18 August 2017

Tanzania: Lissu - Govt-Owned Aircraft Is Held in Canada

Photo: The Citizen
Air Tanzania (file photo)

Singida East MpTunduLissu has said the government owned commercial aircraft, Bombardier Q400, which was expected to be delivered to Air Tanzania Company Limited in July this year has been seized in Canada.

Mr Lissu, who also serves as the chief legal officer of the main opposition party, Chadema, told reporters at press conference on Friday that the aircraft was seized after the government failed to pay $38 million (Sh83 billion) to the Canadian Stirling Civil Engineering Limited.

The company was contracted to construct the Wazo Hill-Bagamoyo road in Dar es Salaam but the government terminated the contract without paying compensation. The contractor went to the International Court of Arbitration and won the case.

"The government lost the case and in 2010, it was ordered to pay the compensation amounting to $25 million with an interest of eight per cent," he said.

He said, the debt wasn't paid on time and has since increased to $38 million as of June this year. The failure of the government to pay damages prompted the issuance of the order to attach Tanzania government assets found in Canada, France, Netherlands, Belgium, England and Uganda.

"To start with, they have taken the Bombardier Q400 which was expected in the country last month, and the same would be done to the much awaited plane, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, if the debt won't be paid," Mr Lissue noted.

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