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[Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Court of Appeal has sealed gospel artist Reuben Kigame’s fate after declining to lift orders issued last week in favour of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

After hearing arguments yesterday, Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Francis Tuiyott and Hellen Omondi ruled that they were satisfied that IEBC had persuaded them that there is a likelihood of the August 9 presidential election being postponed if Kigame is allowed to be on the ballot.

The judges were of the view that the commission had also convinced them that it had a case even if a judge could order a consideration of a candidate with less than the required 48,000 signatures even when not provided by the Constitution. 

"We had no difficulty in finding that the appeal is arguable particularly on whether the learned judge can on judicial edict amend the Constitution. We also considered the financial implication and if the election were to be postponed, the effect to the country. The Application is for allowing,” said Justice Karanja who read the ruling on behalf of the bench.

She said that the court will hand a detailed verdict on Friday. In the case, IEBC said it may be forced to push forward elections if it has to include Kigame on the presidential ballot paper.

At the same time, IEBC argued that it will spend an additional Sh971 million to reprint the ballot papers and reconfigure 55,650 Kiems kits.

In its appeal against the High Court decision requiring it to reconsider Kigame’s academic papers and collected signatures, the agency faulted Justice Anthony Mrima, saying he (Kigame) only submitted 1,013 signatures against the required 48,000. 

“The list of supporters referred by the court has not been presented to the commission nor has it been analysed to determine whether the listed nominating supporters meet the prescribed numbers and are registered voters as required,” said the Wafula Chebukati-led commission.

According to IEBC commission, it is impossible to effect the changes because the required money can only be available after 30 days, yet the polls are only 13 days away.

Justice Mrima said there is need for the Parliament to enact a law that enables persons with disabilities to fully participate in politics.

The judge however rejected Kigame’s prayer to compel IEBC to have him on the ballot. He said, this would amount to overstretching the court’s mandate. Justice Mrima said it is only IEBC that can decide whether he will be on the ballot or not.

“This court is satisfied that on account of disability and the effort by the petitioner and the signatures collected and are with the respondent. The petitioner shall not be disqualified on the basis of the signatures,” said the judge. 

Kigame had accused the electoral commission of bias and unfairness. He argued that the commission had extended time for presidential candidates to table their signatures and at least 2,000 copies of voters identification cards from majority counties only for it to allegedly reject his.

The gospel singer argued that IEBC was unfair to disabled persons as it has not developed regulations to assist persons with disability.

“The petitioner has worked hard and has met all the requirements set in the presidential aspirant’s checklist, only to be barred from presenting the said booklets that have cost him time and a lot of resources. IEBC failed to grant the petitioner access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from his disability as required by the constitution,” he said.

According to lawyer John Khaminwa, Kigame attended the pre-nomination meeting for presidential candidates.

IEBC chairman agreed to add presidential aspirants two more days to have their signatures and copies of IDs in order. This was on May 23.

Six days later, Kigame said, he presented his signatures at the Bomas of Kenya but the commission declined to receive them.

“Shockingly, the petitioner’s materials were not received,” said Khaminwa. By Kamau Muthoni, The Standard

Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete addressing journalists during the launch of the East African Community Election Observation Mission on August 1, 2022 at Serena hotel, Nairobi.  Lucy Wanjiru I Nation Media Group

Former Tanzania President Dr Jakaya Kikwete on Monday launched  the  Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the General Election scheduled for Tuesday next week. 

Speaking at Serena Hotel, Dr Kikwete who heads the East African Community (EAC) delegation announced the arrival of 52 election observers from EAC partner states.

The team arrived in Nairobi on Monday and will be dispatched in 15 groups to all regions in the country. They will observe the elections and assess the level of preparedness of the key electoral stakeholders.

“The team is drawn from key governance and independent institutions of the partner states and civil society organisations. They will be in the country from August 1,2022 and depart on August, 12, 2022,” said Dr Kikwete.

The observers are also tasked to assess the level of compliance of the electoral processes and management to the international, regional and national established laws, as well as evaluating how Kenya adheres to EAC’s democratic principles as enshrined in the treaty.

“The treaty requires EAC partner states to uphold “good governance including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s rights,” explained Dr Kikwete.

