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FILE PIC: The Tanzania-Zambia railway recorded a 19.4 percent rise in freight traffic in the 2020/2021 financial year ended June 30, 2021, said the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority, the operator, in a statement Thursday. /AP

The Tanzania-Zambia railway recorded a 19.4 percent rise in freight traffic in the 2020/2021 financial year ended June 30, 2021, said the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority, the operator, in a statement Thursday.

The statement, issued at the end of the 117th Board of Directors meeting of the operator, with the headquarters in Dar es Salaam of Tanzania, said that the railway saw an improvement of 26.7 percent in overall revenue earnings in the 2020/2021 financial year, when compared to the previous financial year that ended on June 30, 2020.

During the 2020/2021 financial year, the railway line transported 217,661 metric tons of freight, compared to 182,302 metric tons transported in the 2019/2020 financial year.

Despite limitations on the movement of people globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall passenger traffic transported was 2,760,493 passengers during the 2020/2021 financial year, down 0.66 percent from the previous financial year when 2,778,708 passengers were transported.

According to the statement, the overall revenue earnings for the 2019/2020 financial year were 24.511 million U.S. dollars.

The Tanzania-Zambia railway line was constructed as a turnkey project between 1970 and 1975 through an interest-free loan from China, with commercial operations starting in July 1976. It covers 1,860 km from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

A deserted street in Umoja, Nairobi, during curfew hours. Lifting the curfew should not turn out to be a poisoned chalice

In Summary

• Pressure has been piling on the government to ease the restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus that has ravaged the globe.

• We must all act responsibly and observe the basic Covid-19 containment measures

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday lifted the almost two-year curfew imposed after the first case of Covid-19 was publicly reported in Kenya in March 2020.

Pressure has been piling on the government to ease the restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus that has ravaged the globe. 

It has been a tough balance for Kenya  and it had to chose between saving lives and livelihoods. The government did its best under the circumstances.

Of course there were some flaws such as selective application of the containment measures, theft of Covid-19 funds and killings by overzealous police enforcing the curfew.

Kenya's Covid-19 positivity rate has been below five per cent for the past three weeks. This, according to WHO and health experts, gives room for easing of the measures. 

The curfew was the major remaining containment measure. Kenya has evolved into a 24-hour economy and this can be witnessed in major urban centres.

Lifting the curfew should, however, not turn out to be a poisoned chalice.  

We must all act responsibly and observe the basic Covid-19 containment measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and washing hands.

Ramping up vaccination across the country is the best containment measure. Those yet to be vaccinated should do so for their own safety and that of other Kenyans. Editorial, Star

 

Agency Helps Kenya’s Returning Abused Workers Reintegrate

 

Activist Boniface Mwangi. Image: COURTESY

 

Claims home which was under construction was bombed by unknown people.

In Summary

• Mwangi says the house was destroyed after unknown people attacked it and robbed his workers who were present.

• The workers say the attackers also shot at the scene but no injury was reported.

 

Police are investigating Activist Boniface Mwangi’s claims that his house was bombed in Lukenya, Machakos County.

"Officers are on their way to the Lukenya property to check the claims," National Police Service police spokesman Bruno Shioso said.

The attackers used improvised explosive devices in their mission. 

Some of the unused IED cables were abandoned at the scene.

Abandoned cables for explosive devices found at the house belonging to activist Boniface Mwangi.
Abandoned cables for explosive devices found at the house belonging to activist Boniface Mwangi.
Image: HANDOUT

The workers say the attackers also shot at the scene but no injury was reported.

Pictures of the scene show the foundation of the structure was affected.

Mwangi now wants police to investigate the incident and arrest those behind the same.

“I have names of the people I suspect did this because it is so hurting and I don’t know what to do,” he told the Star.

He saw this as part of intimidation from those in power over his actions of ensuring justice in society.

Part of the partially damaged house in Lukenya, Machakos County.
Part of the partially damaged house in Lukenya, Machakos County.
Image: HANDOUT

He said if those behind the incident are not caught they shall survive to hunt him and hurt others.

“Four years ago they shot me. Yesterday they bombed my family home. Everything l do and say is protected by the constitution. They can take away my everything but l will never stop speaking truth to power. I need your solidarity, demand answers from the police,” he said.

“All l ask is an open and transparent investigation. If speaking the truth will get me killed, I’m ready to die."

Mwangi had been in Nairobi Wednesday evening attending a concert at the Alliance Française when he received the news. 

Mwangi had for the better part of the past week been on social media engaging Kenyans on various issues.

Police say they are investigating the incident.

Machakos police boss Issa Mohamed said they are yet to know the motive and those behind it.

“The complainant is already dropping names of the possible people who did this and I don’t think this is helpful as it is affecting investigations,” he said.

He said experts had visited the scene as part of efforts to know those behind the said attack.

He asked for more time and patience for the investigations to be completed and action to be taken.

In the video shared on Social media, there are some bullets that could be seen.

“I’m not a criminal. I don’t do deals. I have never comprised my values. The state has blown up the house my family was building. The bullets, the explosives they used are on the scene. So what kind of a country are we living in?" he posed.

Mwangi said he is hurting but his spirit is not broken.

"Even this will pass. In a few hours, the day will break and it will be the work of the police to open investigations," he said.

"If the government doesn’t go after the culprits, they shall survive to hunt me and hurt others." Edited by D Tarus, by NANCY AGUTU AND CYRUS OMBATI, The Star

EALA Speaker Martin Ngoga from Rwanda. Photo The Chronicles

 

The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat has called off the controversial job interviews in which Uganda felt it was unfairly edged out of the process by some of the partners states.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Secretariat’s media unit said the interviews that had been scheduled to start on Monday this week could not take off due to lack of quorum.

“Following successful profiling and shortlisting, the interviews were set to commence from October 18 to November 2. The Secretariat made all the arrangements for the shortlisted candidates to participate in the interviews through the video conferencing facilities at the ministries of EAC Affairs in the partner states,” the statement reads in part.

“The interviews could not commence as scheduled due to quorum. The interviews have, therefore, been postponed to a later date that will be communicated accordingly. The EAC is committed to providing an equal opportunity for all East Africans,” the statement adds.

The 42nd extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers in May approved the filling of the vacant positions in the EAC organs and institutions through competitive recruitment.

In compliance with the directive of the extra-ordinary council meeting, the Secretariat advertised the vacant positions.

More than 15,000 applications were received from all the six partner states.

However, last week, Ugandan MPs claimed their citizens had been side-lined, especially for the job of the clerk.

The Speaker of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Mr Martin Ngoga who ia from Rwanda, was accused of bias by side-lining Uganda for the job of EALA Clerk and instead gave it to a Tanzanian national.

Ugandan lawmakers moved a motion, seeking to block the exercise, claiming it was full of fraud. South Sudan and Burundi backed Uganda’s concerns.

“The republic of Burundi took the decision of not attending the planned panels for the following reasons; the ongoing recruitment process does not guaranty the implementation of the quota system within the EAC since this has not been clarified before the said process begins,” Burundi stated.

The Minister for East African Affairs, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, also wrote a protest letter over the recruitment.

EAC recruitment guidelines

The recruitment is premised on the principle that citizens from all partner states should enjoy the same rights to employment opportunities accruing from the integration process.

Equally, the staff rules and regulations require that the recruitment will be done on a quota system, which provides that partner states must have points for its citizens to be considered as eligible candidates.

The rules provide that a country must have a minimum of 14 points. This, according to the Ugandan EALA MPs, makes Tanzania and Kenya ineligible to front candidates for the clerk position. - Daily Monitor/The Chronicles

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