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THE government saved 15 million US dollars as discount when it made outright purchases of two Bombardier Q400 turboprop airplanes from Canadian manufacturer instead of paying in installments, a cabinet minister has said.

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SHINYANGA Region has announced to clear pending shortage of desks it was facing after receiving donations from various development partners and investors operating in the region.

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PRIVATE Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) envisages reaching 345,000 entrepreneurs in agricultural sector this year, with projected guaranteed loans of 114bn/-.

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WORKS, Transport and Communications Minister Professor Makame Mbarawa has directed the National Institute of Transport (NIT) to ensure that it produce competent pilots with high professional and ethical standards.

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TANZANIA Ports Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) have vowed to work together closely in a bid to enhance efficiency and offer cost effective services to customers.

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IN an effort to ensure total security within Arusha Urban District, the Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Mrisho Gambo, has led a dialogue towards forming special machinery to make the city safest haven in East and Central Africa.

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In October, 2014 the Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF) a non-governmental organization in collaboration with the Central and Local Governments, under the support of UNFPA and FORWARD UK, launched Mara Child Marriage Free Zone campaign with the aim of ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Mara Region. CDF Executive Director Mr Koshuma Mtengeti granted an interview to our reporter MUGINI JACOB on the progress of the campaign. Below are excerpts from the interview:

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IT was a sunny day when I started my journey from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma last weekend. Not that I am among the first people, as a government official, to respond to the new zeal of shifting to the designated capital city, but for undertaking my usual assignments.

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AS the government embarks on building industrial economy, Tanzanians in the Southern regions of Mtwara and Lindi have a great opportunity to participate in various economic activities that will enable them to be part and parcel of economic changes.

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WHILE Taifa Stars are due to jet off today for Nigeria, hosts Super Eagles opened camp on Monday in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State ahead of formality Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Saturday.

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AM like tea drunkard, so much that when I miss my cup of tea, I am restless and irritable. I do not particularly enjoy black tea as I am dark enough, thank you very much.

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IT HAS come to light the court of appeal has confirmed the life imprisonment sentence imposed on a Nigerian woman, Vivian Edigin, who was convicted by the High Court for trafficking 63 pellets of cocaine hydrochloride valued at about 39m/-.

Justices Edward Rutakangwa, Angela Kileo and Salum Massati said in their joint verdict: “Without much ado, we are settled in our minds that the trial court did not error in convicting the appellant of trafficking narcotic drugs in contravention of the law.

“There is no cause, whatsoever, for us to interfere with the findings of the trial court,” they declared on August 2, this year. Well, that’s it. The punishment should serve as a deterrent for any criminals who intend to shunt narcotic drugs into Tanzania.

The statistics are a grim reminder that Tanzania is no longer a mere transit point for narcotic drug traffickers whose dangerous cargo is addressed to overseas consumers

. In fact, Tanzania is also a haven for consumers most of whom are youths, including students. In fact, there is an upsurge in the trafficking of illegal narcotic drugs in the country, a scenario that has remained worrisome for the last few years.

Available police records show that the number of arrested dealers has jumped from 23 in 2010 to 14,501 in 2014. In the last three years the weight of impounded illicit narcotic drugs has increased from 139 kilos to a confounding 334 kilos.

The Police Force links the situation to the expanding narcotic drug networks across the globe.

The force impounded 304.61 kilos of heroin and 29.68 kilos of cocaine in the year 2014 alone and apprehended 14,501 suspects, most of whom were peddlers -- who are also called red herrings or mules in the parlance of the underworld of narcos. Surprisingly, 14,467 suspects were indigenous Tanzanians, most of whom were mere mules.

In the year 2010 only 23 suspects fell into the police net, 23 of whom were locals.

Only one foreigner was nabbed that year. Indeed, the nation is heading into the wrong direction. It would be remiss, at this juncture, not to mention the dangers posed by narcotic drugs and alert consumers on the dire consequences they should expect.

It is critical to mention here that all narcotic drugs, including heroine are very dangerous. Medical workers point accusing fingers at heroin, cocaine, bhang, alcohol and other hard intoxicants such as Valium and cannabis sativa, as the main causes of lunacy and death.

And it is no news anymore to mention that this country has a large population of lunatics. Researchers have determined that most addicts hail from affluent families in Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Singida and Morogoro regions. The narcotic drug problem, which affects young people in the 15 to 40-age bracket, is growing rapidly.

It is time the rot was stemmed.

MANY kind-hearted activists around the world have raised concerns that poor villagers, including those in Tanzania, will be forced off their land and agribusinesses in the near future, a sorry spectacle that will marginalize subsistence farming.

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