Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

16 November 2012

Tanzanian Scribes Tour DRC

Kinshasa — A TEN-MAN team of Tanzania journalists are in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital on a familiarisation five-day tour that will make them see a different side of that which is reported by Western media.

The Presidential Press Officer, Mr Innocent Binwa, told journalists here that it was wrong, by some media, to paint Congo as a war-torn country with nothing good to show to the world. "We admit that there is a part of the country that is unstable but the larger part of the country is stable and the country is transforming well with good roads, reliable power and water supplies among other public services," he said.

Mr Binwa said that it was clear that it was in the interest of some people to see Congo divided but was quick to say that matters pertaining to the development of the country had united people and it wasn't as easy as people thought to divide them. He said that the invitation of the Tanzanian journalists was just one of many tours that were planned for scribes from different countries to visit and see for themselves that Congo wasn't all about deaths but that there was life and new hope.

In the two days that the team have been in Kinshasa, the scribes have visited the water processing plant that produces 330,000 cubic litres of water out of the 700,000 cubic litres needed daily for the eight million population. The Kinshasa Water Processing Company Director, Mr Alphonse Magbolo Babu, said that there were water plants in all 11 provinces of the country and that efforts were underway to increase capacity to meet demand.

Mr Babu told the vividly impressed journalists that the water processing system was digitally monitored and that the maintenance of the French plant was done by local Congolese who had received training from France. The team also visited the Change Tower, a landmark monument that symbolises the transformation taking place in the country but will also be a tourist attraction.

The Chief Maintenance Officer, Capt Luviluka Abel, explained that the tower had been built by the late President Mobutu between 1970 and 1973 but had since been revived by President Joseph Kabila.

The ambitious project has already cost the government over 11 million US Dollars and will have a digital museum, two restaurants including a VIP one, shops, art galleries, gift shops, a 1600 seater stadium, an entertainment hall on an eight hectare piece of land.

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