Announce findings

Dr Kikwete noted that the mission’s arrival in the country honours an invitation by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and is a fulfillment of the mandate of the EAC to observe general elections in partner states. 

After the elections, the mission will announce their findings on August 11, 2022 and submit them to the commission.

“Our mandate to observe elections in partner states is governed by the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and the EAC Principles for the Observation and Evaluation of Elections. As a region, we have a conviction that regional observation is critical to enhancing the credibility of the elections, reinforcing the work of domestic observer groups and enhancing public confidence in the entire electoral process,” said Dr Kikwete.

Dr Kikwete added he will engage with IEBC, political parties, Judiciary, security organs, media and civil society to ensure that the elections are peaceful. 

The mission, he said, will also build on the outcomes of a joint pre- election assessment that was conducted by the African Union(AU), EAC, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(Comesa) in July.

“I wish to congratulate Kenyans for the peaceful manner in which the different political coalitions, parties and independent candidates have so far conducted campaigns by espousing of high level of tolerance and political maturity. I urge you all to maintain this spirit throughout the remainder of the electoral process,” he concluded. By Mercy Chelangat, Daily Natiion

 

Universities Fund Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Monari during the interview at his office in Nairobi on July 21.

Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group 

University funding has been on the decline in the last five years, affecting operations and academic programmes. The underfunding has hit public universities, which receive the largest number of government-sponsored students. Private universities are also feeling the heat. The government deficit to public universities stands at Sh96.3 billion and Sh24.4 billion for private ones. Universities Fund (UF) Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Monari spoke to Faith Nyamai on the gaps. 

What is the role of the Universities Fund?

The Fund is mandated to ensure the financial sustainability of universities. In consultation with the Education Cabinet Secretary, the Fund develops a transparent criterion for allocation of money to public universities, issues conditional grants to private universities, apportions funds to private universities and ensures the grants are approved and accepted by all. We also establish a minimum differentiated remuneration for academic staff.

 
 

One of our key functions is to mobilise and receive funds for universities. For now, we only get money from the government. We are expected to raise more from donors and endowment funds. The law also requires us to advise the Cabinet Secretary on university financing.

What has been the trend of funding from the government in the last five years? Any gaps?

The government will spend Sh47.3 billion on universities in the 2022/23 fiscal year. Public universities will get Sh44 billion of this amount. In the 2020/21 financial year, we received Sh41.9 billion for 271,446 students. The average grant for a student at the time was Sh154,385. Based on the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC), we are required to fund 80 per cent of a student’s tuition fee.

The remaining 20 per cent should be raised by the students or they can apply for funding from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb). We instead funded students at 53.7 per cent below the DUC. In the 2021/22 year, we funded 324,182 students with a budget of Sh43.8 billion. The average funding per learner fell to Sh135,244 and the percentage was 49.51 of the DUC. This created a deficit of Sh27 billion owed to universities. 

The deficit to public universities was 20 billion the previous year. There are 356,188 students in this financial year but we only have Sh44 billion. Every student, therefore, will get about Sh123,597 at a 48.11 per cent of the DUC, creating a deficit of Sh27 billion.

The DUC funding percentage has been going down from 66.4 per cent in 2018, to 60.7 in 2019 and 53.77 per cent in 2020.

For private universities, funding for government-sponsored students has gone down from an average of Sh84,217 at 44.86 per cent of the DUC to Sh40,366 at 21.94 per cent. The government is funding 78,650 students in private universities this year.

For five years, the funding deficit in public universities stands at Sh96.3 billion while that of private ones is Sh24.4 billion.

What are you doing to bridge the gap and prevent universities from collapsing?

We are working to see how to bridge the gap where the government can increase funding as a short-term remedy. We have also come up with programmes where universities will be urged to commercialise research. Government funding is falling.

The state has other competing resources. We are also going to donors. We have requested universities to re-strategise in terms of staffing and working within their budgets. There is also the issue of capital development funds, which we advise universities to utilise instead of putting up new buildings.

Which donors are you engaging and how much do you intend to raise? 

We have engaged the UN Economic Council for Africa, the Alliance of African Entrepreneur Universities and the World Bank through the National Treasury and the ministry. They are willing to support in terms of the performance-based value. Initially, we were looking at raising about Sh3 billion a year. It will be better if we get more.

