeza jambo wakati wa ziara yake aliyoifanya kwenye mradi wa nyumba za gharama nafuu Masasi, mkoani Mtwara ambapo pamoja na mambo mengine amesifu kasi ya ujezi wa nyumba hizo unaozingatia viwango na muda na akawataka wafanyakazi wa NHC kuchapa kazi ili kufikia malengo yao waliyojiwekea. Kulia ni Mkurugenzi wa Fedha wa NHC, Felix Maagi, wa pili ni Eliaisa Keenja wa NHC, Meneja wa NHC mkoa wa Mtwara, Joseph John na Injinia wa mradi huo Leonard Kazoba.

Baadhi ya Nyumba za gharama nafuu Masasi zilizoko mkoani Mtwara.

Mojawapo ya majengo katika nyumba za ghorofa za NHC Shangani Apartments zilizopo katika eneo la Shangani mjini Mtwara, nyumba hizo zipo katika hatua za mwisho za kukamilika.

Tanzania cement plant shut due to oversupply, lower price, cheaper imports from China, Pakistan

Tanzania Portland Cement plant – Tanzania Portland Cement plant
© HeidelbergCement

HeidelbergCement AG will shut about a quarter of plant capacity at its Tanzanian unit due to oversupply and lower prices partly caused by cheaper imports from China and Pakistan.

Tanzania Portland Cement Co. Ltd. will cap output at 1.4 million metric tons of cement this year, compared with capacity of 1.9 million tons, Managing Director Alfonso Rodriguez said in an interview on April 27 at the company’s offices in Dar es Salaam, the East African nation’s commercial capital. TPCC, 69 percent owned by Germany’s HeidelbergCement, plans to scale back expansion and may cut jobs if the situation persists, he said.

“With current oversupply our business is not viable in the medium term,” Rodriguez said. “We may be forced to restructure our human resources.” Imports from China and Pakistan to Tanzania total about 400,000 tons, more than 10 percent of total demand, and are driving down prices as they aren’t subject to the same taxes and regulations as local producers, according to Rodriguez.

Cement companies are expanding in Africa as governments invest in infrastructure, boosting the need for building materials. Demand in Tanzania, East Africa’s biggest economy after Kenya, has grown by about 7 percent each year since 2011 to around 3.3 million tons, Rodriguez said. Major construction projects include a gas pipeline, power plants and the $565 million expansion of Dar es Salaam harbor, with work expected to start before the end of the year.
‘Unfair Competition’

The oversupply of about 2 million tons has been further stoked by companies including AfriSam Group (Pty) Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest cement maker, which has about 1.2 million tons of capacity at its local unit, Tanga Cement. Lagos, Nigeria-based Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s biggest producer, is building a $500 million, 3 million tons-per-year plant in Tanzania to start up by the end of the year.

“The price is under pressure due to unfair competition from imports,” Rodriguez said. “With the Dangote plant coming into operation, the pressure on our margins is unavoidable.”

Imports from China and Pakistan have reduced the retail price of cement to an average of 12,000 Tanzanian shillings ($6.05) per 50 kilogram (110 pounds) bag from 15,000 Tanzanian shillings in 2013, Hussein Kamote, director of policy and advocacy at theConfederation of Tanzanian Industries, said by phone on Wednesday.
Investor Concerns

“We have heard investors’ concerns and the government is addressing them tirelessly to ensure there is a friendly investors’ environment ensuring quick return on investments,” Dar es Salaam-based Daily News cited Industry and Trade Minister Abdallah Kigoda as saying on April 28. The ministry didn’t return calls on Wednesday.

Exporting cement from Tanzania isn’t a solution due to poor roads and railways linking to neighboring countries such as Rwanda and Burundi, Rodriguez said, as the transportation costs would be too high. HeidelbergCement’s other African markets include Ghana, Liberia, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Banning of imports would be the obvious reaction we expect from the government,” Tanga Cement spokesman Mtanga Noor said in an e-mailed response to questions. “A stricter policy is required where all imports be taxed to equivalent values as locally produced cement.”

TPCC profit gained 45 percent to 54.5 billion Tanzanian shillings last year, while Tanga’s profit fell 12 percent to 28.4 billion shillings. TPCC shares were unchanged at 3,800 shillings at the close in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, valuing the company at 684 billion shillings.

