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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

South African government says detained
journalist released in Tanzania 

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African journalist Angela Quintal who was detained by Tanzanian police has been released, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) announced on Thursday.

Angela and her Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo were detained in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening while on a reporting mission for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an American independent non-profit and non-governmental organization.

According to the CPJ, the duo were arrested in their hotel room, had their passports confiscated and then were escorted to an unknown location.

The reason for their detention remains unknown.

Thami Mseleku, South African High Commissioner to Tazania, reportedly had protested the whole night.

Angela and Muthoki are safe and relieved that they are now with High Commissioner Mseleku, DIRCO spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said.

The High Commissioner and his Kenyan diplomats will continue to engage with Tanzanian authorities until their passports are returned and all the facts have been established around their arrest, Mabaya said.

“DIRCO will keep South Africans and the media fraternity informed of all developments,” Mabaya said. 

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Tanzanian says it will not abandon family planning policy

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania clarified on Wednesday that it has no intention to abandon its family planning policy and related programs.

Some local and international organizations had misquoted President John Magufuli’s recent remarks over the matter, Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Faustine Ndugulile told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.

Ndugulile said the family planning policy is only intended to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the mother and the child.

He was responding to a question posed by Suzan Lyimo, a special seat Member of Parliament on the ticket of opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) who had inquired on the government’s position on family planning.

Lyimo asked why the government has issued national guidelines restricting the use of family planning methods.

The lawmaker expressed concerns over what she termed as a growing confusion among the public and development partners over whether Tanzania intends to abandon the use of contraceptives and other methods currently in use for birth control.

Ndugulile said the government has not issued any guidelines intended to abandon the family planning program in the east African nation.

In September this year, President Magufuli reiterated his opposition to birth control, telling Tanzanians to continue reproducing.

Speaking at a public rally in Meatu, in Simiyu Region, Magufuli told the people not to listen to those advising about birth control, some of it coming from foreigners, because it has sinister motives.

He urged Tanzanians to keep reproducing because the government was increasing investment in maternal health specifically and the health sector in general.

Magufuli was speaking in the presence of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Tanzania, Jacqueline Mahon, and the minister for health, Ummy Mwalimu.

That was not the first time for President Magufuli to talk about his opposition to birth control. In 2016, soon after the start of the free public education for primary and secondary schools, Magufuli said Tanzanians can now give birth to as many children as possible because education was no longer expensive.

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Motorcycle accidents in Tanzania kill 800 people annually: minister

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- At least 800 people are killed every year in Tanzania since 2008 in road accidents involving motorcycles, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Hamad Masauni told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Masauni told the house in the capital Dodoma that there were 38,237 accidents involving motorcycles and tricycles 2008 to Sept. 2018.

“Since 2008 to September this year, a total of 8,237 people died in accidents involving motorcycles and 37,521 others lost their limbs,” the minister said, noting that the figures means that motorcycle accidents kill 823 people annually in the country.

Masauni was responding to a question from a lawmaker on the number of people killed in accidents involving motorcycles, commonly known in Kiswahili as boda boda.

The minister also answered questions on efforts against drivers of government vehicles who violate traffic rules.

Masauni said he has directed police commanders to arrest all drivers of government vehicles who violate traffic rules and regulations.

All government drivers implicated in breaching traffic rules and regulations should be arrested and sent to court, he said.

More than 20 people were killed in the past three months in road accidents involving government vehicles.

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Six dead in road accident in Tanzania’s eastern region

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania(Xinhua) -- At least six people, including an infant, were killed and seven others seriously injured on Monday night in a road accident in Chalinze district of Tanzania’s eastern region of Coast, police said on Tuesday.

Wankyo Nyigesa, the Coast regional police commander, said the accident occurred as the bus, which was heading to Dar es Salaam from Msata hit a stationary lorry.

Nyigesa linked the accident with reckless driving, saying the bus driver attempted to overtake other vehicles without due attention.

He said the injured persons were immediately taken to Kihangaiko army dispensary in Chalinze.

The official said police were looking for the driver of the bus who escaped after the accident.

Last week, seven people were killed and three others injured as two Tanzanian government vehicles collided in the country’s central district of Kongwa in Dodoma region.

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Over 17,000 snares seized in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park 

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- More than 17,000 snares used by poachers to kill wildlife in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park have been seized during a de-snaring program that started in April 2017, an official said on Tuesday.

The program, the only undertaking of its kind in the Serengeti National Park, was supported by a handful of tour operators and stakeholders with a vested interest in protecting the Serengeti’s spectacular wildlife, working together with Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).

Erik Winberg, FZS Project Manager, Serengeti Conservation Program, said the de-snaring teams consisted of eight former poachers who have been recruited from the villages in the Serengeti ecosystem for their expertise in snaring and TANAPA game rangers who works closely with the Serengeti National Park authorities to collect snares before they do harm.

Winberg told Xinhua in an interview that so far the impact of the de-snaring program is impressive.

“We have so far seized 17,536 snares, 32 poachers have been arrested, 125 poacher camps were found, 530 animals were found dead and 175 animals were released alive,” added Winberg.

Winberg said the arrested poachers were handed over to TANAPA’s law enforcement unit for prosecution according to the Tanzania law.

He said most of the trapped and killed animals were the wildebeest, adding that the poachers were mainly locals who put the snares for bush meat.

In 2017, several local tour operators and other tourism stakeholders joined forces with a single goal of protecting Serengeti’s spectacular wildlife by donating money from their businesses.

Together with TANAPA and the FZS, they were now working to remove snares and deter poaching around the park while offering an alternative livelihood to ex-poachers.

             

 

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