There are 123,963 new students under government-sponsorship this year. How is UF planning to fund them, considering some reported in July while others will do so in September?

We don’t have enough money to fund the students at 80 per cent DUC. There is a deficit of Sh20.1 billion for the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination cohort. It is a very difficult task for us and the universities. The institutions will have to look for more money to bridge the gap. We at the UF are scratching our heads together with the National Treasury to see how to increase the funding in the supplementary budget.

The UF drafted a framework to improve on the funding formula. What is the progress?

The framework has gone through public participation but has not yet been signed off. What the framework proposes is to ensure we include issues of national priority programmes which will take up to 20 per cent of the funding. We also want to include doctorate and masters programmes, special needs of students and  consider institutional factors which will see newly established universities benefit. Some of these universities, unlike the older ones, do not have quality equipment and laboratories. 

The DUC funds students based on the number a university has and the programmes.

Why is the government focused on funding post-graduate students yet it does not have sufficient money for undergraduates?

Government funding will only be on priority areas. There is a big gap in Kenya’s university faculty. Most students are pursuing business-related programmes for their post-graduate studies. It is difficult to come across a PhD holder in science-based programmes or other key areas. We shall engage universities to know where gaps are and where we need more people trained so that we support faculties.

Unemployment levels among university graduates have been on the increase. What measures are you taking as government to ensure you do not fund students who cannot secure or create jobs?

One of the criteria we shall be looking for when funding students is performance. We want to see graduates’ employability in the first and second year. Are your graduates employable? That will be an indication that the university has a good curriculum and the industry is responding well to its graduates.

Lawmakers have raised concerns on why the government funds private universities at the expense of financially crippled public universities. What is your response?

Students are placed to these institutions by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS). Our mandate is to fund students. If KUCCPS sends government-sponsored students to private universities, we will fund them there. We do not determine where a student goes. Most of the students placed in private universities actually request to go there. That is because the universities offer programmes they are attracted to. 

Apart from budgetary challenges faced by the Fund, what other problems have you encountered and how are you addressing them?

We need a formula for capital funds (infrastructure money). The financial management by universities also remains a huge challenge. University employees who deal with financial management need a lot of training to ensure whatever amount received is used prudently for sustainability. We are coming up with a curriculum to support that kind of training.

We also have a big challenge in data management in the universities. Numbers do not add up on many occasions. We are coming up with a data centre which will bring in the Commission for University Education, Helb , KUCCPS, universities and other stakeholders on one platform.

We have convinced Parliament to give us Sh50 million to come up with the centre and the grants management programme which will ensure the information we have and that with universities is aligned and properly utilised for funding. By Faith Nyamai, Daily Nation

 

The production manager, Mr Apollo Arinaitwe (left), and his team check the quality of a paper at the Monitor Publication Limited headquarters in Namuwongo Kampala. Photos / File

What you need to know:

  • Gory images of what in the country’s political parlance became known as “Luweero skulls”, a reference to victims killed in Luweero, the epicentre of the five-year guerilla war, underlined the brutality of citizen against citizen in pursuit of power.

Slightly over 30 years ago today, when Monitor Publications Ltd, publisher of the Daily Monitor newspaper was founded, Uganda’s national conscience was scarred by after-effects of the atrocious war between Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) government and the Yoweri Museveni-led National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels. 

Gory images of what in the country’s political parlance became known as “Luweero skulls”, a reference to victims killed in Luweero, the epicentre of the five-year guerilla war, underlined the brutality of citizen against citizen in pursuit of power.

Then after shooting its way to power in 1986, the NRA/M through legal notice No 1 issued in March of that year restricted activities of political parties claiming that they were devisive.

The Museveni group was leftist-leaning, but soon turned to embrace neo-liberal policies, including imbibing hook-line-and-sinker economic liberalisation policies of the Bretton Woods institutions that birthed privatisation and downsizing of the civil service.

“This privatisation drive stinks badly,” The Monitor, the fresh kid on the media block, proclaimed in its July 24, 1992 edition in what three decades reveal to be arguably prophetic.

NRM in its early days held out as a liberal outfit; had restoration and promotion of democracy on its 10-point programme blueprint, which was supposed to be the cornerstone of governing Uganda. 

