Tanzania: We Remain Committed to Human Rights Obligations, Says Kabudi

Photo: EAC
EAC flags (file photo).

THE government will continually ensure the image of the country is not tarnished and remain committed to human rights obligations.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi (pictured), tabling the ministry's budget estimates for 2019/2020 fiscal year, insisted that the primary objective of the government is the welfare of its people.

He trashed reports by some quarters that there is infringements of human rights in Tanzania, insisting that there is no way that the government will turn against its own people and the country's human rights and good governance record is clean.

Minister Kabudi said Tanzania had submitted its report at the 40th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from February 25 through March 22, 2019, in which, the country assured the council of its full support and promotion of human rights and good governance.

"We clearly told them that there can be no sustainable development if the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution of the country are not implemented," he said.

The minister also requested all international institutions, civil society organisations (CSOS) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the country to always consult the government whenever they feel there is a problem than just going ahead to issue ill statements.

Minister Kabudi said Tanzania has maintained its status as the most respected country at the global level, thanks to her valuable contributions in various international activities, most notable, maintenance of peace and security by sending peace keepers to various troubled nations.

He said the country is also well recognised for its efforts in the fight against corruption and drug trafficking, fight against money laundering and protection and respect of human rights as well as laying foundations of democracy and good governance.

He said Tanzania has fully participated in peace keeping missions in various countries in the world, with at least 2,687 peace keepers from the country having been deployed at six different missions.

Prof Kabudi named the UN Organisation Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan, (UNAMID) as some of the missions to which Tanzania is participating. Others are UNIFIL-a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, UNISFA and UNMISS in South Sudan.

He insisted that Tanzania is maintaining its Non Alignment Movement (NAM), which seeks to forge a place for dialogue, brotherhood and respect based on sharing the plural quest for a new world, without empires, colonialism, exclusions, racism and dominations of any kind.

On the area of cooperation with other countries and development partners-both local and foreign-to support the government's industrialisation efforts, Minister Kabudi said the ministry has secured investors who have set up a cassava processing plant in Lindi region.

He said the factory-Cassava Starch of Tanzania Corporation (CSTC), was officially launched by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in March, this year, with the capacity to produce 6,000 tonnes of cassava flour annually and it has employed 97 workers.

He said the investors will construct another huge starch factory in the region that will have the capacity to process 60,000 tonnes of flour, annually.

He said the ministry also coordinated a tour of the country by a group of Turkish investors in November last year, who have shown interests to invest in capital- Dodoma, where they will set up huge shopping malls, housing estates, five star hotels and construct a gypsum factory.

He said the ministry through its embassies in China in coordination with Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Touchroad International Holding Group (TIHG) in November last year, for the company to bring into the country at least 10,000 tourists from Shanghai City, China.

The first batch of 300 tourists, he said had toured the country from May 12, this year. On regional trade, the minister said Tanzania has continued to experience growth in volume of trade within the East Africa region.

He said in 2018, Tanzania's exports to other EAC member states amounted to 448.5 million US dollars up from 312.5milliom US dollars in 2017, representing a 43.6 per cent rise.

He said exports to Kenya accounted for 47.7 per cent of the total sales while Uganda had 23.4 per cent and Rwanda getting 17.8 per cent.

The major traded products included maize, paper, cement, tiles, konyagi, wheat flour and cooking oil. EAC member states have also agreed to establish the confederation as an interim process towards attaining the full federation, said Prof Kabudi.

He said diasporas have also continued to significantly contribute to the country's economy, saying between July 2018 and March 2019 diaspora injected 2.53bn/- to acquire housing units from the National Housing Corporation (MHC) while also remitted into the country 2.8bn/- through CRDB.

Remittance through Stanbic amounted to 921,627.16 US dollars and 7,050 Euros, as well as 7,800 Sterling Pound.

The bank also received remittance amounting to 1,050 Swiss Franc, while NSSF accumulated 18,000 US dollars from 60 diaspora members who have registered with the pension fund.

The minister has requested the house to endorse 167bn/- for the 2019/2020 financial year, down from 181bn/- approved in the current year.

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