Tanzania: PM Orders Tpa to Open Kangunga Port

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to open Kagunga Port in Kigoma District.

The port is one of the country's strategic terminals on Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga ward as it attracts traders from DR Congo and Burundi.

The PM was prompted to issue the order on Friday after he learnt that despite completion of its upgrading by the Authority, the terminal has remained unutilised. "I have come here to see this port, it was completed since 2017, but to date it has remained unutilized," the PM said.

The Premier issued the order after he inspected the port in Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma District. He was furious after he learnt that the port was not operating despite being completed more than three years back.

He said that when the port becomes operational on 1st January next year, a modern international market built at the area should also start functioning to allow people to conduct businesses that will help boost their income.

Mr Majaliwa said the construction of Kagunga Port was completed in 2017 involving a passengers' longue, a servant house and other special buildings at a cost of 3.8bn/-, but to date the port has remained dormant.

"I want this port to start working on January 2021, you should organise yourselves, if there are no workers, you should transfer them to come and serve Tanzanians at this port," Mr Majaliwa stressed.

He directed TPA executives to allow private ships and boats to operate at the port to facilitate movement of people and goods.

Mr Majaliwa said that "the government wants to see the buildings being used as intended...you should not play with taxpayer's money ... I want to see this port operating."

Meanwhile, Mr Majaliwa has called on Burundi nationals who want to enter into Tanzania to ensure that they follow the required immigration procedures.

"Tanzanians and Burundians are relatives ... in order to uphold peace and strengthen our neighborhood, everyone should abide by required procedures," he said.

In another development, the PM directed Kigoma District Council Executive Director, Ms Pendo Mangali to ensure that she works on claims by youth who were working as casual labourers in the projects so that they can be paid their dues.

"You (director) come back on Monday December 21 and meet with the youth so that you can coordinate their claims and ensure they are given their rights," he said.

And in yet another development, Prime Minister Majaliwa has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to strengthen and improve the performance of Kihinga Palm Research Centre to improve crop production in the country.

The Prime Minister also directed the Ministry to allocate sufficient budget for the Centre to finance the construction of permanent buildings and establishment of a modern laboratory to improve research activities.

He insisted on the importance of sensitising farmers on the best way to grow the crop, including involving the private sector in quality palm seed researches.

The prime minister issued the directives to the agriculture ministry yesterday in Kigoma when he addressed palm growers and other stakeholders at NSSF Conference Hall.

He directed the ministry to use the media, including community radios in imparting knowledge to farmers on how best to grow the crop to increase productivity.

He said until now a total of 4,205,335 palm seedlings that can be planted on 84,106.7 acres have been produced, of which 71 per cent have been produced by Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI-Kigoma) while the remaining 29 per cent have been produced by private sector -FELISA & Ndugu Development Foundation and Yangumacho Group.

He said 2,184,111 seedlings have been distributed by TARI to farmers for growing.

He directed Kigoma Regional Commissioner Thobias Andengenye to work with district commissioners to ensure palm production is improved.

Tanzania's annual palm oil demand stands at 570,000 tonnes while the production stands at 210,000 only, causing the country to import 360,000 tonnes at a coats of 443bn/- each year.

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