In that direction, its leaders gravitated towards espousing the rule of law and free speech and media which made it unsurprising that NRM liberalised the airwaves in the early 1990s, leading to the future proliferation of FM radio stations and other media outlets. 

Among the early publications before that was the Weekly Topic. It was led by three leftist adherents; former Ugandan Prime minister Kintu Musoke, former deputy premier, the late Kirunda Kivejinja, and former long-serving Local Government minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali. 

 But some of the Weekly Topic’s editors and reporters felt that the owners of the newspaper were joined at the hip with the government.

This editorial turmoil spilled into the newsroom.

 Mr Wafula Oguttu, a future Leader of Opposition in Parliament, was one of the editors at the Weekly Topic newspaper.

He reveals that there were attempts as early as 1988 to get rid of him.

“They [government] tried to banish me and take me out of the country. Museveni appointed me and Kintu Musoke [as ambassadors]. We both declined to be ambassadors,” he said in an interview for this article. 

According to Mr Wafula’s recollection, publication of sensitive stories precipitated a rift between the owners and editors of the newspaper.

“I had so many friends in the NRM and so it was very easy for me to get stories and break them. Sometimes they were stories in Cabinet, sometimes they would go back and change the headline,” he said, “the owners felt that if we broke stories, it would appear that they were leaking government secrets.” 

The newspaper then published a hard-hitting editorial on corruption. The editorial implored the president to make sweeping reforms and get rid of corrupt public officials including a minister corruptly linked to a power project. This editorial jolted the establishment.

“Apparently Museveni was very angry about that because we were lecturing him; so one afternoon, one of the founders came to the Weekly Topic and called a meeting for editorial and said that I had been promoted to the role of director for projects and was not allowed anywhere near the editorial. I felt this was a joke,” Mr Wafula said. 

He added: “After the meeting, I found that I was going to develop sister magazines of the Weekly Topic, I decided that I was not going to be kicked upstairs to earn a salary for doing nothing. My friend Charles [Onyango Obbo] then was doing a fellowship at Harvard (University), I talked to (Teddy Ssezzi) Cheeye [and told him that] that ‘I think I want to start a newspaper to augment [others] and do it the way we were doing it at the Weekly Topic’.”

Mr Wafula had earlier on developed a blueprint to improve content at the Weekly Topic. This is what he polished to start The Monitor newspaper alongside colleagues Mr Obbo, Mr David Ouma Balikowa, Ogen Kevin Aliro, Richard Tebere and Mr Teddy-Sssezi Cheeye and Mr Jimmy Serugo.

He says the motivation to start The Monitor newspaper was not financial gain, but to have an independent editorial platform that would offer practical training skills to journalists.

“We did not start Monitor to make money; we wanted to satisfy our professional enthusiasm. We had brains, pens and a type-writer and we thought we would do a newspaper. What motivated us to found The Monitor was a place to be free to express ourselves, but we wanted that platform, which would train journalists,  some of us were already teaching at Makerere,” he said.

A cohort of the pioneer Mass Communication students at Makerere University who were doing internship at the Weekly Topic newspaper, abandoned the ship as it sailed across the rough seas.

Among them was Ms Susan Nsibirwa,  who is now a new non-executive director on the paper’s Board, Mr Onapito Ekomoloit, the legal and corporate affairs director at Nile Breweries Limited, Mr Linda Nabusayi Wamboka, the current senior presidential press secretary and Mr Dismas Nkunda, the executive director, Atrocities Watch Africa. 

Eventually the Weekly Topic newspaper folded.

 Ms Nsibirwa described working at The Monitor in its early days as “humbling”.

“You walk in and if you didn’t have where to sit, basically you have to stand. It was just their desire for truth and pure journalism [that] kept driving us,” she said, underlining a dedication to hold leaders accountable. 

Her allegiance to the editors while a correspondent at the Weekly Topic aided her seamless transition with them to The Monitor.

 “We hand-wrote stories, the edited stories were typeset and then pasted into columns to form newspaper pages. All this was done manually,” Mr Onapito said, adding, “On the day the newspaper went to bed, ready for printing we reporters stayed in office until the wee hours to make sure everything was okay with the stories.”

The prospect of seeing one’s story in the newspaper the next day was exciting that, he said, one hardly noticed the night turn into day break in office.Guests  inspect the printing machine during the opening of the Monitor Publications Limited head offices on 8th Street Industrial Area. 

