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MPs demand stimulus package audit report via The Guardian-IPP Media

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Judica Tarimo

Opposition Members of Parliament yesterday pressed the government to present an audit report of the 1.7trn/- stimulus package to rescue the economy from the global economic crisis in the 2009/10 budget.

Member of Parliament, Zitto Kabwe

In a supplementary question, Zitto Kabwe (Chadema, Kigoma-North) said in last year’s Bunge session, the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) was told to investigate expenditures of the stimulus package.

The outspoken legislator wanted to know if the exercise was conducted and when the government planned to present the report in the House for the MPs to discuss and make their recommendations.

Responding, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister Office (Empowerment), Dr. Mary Nagu said audit of expenditures of various projects was normal in the operations of the government. She stressed that the audit of the stimulus package was conducted and that the funds were properly spent, citing successful projects that had helped farmers and entrepreneurs out of economic crisis that faced the country then.

Wawi legislator, Hamad Rashid said what the MPs demanded in last year’s Bunge session was a full audited report showing how the funds were spent.

“The issue was not of normal expenditure on projects related to stimulus package. What we want is a full audited report of the whole package. We want the government to submit this report in the House,” said Rashid.

In her response, the minister of state in the PMO said: “The government will work on the issue, and make sure the report on the stimulus package is presented in the House at an appropriate time.”

In another supplementary question, Bariadi (East, UDP) MP, John Cheyo said as part of the stimulus package, the government had promised cotton farmers affected by global economic crisis in the Lake Zone compensation of 80/- for each kilogramme of cotton sold. He said however that some of the cotton farmers have to date not received the money.

Minister Nagu responded that the government would work on the MPs’ concerns with a view to ensuring that the affected farmers were paid.

In the basic question, Ilala MP, Mussa Zungu sought to know if the government would be willing to introduce a special financial package to support youths engaged in agriculture and other activities, similar to the stimulus package designed during the global economic crisis.

The minister said the government has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at supporting youth engagements in economic, agriculture and other income-generating activities.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the national Assembly Anne Makinda was forced to explain a number of parliamentary regulations as the Minister for Energy and Minerals William Ngeleja, was accused of telling lies in the House.

The Member of Parliament for Singida East (Chadema) Tundu Lissu, accused the minister of lying, apparently unsatisfied by his response to a supplementary question which sought the government’s clarification as to why the mining firm, Shanta Mining which should not be charged in court for criminal trespass on areas not indicated in their mining license.

Lissu had argued that the mining company had gone beyond the area allocated to them when exploring for gold to the extent that they have also established an airstrip within the disputed area prior before compensating the residents who are to be relocated to another area.

Ngeleja dismissed the claims saying that the areas mentioned in the exploration and mining licenses were merely naming the project and did not mean they were the only areas where the gold mining activities would be carried out by Shanta Company.

Speaker Makinda said as per parliamentary regulations the speaker has powers to decide how such matters could be dealt with without wasting much time on a single issue.

She noted that according to regulation number 63(6) MP Lissu had to submit to the speaker his proof of allegations against minister Ngeleja in writing within a time frame provided by the Speaker.

Other sections of regulation which could be used by the MP who alleges are 50 (3), and 28 (8).

Makinda gave Lissu upto Friday to submit his allegations and that she would decide on how to settle the matter either by giving Lissu an opportunity to present his allegations before the House or through closed sessions.

Earlier when responding to Lissu’s original question, Minister Ngeleja said Shanta Company is conducting a feasibility study through MTL Engineering Consult to assess the project’s impact on environment, adding that two applications for a mining licence had been submitted to Ministry.

The two separate applications are a legal requirement if the area designated for mining is more than 10 square kilometres. In the case of Shanta which started its operations in October 2004, the area is 17.89 square kilometres.

Source: THE GUARDIAN

Written by zittokabwe

April 6, 2011 at 4:00 PM

NSSF Plans massive power investments (Via The Guardian-IPP Media)

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By Felister Peter 23rd March 2011 URL: http://bit.ly/hdExdQ
Promises 300 MW by year-end
To construct bigger gas pipeline

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has decided to invest in power generation, promising to add 300 Megawatts to the national grid before December this year.

NSSF has also shown interest in acquiring the Kiwira Coal Mine in Mbeya and constructing a large gas pipe from Songosongo and Mnazi Bay to Mkuranga, Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mwanza.

This was revealed yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the Fund’s Director General, Dr Ramadhan Dau when explaining the institution’s future plans to members of the Parliamentary Parastatal Organizations Accounts Committees (POAC) chaired by Kigoma North MP, Zitto Kabwe.

Dr Dau said NSSF has decided to pitch into energy sector in a bid to rescue the country from power problems which have now resulted into endless rationing.

He said their consultant was working on the plans, after which the Fund will announce a tender for purchase of electricity plants.

“We have decided to invest in power due to on-going problems. Our aim is to start producing electricity by end of the year,” he said. He told the MPs that the electricity generators will be fixed in Dar es Salaam.

Concerning Kiwira Dr Dau said they have decided to purchase the mine after the government failed to repay the long outstanding debt of USD 31million.

He said initially the government borrowed a total of USD 7 million in 2007 to invest in Kiwira Coal Mine with a promise to repay it after six months, but it had failed in its commitment.

He said the fund is ready to take the mine with all its debts and start afresh. Dr Dau said the mine will produce efficiently under the institution.

He however, he told the MPs that NSSF plans to construct a huge gas pipeline, to transport the item from the southern regions. He said the current line has no capacity to increase the flow of gas to meet the growing demand.

He said the pipeline will increase the gas flow for both electricity and domestic consumption, adding that it will facilitate power production at Dar es Salaam and Mkuranga in the Coast region, where they are going to fix another plant.

“We expect to start implementing these gas projects in two years”, he said.

He also said that NSSF plans to start construction of the long awaited Kigamboni Bridge this year. He said the bridge will be constructed at the cost of USD 120 million.

He said the delay was caused by lack of funds after NSSF had unsuccessfully requested for funds from Holland. He said that they were requesting a total of EURO 22 million.

Meanwhile, the committee chairperson, Zitto Kabwe criticised the government for failing to repay in time, money it borrowed from public institutions.

Kabwe wondered whether the government through Dar es Salaam City Council would be able to repay the funds it had taken from NSSF for construction of the ‘Machinga’ Complex.

He said the Complex was yet to be fully functional as petty traders dillydallied in leasing rooms due to high rental fees.

“The complex is not functioning. I wonder whether you will accomplish the plan of constructing similar buildings when its president has already promised the same for petty traders in Mwanza,” said Zitto.

Members of Parliament have been pushing the government to allow NSSF to invest in power which includes ownership of Kiwira Coal Mine.

Last December, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja said Kiwira would be placed under Tanesco and Stamico, but quickly added that discussions between responsible parties would give a clear direction of the issue.

Written by zittokabwe

March 23, 2011 at 10:01 AM