“I have 500,000 tons idle capacity because I can’t sell on the market,” Rodriguez said. “We are not afraid of competition but if Dangote enters the market there will be a struggle.”

Two shot dead outside "Muhammad Art Exhibit" in Texas, USA

Members of the police and SWAT ask people from the audience if they heard or witnessed anything at the Curtis Culwell Center.
(Photo: Larry W. Smith, European PressPhoto Agency)

GARLAND — Two men were shot and killed in a parking lot outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Sunday afternoon, SWAT officials told News 8.

The two suspects drove up and opened fire near the center, which was hosting a provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, and hit a Garland ISD officer.

Garland Police shot and killed the two men.

The Garland ISD officer, identified as Bruce Joiner, was shot in the lower leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to a spokesman for Garland Police. He was in stable condition at a local hospital.

Multiple SWAT teams and an FBI bomb squad were searching the area around the center for explosives in a vehicle.

Some SWAT members were already at the scene for the art event.

A 1,000-foot radius around the Walmart was initially shut down and multiple businesses in the area were evacuated. The area shut down by officials expanded throughout the evening.

Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, put on the Muhammad Art Exhibit. She referred to it as a "free speech event" on Twitter. One tweet from her after the apparent attack read "this is a war."

Attendees of the event were rushed inside the Culwell Center after gunfire was heard. People in a secure room at the center sang patriotic songs.

Witnesses who saw or heard the events were later bussed to the Garland police station. Others were taken to a different secure location at a nearby school.

Vodacom responds to Shivacom vouchers fraud allegations

In case you missed it, click here to recap the story behind the letter above.

Mtoto auawa kwa kupigwa mateke kwa kuingiza mifugo shambani

Mtoto mmoja aliyejulikana kwa jina la Masele Nyorobi (14) mkazi wa kijiji cha Mwigumbi kata ya Mondo wilayani Kishapu mkoani Shinyanga ameuawa kwa kupigwa mateke baada ya kuingiza mifugo katika shamba la mahindi na choroko la mkazi wa kijiji hicho.

Kamanda wa polisi mkoa wa Shinyanga Justus Kamugisha amesema tukio hilo limetokea Mei Mosi mwaka huu, saa sita mchana katika kitongoji cha Bulahu, ambapo Masele Nyorobi aliuawa kwa kupigwa mateke sehemu mbalimbali za mwili wake na Mwandu Masanja.

Kamanda Kamugisha amesema chanzo cha tukio hilo ni marehemu kuingiza mifugo katika shamba la Mwandu Masanja mabapo mifugo hiyo ilishambulia mahindi na choroko shambani humo.

Ameongoza kuwa mwili wa marehemu uligunduliwa na Nyorobi Njiku (53) mkazi wa Mwigumbi baada ya mtuhumiwa kufanya mauaji na kutokomea kusikojulikana.

Amesema jeshi la polisi linaendeleana juhudi za kumtafuta na kumkamata mtuhumiwa huyo huku akitoa wito kwa wananchi kutoa taarifa zitakazosaidia kukamatwa kwa mtuhumiwa.

Raia wa Burundi 'wanavyomiminika' Tanzania

Raia wa Burundi wakiwasili eneo la Bandari ndogo ya Kibirizi Manispaa ya Kigoma Ujiji, mkoani Kigoma.
Picha: Kigoma Live

RAIA kutoka nchini Burundi wanaokimbia nchini mwao kwa hofu ya usalama wao baada ya Chama Tawala nchini humo, CNDD-FDD, kumteua Pierre Nkurunzinza kuwania muhula mwingine wa Urais wa nchi hiyo na kusababisha maandamano ya kupinga hatua hiyo, wamezidi kumiminika kuja Tanzania kupitia Mkoa wa Kigoma -- inaripoti blogu ya KIGOMA LIVE.

Mratibu wa Wakimbizi Kanda ya Kigoma, Tony Laiser, amesema mchana wa Jumapili Mei 3 Boti tatu zimewasili katika eneo la Bandari ndogo ya Kibirizi, Manispaa ya Kigoma Ujiji, zikiwa zimewabeba waomba hifadhi 219 kutoka Burundi, ambao jioni hii wamesafirishwa kupelekwa katika Kambi ya Wakimbizi ya Nyarugusu iliyoko wilayani Kasulu mkoani Kigoma.