As founders of the newspaper, according to Mr Wafula, they barely had any entrepreneurial rigour. 

They had nowhere to typeset the paper, but one gentleman named Alex then stationed at Blackline House helped the team out on his computer

With no cash at hand and no idea where to print the newspaper, Mr Wafula said he approached his friend William Pike, then editor of New Vision, which he had declined to edit, and implored him to print the index copy of The Monitor but they would pay later.

Mr John Ndyabagye, a friend Mr Wafula approached, offered a basement at a building on Entebbe Road, now renamed Kamu Kamu Plaza, as Monitor’s first office premises.  

“It was totally dark, and we had one desk and one sofa-set,” he said of the paper’s humble beginnings.

The publication initially was to be called The Flame, but Augustine Ruzindana, a friend to Mr Wafula, suggested The Monitor title.

Its first edition hit the stands on July 24, 1992. 

“That is where I met Robert Kabushenga [former Vision Group chief executive officer]. He was counting and loading the newspaper, I was the only one with a small Mazda (car) [in which] I loaded the newspapers and a BBC correspondent who had a Land Rover [helped] to carry the newspaper to the office from where we distributed the copies to vendors ...,” Mr Wafula said.

All the 10,000 copies printed were bought by 9am in Kampala.

“After we printed a number of the first, second, and third editions, New Vision realised that we were eating into their market … [and] one afternoon said [it was] not going to print our newspaper,” he said. 

Later, they approached an Ethiopian man who had a modest printer who agreed to print The Monitor.

“That is when I asked Kabushenga … I was impressed that a Law student was carrying newspapers and I put him in charge of printing the newspaper at the new printing press,” Mr Wafula recounts.

At its humble office, on Entebbe Road and later Dewinton Road in Kampala, The Monitor offered a distinguished provenance — bold reporting, which spoke truth to power. 

It also carried a rich tapestry; politics, features, satire, gender content and sports. The newspaper was able to look into its crystal balls and predict what was about to unfold. 

The late Richard Tebere wrote, “privatisation has come to Uganda and in a big way. Government officials, with un-accustomed alacrity, are falling over each other to sell off over 100 public enterprises whose actual owners are the people of Uganda” in the editorialised lead for the maiden issue.

 The article added: “A few months ago, an advert was placed in European papers listing the number of Ugandan parastatals to be sold off to the private sector without the approval of the National Resistance Council [the then Parliament] or the Cabinet. On the face of it, it makes a lot of sense. For why should taxpayers continue to subsidise loss-making and corruption-riddled corporations?”

That prediction over the past three decades turned true.

Privatisation, which was a core policy of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund pushed Structural Adjustments Programme (SAP) became the poster-child of graft in Uganda as public parastatals were stripped of their assets by powerful individuals in government, which led to their collapse.

Among them was Uganda Airlines, which was recently revived after years of collapse, Uganda Railways Corporation and Uganda Commercial Bank ltd.

 In December 2020, the government closed the Privatisation Unit, which struggled to deliver the lofty dreams of efficiently-run blue-chip private firms anchored on private enterprise.

The founders of The Monitor newspaper identified themselves as egalitarians who were keen to show that beneath the veneer of liberation, the NRM and its leaders were not entirely squeaky clean.

 Barely six years after capturing power, the NRM attempted to dress itself in a puritanical image.

On the contrary, the stories that were published by the Monitor showed a corrupt elite at the steering wheel of a nearly chaotic state. 

The Monitor was then branded a radical platform to sustain the Opposition. 

A number of its journalists were often hauled before courts of law and detained on allegations of flouting draconian provisions such as sedition and the publication of false news.

Mr James Nangwala was a young astute lawyer whose profile was raising. Like a fitting glove, he became the company’s troubleshooter in the courts of law.

Finally in 1993, the hammer fell on The Monitor, as government imposed an advertising ban on the newspaper.

Mr Wafula recalls that the ban took effect immediately after The Monitor’s first anniversary. 

 “[Co-founder] Aliro, [then] a fan of Soccer Club Villa announced that The Monitor is going to celebrate one year at Crested Towers. The entire stadium came for the party and we had also bought cars for ourselves on credit and a car for office. It didn’t sit very well with government,” he said.

