29 January 2013

Tanzania: Kinana ADs Voice On Gas Saga

Photo: Capital FM
A natural gas plant: Mtwara residents in Tanzania are protesting the governments plans to pump natural gas to Dar es Salaam through their town.

CCM Secretary General Abdulrahman Kinana, has added his voice in the Mtwara gas saga, urging the government to open discussions with residents in the region regarding utilization of the natural resource and take to task all trouble makers.

Mr Kinana said it was in the interest of all peace loving Tanzanians to see an amicable solution to the saga is reached. He took a swipe at some 'irresponsible' politicians who he said were out to capitalize on the matter for selfish ends.

Mr Kinana's statement came as Prime Minister, Mr Mizengo Pinda and other senior government officials flew to Mtwara to meet various stakeholders in the region. Sources from the Prime Minister's Office told the 'Daily News' yesterday that the premier is today expected to issue a statement on the crisis which is connected to protests against the government plans to pump natural gas to Dar es Salaam.

Earlier, the Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Emanuel Nchimbi, who is accompanying the PM declined any comment, saying the Premier will speak on behalf of the government. Police Force Training and Operation Commissioner Paul Chagonja is also said to be there since Friday to push for peace and security restoration.

Residents of Mtwara have been protesting over what they termed as the government's decision to construct a pipeline to pump natural gas to Dar es Salaam without making it clear as to how the people there would benefit from the project.

Meanwhile, Kilasa Mtambalike reports from Dodoma that the 10th session of the National Assembly is due to start today but proceedings have been disrupted by events in Mtwara. The ordinary briefing session before parliament kicks off was yesterday postponed until later today because the government's top brass, including the Premier had to go to Mtwara to rescue the situation.

Today's session will only be brief, according to sources, and will only involve the question and answers session before the briefing session and later party caucus meetings. Some members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi who preferred anonymity hinted that the top agenda in tomorrow's party caucus will evolve around the events in Mtwara where they have blamed some individuals for fuelling chaos.

"Really, what is at the centre of the problem in Mtwara? There are some people who are politicizing the matter," one said. They said that the benefits that the region will reap from the gas there are well known to all leaders but some are just taking advantage of political sentiments to their favour. The 10th meeting of the 10th parliament is expected to be recessed on February 9.

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