Laiser, amesema kuwa waomba hifadhi wengine 84 waliwasili Jumapili asubuhi na kusafirishwa mchana kwenda kambi ya Nyarugusu, kuungana na wengine 732 ambao tayari wako kambini hapo na kufanya jumla ya idadi ya waomba hifadhi hao kufikia 1,035 tangu walipoanza kuingia nchini.

Wengi wa waomba hifadhi hao wanaingia Tanzania kupitia eneo la Kagunga lililopo mpakani mwa Tanzania na Burundi, na wanatoka mikoa ya Makamba na Lumonge nchini Burundi.

Aidha amesema kuwa Shirika la Kuhudumia Wakimbizi Duniani (UNHCR), limetuma Meli ya MV Liemba kwenda kuchukua waomba hifadhi wengine eneo la Kagunga mpakani mwa Tanzania na Burundi ambao wanakadiriwa kufikia 600 ingawa duru zinaeleza kuwa idadi yao huenda ikawa ni kubwa hadi kufikia 1,600.

Amesema njia kuu ambayo wanaingilia waomba hifadhi hao kwa sasa ni eneo la Kagunga na kwamba wengi wanaowapokea ni wanawake na watoto.

Katika hatua nyingine Laiser, amesema kuwa ni jukumu la wananchi walioko vijijini maeneo ya mpakani pindi wanapoona watu hao wameingia katika maeneo yao watoe ushirikiano kwa viongozi wa serikali wa maeneo yao ili waweze kukusanywa na kusafirishwa mpaka kambini.

Raia wa Burundi wakiandikishwa kabla ya kusafirishwa kupelekwa katika Kambi ya Wakimbizi ya Nyarugusu iliyoko wilayani Kasulu, mkoani Kigoma.
Zoezi la uandikishaji raia wa Burundi likiendelea.
Magari ya Shirika la Kuhudumia Wakimbizi UNHCR, yakisubiri kusafirisha raia wa Burundi kwenda Kambi ya Nyarugusu.

Mbowe: Hawajui athari za kuporomoka safafu katika 'investment'

Kwa kifupi kwenye video hiyo, Mbowe anasema:

Tanzania huwezi kuwa na uhakika wa investment (uwekezaji) kwa sababu

  1. Shilingi inaporomoka na 
  2. Hawajui kama uchaguzi upo au haupo

Wawekezaji wanahitaji uhakika wa investment zao.

Uwekezaji katika taifa sasa umesimama. Miradi mikubwa yote sasa imesimama. Ni kwa sababu thamani ya shilingi imeanguka kwa kiwango cha kutisha.

Hakuna anayejua katika miezi 3 hadi 6 ijayo, maoteo ya thamani ya shilingi dhidi ya fedha za kigeni -- kwa maana ya Dola ya Kimarekani, Paundi na Euro -- itakuwa kiasi gani.

Ni miezi michache tu shilingi imeporomoka kwa zaidi ya shilingi 400. Ni jambo kubwa lenye athari kubwa kwenye investment.

Kipato cha wananchi kinashuka thamani kwa kiwango kikubwa. Kwa kipindi kifupi kijacho, mtaona mfumuko wa bei kwa sababu vitu vingi nchini vinaagizwa kutoka nje, hivyo ni lazima walioagiza waongeze bei ili warudishe fedha zao.

Viongozi wanazungumza tu. Tumekuwa ni taifa la matamko tu.

Zitto: Kuporomoka kwa shilingi ni hujuma ya mabenki?

Yaliyojificha kuporomoka kwa shilingi dhidi ya Dola ya Marekani
Shilingi inahujumiwa na Mabenki? 

– Zitto Kabwe[1]

Katika ukurasa wangu wa facebook mnamo tarehe 25 Aprili 2015 niliandika kuhusu sababu za shilingi kuporomoka thamani na majawabu ya namna ya kurejesha thamani halisi ya sarafu yetu. Nilieleza “Shilingi kuporomoka dhidi ya dola na kuvuka 1$/2000TS kunasababishwa na sababu kadhaa 
1) Woga wa uchaguzi na hivyo Dola nyingi kutoingia nchini (FDI etc) kusikilizia Serikali ijayo inaundwaje 
2) Woga wa uchaguzi na hivyo matajiri kununua dola kwa kasi (too many Tshs chasing too few $) ili kuzificha (hoard) nje 
3) kutouza mazao nje na kuagiza bidhaa nyingi kutoka nje ( current account deficit) 
4) Benki Kuu kutoachia $ nyingi kwenye soko kutokana na akiba ya fedha za kigeni kupungua 
5) Kuongezeka kwa huduma ya Deni la Taifa ambapo malipo ni kwa fedha za kigeni kwa madeni yaliyo wiva.