Those who crafted this ban believed that this would push the newspaper into a financial chokehold and collapse.

Mr Wafula said among the advocates of the ban was the the late Vice-President, Samson Kisekka who “began making speeches on radio saying ‘we might have gotten [two-time President Milton] Obote’s money’. I confronted him in his office”.

However, the public and foreign firms offered The Monitor newspaper the saving grace.

“Something happened which was interesting, the foreign companies began giving us adverts, the public demanded more copies and even some embassies began advertising, we survived the ban for four years,” Mr Wafula said.

On the contrary, sales grew and by November 1996, the paper went daily.

“Dr (Ruhakana) Rugunda [former Premier] came to visit me at The Monitor. I said ‘Dr Rugunda, you have come to visit me, an organisation you wanted to kill four years ago, we have refused to die, that’s why we are here, this building belongs to us, the machine belongs to us, and my staff hate you because you wanted to take their jobs away’. If you want to make peace with us, remove that ban.’ He laughed and eventually they removed the ban,” Mr Wafula added. The State ended the ban in 1997.

 In March 2000, it was announced that The Monitor had been bought by Nation Media Group (NMG), the largest media house in eastern and central Africa. In 2005, the newspaper was relaunched and renamed the Daily Monitor.

Mr Wangethi Mwangi, a former editorial director of NMG and current non-executive director and board member of the Group, said: “The main reason that we went there [to invest in MPL] was our own history here in Kenya.

The Nation was set up on a platform of change or transformation— a platform that would provide an alternative voice to the majority population that was clamouring for self determination and then of course the Nation’s vision has always been to be the media of Afric for Africa. So, the best way to do that was to venture farther afield.” 

They found Monitor Publications the ideal bride.

In the deal, the founders of The Monitor looked at survivability amid a hostile environment. 

That has worked, according to Prof Samuel Sejjaaka, the new NMG Uganda board chairperson, who argues that the continued publication of the title is an “attestation to its quality as an alternativesource of news … [and] strong values as part of the fourth estate of this country and … ability of the founders to weather the storms”

Guests at the opening of the Monitor Publications Limited head offices on 8th Street, Industrial Area. 

His relationship with the founders of The Monitor dated back to 1983. By then, Prof Sejjaaka, was an accounts clerk intern at the Weekly Topic. 

“For me to be here to be speaking about The Monitor means that I have come back full circle and it has been quite a rollercoaster,” he said.

That journey, for the newspaper and NMG, was- not without tumbles or jagged edges, as Mr Wangethi explained.

 “It has been a rough journey, but we have been vindicated, we have stumbled along the way, we have faced a lot of obstacles, journalists have been harassed some of them sent to jail, but we have always managed to get up and do the things we do best, thanks to the boys and girls at The Monitor,” he said, adding, “They have continued pushing the agenda of change and giving that very critical voice that always misses in democracies that are too tightly-controlled.”

Beyond surviving, The Monitor has thrived, as the circumstances have favoured. 

It managed to secure land and build its own headquarters, comprising a two-storey and a four-storey building, the latter housing both KFM and Dembe FM radios that it owns, on 8thstreet in Industrial area. It has its own modern printer and runs a Nation Courier Services fleet

It also has sister publications, The East African newspaper and NTV Uganda, under the NMG-Uganda stable.

Despite, the challenges afflicting legacy media, headlined by a drastic drop in conventional advertising models and technology, one commitment of The Monitor remains undiluted: bold and influential journalism. By Emmanuel Mutaizibwa & Ritah Kemigisa, Daily Monitor

 

DAR ES SALAAM, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Environmental authorities in Tanzania said on Saturday preparations are underway for the launch of a countrywide cleanliness campaign to be known as "my dustbin".

Selemani Jafo, the Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office responsible for Union and Environment, said the campaign will involve placing dustbins in urban centers in all districts and regions across the east African nation.

"The objective of the 'my dustbin' campaign is to keep our urban centers clean. We don't want to see rubbish in our urban centers, including food waste, plastic bottles and banana peels," said the official.

He also directed district and regional authorities to make sure that markets at their places remained clean instead of turning them into dumping grounds.

Jafo said experience showed that most of the markets in urban centers were an eyesore with heaps of unattended garbage. - Xinhua

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