“Wapigwe tu”, said Tanzania’s Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, back in June – “They should be beaten.” He was responding a question prompted by the police response to protests in Mtwara region, but he made it clear that this was his attitude towards troublemakers everywhere.
This blog has long argued that the major challenges in the water sector are more political than technical. We have also highlighted the fact that the political nature of the challenges has not been matched by political attention. Water supply was largely ignored in the 2010 election campaigns, for example, not featuring in the major campaign promises of any of the big three parties’ presidential candidates nor gaining much attention in election media coverage (here and here).
Now, four separate developments in the past few weeks point to a change in the politics of water supply in Tanzania. So what are the new developments, and what is the change that they point to? Continue reading →
Wednesday this week saw the signing of a major agreement for Tanzania between the National Development Corporation (NDC) and the Chinese company Sichuan Hongda. The agreement sets up a new company, Tanzania China International Mineral Resources Limited (TCIMR), to build a coal mine, iron ore mine, coal-fired power plant and steel works at the Liganga (iron ore) and nearby Mchuhuma (coal) in Ludewa district, just to the south of Njombe. The MPs Zitto Kabwe (the Parastatal Organisation Accounts Committee chair) and Deo Filikunjombe (the PAOC vice-chair and Ludewa MP) were present at the signing.