Niliendelea kushauri majawabu “Suluhisho 
1) Benki Kuu kuachia $ za kutosha kwenye soko katika muda mfupi na wa kati (Mwezi Februari BoT ilifanya hivi na kuongeza $64 milioni kwneye soko bila mafanikio [2] 
2) Kuongeza mauzo nje hasa ukizingatia kwa sasa ‘our exports becomes cheaper vis a vis foreign exchange) 
3) Malipo ya kodi ya Ongezeko la Mtaji kutoka BG (Shell transaction ) na Ophir (Pavilion transaction), malipo haya kwa fedha za kigeni 
4) Punguza kununua vitu vya anasa kutoka nje 
5) Unafuu wa huduma kwa Deni la Taifa ( Debt relief ) 
6) Punguza ujazo wa fedha nchini (mop tshs out)”.

Mjadala mkali umeendelea kuhusu suala hili katika majukwaa mbali mbali. Ni dhahiri kuporomoka kwa shilingi kunaathiri sana Watanzania wa ngazi ya kati hasa wafanyabiashara wa kati wenye kununua huduma na bidhaa kutoka nje. Wenye viwanda wanaotegemea malighafi kutoka nje gharama zao za uzalishaji zimeongezeka zaidi na hivyo kuhatarisha uzalishaji mali nchini. Licha ya kwamba kuporomoka kwa shilingi kunafanya bidhaa zetu za kuuza nje kuwa rahisi, lakini huchukua muda kuzalisha bidhaa hizo na hasa kilimo kuweza kufaidika hali hiyo. Kwa hiyo ni faida kwa nchi kwa sasa kuwa na sarafu stahmilivu ( stable) iliyojengwa kwenye misingi imara ya Uchumi. Hata hivyo, inaonekana kuwa sarafu ya Tanzania inahujumiwa. Kuporomoka kwa Shilingi katika wiki za hivi karibuni sio matokeo ya nguvu za soko bali ni matokeo ya hujuma ( currency manipulations).

Mabenki makubwa ya kigeni nchini, inasemekana, katika miezi ya karibuni yamefanya currency manipulations na kupelekea dola chache kukimbizwa na shilingi nyingi na hivyo bei ya dola kupanda bei. Hii inatokana na ukweli kwamba Benki zetu kubwa tatu zinazoongoza zinaendeshwa na wageni. Inasemekana biashara hii hufanyika kati ya matawi ya Benki za kigeni hapa nchini na makao makuu yao. Kuporomoka kwa shilingi kunakotokea hivi sasa hakuendani na kuporomoka kwa miaka ya nyuma kipindi kama hiki (ambacho ki kawaida ni miezi shilingi hushuka thamani kwa sababu ya watalii kuwa wachache na mauzo ya bidhaa nje kuwa madogo sana). Wastani wa miaka 10 iliyopita inaonyesha kuwa kipindi hiki shilingi hushuka kwa kati ya 8% mpaka 13% na sio kuporomoka kwa zaidi ya 20% kulikotokea hivi sasa. Kwa mfano mwaka 2011 miezi kama hii ( Februari – Mei) Shilingi iliporomoka kutoka shs 1,380 kwa dola 1 mpaka shs 1,570 sawa na mporomoko wa 12%. Hata hivyo kuanzia mwaka huo mpaka mwaka 2014 shilingi imekuwa ikishuka thamani kwa kiwango kidogo sana. Mwaka 2013 thamani ya shilingi ilishuka kwa wastani wa asilimia 1.7 tu.

Uchambuzi huu wa thamani ya sarafu yetu unaonyesha kuwa kuna zaidi ya nguvu ya soko kunakotokana na mauzo yetu nje kuwa machache. Vile vile kupanda kwa thamani ya dola ya marekani duniani hakutoshi kuelezea mporomoko huu wa kasi wa shilingi kuanzia mwezi Disemba mwaka 2014 mpaka sasa. Tuhuma za mabenki kuwa yanahujumu shilingi (currency manipulations) zaweza kuwa na ukweli.

