Saturday, 18 October 2014

LAKE ZONE: Sumatra: MV Victoria safe for operation

By Emmanuel Chacha, The Citizen Reporter
In Summary
  • The acting manager for Marine Services Company, Mr Projest Kaija, said Sumatra and the ship registrar had inspected the ship and allowed it to continue with regular trips

MWANZA.MV Victoria that got technical faults while on its way from Bukoba to Mwanza last Friday night is safe to operate, the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) has assured passengers.
The Lake Zone officer in charge for Sumatra, Mr Bahati Musiba, told The Citizen on Saturday that following the problem that caused the   54-year- old ship to delay its trip to Mwanza had thorough inspections done by Sumatra to make sure the ship was technically fit.
“On Friday [last week] night when the ship was leaving Bukoba Port the captain experienced some technical faults as its steering was not working and the radar was off. They made consultations with engineers and used emergency service that enabled them to arrive at Kemondo Bay.”
“After that the problem was solved and continued with the journey on Saturday morning and our officers were there. And when it arrived in Mwanza we sent ship inspectors to verify whether she is viable to work. In the last two weeks the Chief Ship Inspector was here and the ship [MV Victoria] was fully inspected. There are some very minor problems like colours, seats but not for the safety of the ship and its passengers. This is why we allowed them to continue operating.
“We are very much concerned with the security of wananchi so we could not allow the ship to operate while it has some significant technical faults that threaten the lives of the people,” he said
The Sumatra officer for Kagera Region, Mr Alex Katama, said the ship was allowed to continue with its jouney on that day after the technical problems that were caused by electrical faults were solved.
“What happened is that after departing from Bukoba the ship captain noticed that the steering was not working and the power supply was not available, hence the ship radar was also not working. The electrical technicians came from Mwanza the next day and solved the problems. The ship is now okay,” he said
The acting manager for Marine Services Company (MSC), Mr Projest Kaija, said Sumatra and the ship registrar had inspected the ship and allowed it to continue with regular trips.
“After that problem the ship was inspected by Sumatra and allowed us to operate the same day [Saturday)]and as we are talking now [yesterday] it is in Bukoba. It is a common fault that can happen even if you are using a car. But technically our ship is fit and stable for more than 20 years to come.
“ The ship was made in 1960 in Scotland and arrived here in 1961, but we have been doing major rehabilitations including replacement of the engines and other necessary services. So the stability of the ship is not a problem and our ship engines have never collapsed since they were replaced,” he said.

Russia’s Putin to tour Tanzania

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin arrives for a meeting on Ukraine’s crisis with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko alongside European leaders, yesterday  on the sidelines of the 10th Asia-Europe meeting in Milan. PHOTO | AFP 
By The Citizen Reporters
In Summary
  • Although Foreign Affairs ministry neither confirmed nor denied the reports, sources in the diplomatic mission confided to The Citizen on Saturday that there have been behind-the-scenes activities to ensure the success of the visit.

Dar es Salaam. Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Tanzania in February next year, The Citizen on Saturday has learnt.
Although Foreign Affairs ministry neither confirmed nor denied the reports, sources in the diplomatic mission confided to The Citizen on Saturday that there have been behind-the-scenes activities to ensure the success of the visit.
The minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, declined to confirm reports on the tour, but revealed that he would be travelling to Moscow next month to honour an invitation from his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Mr Membe said he had no information about the visit and that any development on the said tour, if any, would be known after his visit.
“What I can tell you at the moment is that I have been invited to Moscow next month. I will definitely go, and I will only be in a position to say anything upon our discussion,” he said.
The Russian embassy in Dar es Salaam said it could not confirm on the visit for it had no information from Moscow.
“What I know is that our foreign affairs minister met with his Tanzanian counterpart in New York during the Security Council summit. The visit you are talking about could be one of the issues they discussed,” said a senior official at the embassy. Putin’s tour will come just over a year since Tanzania received leaders of two global superpowers —  Chinese President Xi  Jinping  in March last year and US President Barack Obama three months later.
The timing and the political implications of the Russian leader’s visit to Tanzania is an issue already generating reactions from international relations experts and other observers.
One thing that is clear is that Mr Putin is likely to take advantage of the tour to promote once strong economic and political relationships the two countries previously enjoyed before the fall of communism in the early 1990s.
Experts also say Tanzania, which is struggling to develop its gas and oil industry following the discovery of huge deposits of natural gas, stands good chances of benefiting from the tour of the leader of a country with great expertise in the area.
On the other hand they say, Mr Putin will want to secure some business agreements for Russia oil and natural gas companies at this time the Eastern country is facing difficulties in meeting domestic and export obligations.
Ms Saumu Jumanne, an assistant lecturer at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education, said that it did not come as a surprise that the Russian president plans a tour of Tanzania after  the US and Chinese presidents.

ALARM: ‘Accidents cost us Sh3.2tr last year’


Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe. PHOTO|FILE 
By Saumu Mwalimu,The Citizen Reporter

In Summary
  • Transport minister Dr Mwakyembe has raised an alarm over the increasing accidents, which he says cost the nation dearly


Dar es Salaam. The government lost Sh3.2 trillion last year due to road accidents, the Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, has revealed.
The Citizen on Saturday analysis indicates that if this trend continues, the nation will lose an entire one year annual budget in the next three years.

Last year traffic police boss Mohamed Mpinga said a total of 71,406 road accidents had occurred in the three preceding years.
And last month when he released a three-month road accident report for June, July and August, this year Mr Mpinga said the accidents claimed many lives compared to the past years.

He noted that in June, 1,157 accidents killed 320 people, in July 388 people were killed in 1,035 accidents and 390 died in 1,146 accidents in August.
Receiving a report from a special committee formed to collect information on the increasing road accidents yesterday, Dr Mwakyembe said that the money was too much and drastic measures must be taken to address the problem.
“We compiled this report on September 13 when the country had experienced more than four big accidents including one that occurred in Mara Region where many lives were lost. We said  something must be done as soon as possible; but before taking measures let’s find out what is happening on the ground,” said Dr Mwakyembe.
The minister promised that during the first week of November this year, the government would  come up with solutions based on the report’s recommendations.



.BY: Millard Ayo