Vile vile, inasemekana kumekuwa na utoroshaji mkubwa wa dola kutoka nchini kwenda nje ya nchi. Utoroshaji huu unafanyika kupitia wasafiri wanaopita ukumbi wa VIP uwanja wa ndege wa kimataifa wa Dar es Salaam. Utoroshwaji huu unatokana na hofu isiyo ya msingi kwamba uchaguzi utakuwa na vurugu. Utoroshwaji wa fedha ni kinyume sheria zetu. Sheria zetu za fedha za kigeni zinazuia mtu kubeba zaidi ya dola 10,000 za kimarekani zikiwa taslimu, kuingia nazo nchini au kutoka nazo nchini. Tafiti za haraka zinaonyesha kuwa huu umekuwa ni utaratibu wa kawaida kila mwaka wa uchaguzi tangu mfumo wa vyama vingi uanze.

Benki Kuu ya Tanzania inapaswa kuchukua hatua zifuatazo;

  1. Kufanya uchunguzi wa kushtukiza mara moja dhidi ya benki zote za kigeni zilizopo hapa nchini. Uchunguzi huu utazame biashara ya fedha za kigeni ya benki hizi kwa lengo la kuzuia ‘ currency manipulations’ na kuchukua hatua madhubuti dhidi ya Benki yeyote itakayokutwa imehujumu biashara ya fedha za kigeni kwa lengo la kushusha thamani ya shilingi dhidi ya dola za kimarekani.
  2. Jeshi la Polisi na kitengo cha kuzuia utoroshaji wa fedha ( anti money laundering unit) kufanya ukaguzi wa lazima wa watu wote wanaosafiri kwenda nje ikiwemo wanaopita sehemu ya watu mashuhuri (VIP Lounge) ili kudhibiti utoroshaji wa fedha za kigeni kwenda ughaibuni.
  3. Watanzania tufikirie upya nafasi ya Mabenki katika uchumi wa nchi na kufanya maamuzi magumu ya kurejesha baadhi ya Benki katika umiliki mpana zaidi wa Watanzania. Kwa malengo ya muda wa kati, Benki kubwa 3 nchini ilazimu kuwa na umiliki unaozidi 51% wa Watanzania. Bila ya kushika mabenki nchi itachezewa sana.
  4. Suluhiho la kudumu la sarafu stahmilivu ni kuongeza uzalishaji wa bidhaa za kuuza nje ya nchi na kupunguza manunuzi ya bidhaa kutoka nje. Urari wa Biashara wa Tanzania umepanuka kutoka $1bn mwaka 2004 mpaka $6bn mwaka 2013 (BOT 2013) kutokana manunuzi yetu nje kukua kwa kasi kutoka $2.5bn mpaka $11bn wakati mauzo yetu nje yakikua kwa kasi ndogo kutoka $1.4bn mpaka $5bn katika kipindi hicho. Isingekuwa uimara katika urari katika uwekezaji na uhamisho wa mitaji, Tanzania ingekuwa na sarafu yenye thamani sawa na takataka. Serikali ihimize uzalishaji mali mashambani na viwandani na kuuza nje biadhaa zilizoongezwa thamani. Zama za kutegemea dhahabu zimekwisha na sio endelevu. Turudi kwenye misingi: Bidhaa za Kilimo na Viwanda.

Tutaendelea kufuatilia thamani ya shilingi mpaka ifikapo mwezi Julai ambapo ndipo kipindi kigumu kwa shilingi huwa kihistoria. Hatua zilizoainishwa zisipotazamwa na mamlaka tajwa thamani ya shilingi dhidi ya dola ya Marekani yaweza kufikia tshs 3000!

[1] Zitto Kabwe ni Kiongozi wa Chama cha ACT Wazalendo. Amepata kuwa Waziri Kivuli wa Fedha na Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Bunge ya PAC

[2] Benki Kuu kuingiza $ kwenye soko kuna hatarisha kupunguza Akiba ya fedha za Kigeni. Kutokana na ujinai unaoendelea kwenye soko la fedha za kigeni nchini, BoT kuendelea kumwaga fedha za kigeni inaweza kuwa ni mkakati wa kudumu wa wanaofaidika na ‘currency manipulations’. Kushinikiza Benki Kuu kuendelea kubomoa foreign reserve ni kutokuona mbali na kujaribu kujiridhisha kwa kutibu dalili za ugonjwa badala ya ugonjwa wenyewe.