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Tanzania's High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition by four private citizens challenging the legality of the government’s new ports management deal with the United Arab Emirates and have it voided on constitutional grounds.

A three-judge High Court panel sitting in Mbeya ruled that the constitutional case was "barren of fruits" and lacked merit in almost all its aspects, including petitioners’ claims that the agreement contained clauses that violated Tanzania's constitution and endangered national sovereignty and security.

Tanzania and the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2022 for DP World, a multinational logistics company headquartered in Dubai, to run the port of Dar es Salaam, initially, before expanding to run other ports in mainland Tanzania, depending on subsequent negotiations. 

The MoU was followed by an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) titled Economic and Social Partnership for the Development and Improving Performance of Sea and Lake Ports in Tanzania, signed by Works and Transport Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa with President Samia Suluhu Hassan's consent in October, had been endorsed by parliament on June 10 this year.

Since then, the IGA has drawn much public scepticism over how its conditions may impact Tanzania's long-term control over its sea and lake ports.

Critics include opposition leaders, religious clerics and legal experts who have questioned why the pact does not have an end date and excludes ports in Zanzibar where President Samia comes from.

The government and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party officials have vehemently denied claims that the deal amounts to a "sell-off" of one of Tanzania's prime properties to foreign investors and stressed that the IGA is not "final" since it will be followed by a Host Government Agreement (HGA) and Lease/Concession Agreement which will provide room for changes if necessary.

In the Mbeya case, petitioners Alphonce Lusako, Emmanuel Chengula, Raphael Ngonde and Frank Nyalusi - all lawyers by trade - had argued that the IGA was "non-applicable" to Tanzania because of its constitutional breaches and contraventions of laws designed to protect Tanzania's natural wealth and resources.

In addition to putting Tanzania's sovereignty and security at risk, they alleged that it was also approved by parliament without following proper legal procedures including ensuring sufficient public participation.

The respondents were the Attorney General on behalf of the government, the Minister for Works and Transport and his Permanent Secretary, and the Clerk of the National Assembly. Among the issues brought before the three-judge panel for ruling was whether the IGA could be considered a proper contract in itself under Tanzanian law and whether Tanzania's parliament had legal authority to endorse it without public involvement.

In their 91-page ruling, Judges Dunstan Ndunguru, Mustafa Ismail and Abdi Kagomba rejected outright the claim of constitutional breaches and approved the IGA as an admissible "framework" document for future binding agreements related to the initial MoU that should offer more clarity on the scope, commercial terms and benefits of the entire project.

"The invocation of Article 28 of the constitution as a testimony of erosion of sovereignty is utterly erroneous as issues of sovereignty under the provision are limited to defence and security and do not include matters of trade and investment," they asserted.

The ruling interpreted the IGA as a "facilitative instrument for dispute settlement between the parties" and agreed with the respondents that "specific agreements will be more particular" on the nitty-gritty details of DP World's future operations at the port of Dar es Salaam.

According to the judges, raising specific issues which would be addressed by the HGA, project or lease/concession agreements would be "premature."

On parliament's role in endorsing the IGA, they said section 4 of the Natural Wealth and Resources Act No. 6 of 2017 gave the National Assembly powers to "review any arrangements or agreements made by the government relating to natural wealth and resources" and ensure that unconscionable terms were rectified or removed.

"If any of the covenants of the IGA was considered or deemed to be unconscionable, the powers to order renegotiation or any other remedy would not come from any other institution than the National Assembly," they said.

And despite upholding the petitioners' claim that the 24-hour notice issued by the Clerk of the National Assembly for the public to submit their views prior to tabling the document in parliament was too short to allow for sufficient public input, the judges declared that the legislative body would not have been "bound by such public opinion anyway."

The lead counsel for the petitioners, Boniface Mwabukusi, said later that they intended to lodge an appeal against the ruling with the Court of Appeal. - BOB KARASHANI, The EastAfrican


CAIRO, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto discussed on Tuesday a series of African issues and bilateral cooperation.

During the phone conversation, both leaders discussed the situation in the war-torn Sudan and development in the Nile Basin region, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

They also agreed to intensify coordination and consultation between the two countries to enhance joint African action, in a way that contributes to achieving the desired sustainable development for the continent.

Sisi and Ruto also stressed the need to promote endeavors aimed at achieving continental integration at all levels, according to the statement.

The two presidents highlighted the broad prospects for developing distinguished bilateral relations and advancing frameworks for joint cooperation between Egypt and Kenya. - Xinhua


On the afternoon of July 28, 2023, President Xi Jinping met in Chengdu with President of Burundi Evariste Ndayishimiye who is in China to attend the opening ceremony of the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games and pay a visit to the country.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Burundi relations have withstood the test of the changing international landscape, and the two countries are all-weather friends sharing weal and woe and good partners respecting each other and developing together. China firmly supports Burundi in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and pursuing an independent and self-reliant development path, and opposes external forces' interference. China is ready to work with Burundi to continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results as well as common development at a higher level.

Xi Jinping stressed that China is ready to strengthen exchanges of state governance experience with Burundi and enrich the China-Burundi all-weather partnership. Practical cooperation between China and Burundi has strongly boosted Burundi's economic development and improved people's livelihood. China will accelerate the advancement of relevant major cooperation projects, support the early export of Burundi's agricultural products to China, give full play to the role of the agricultural technology demonstration center and agricultural experts, encourage competitive Chinese enterprises to invest in Burundi, and help Burundi achieve food self-sufficiency and self-reliant sustainable development. China is ready to work with Burundi to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation on major international affairs, especially hotspot issues in Africa, and jointly make positive contributions to peace and stability in Africa.

Stressing that China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future, Xi Jinping said developing solidarity and cooperation with African countries has been the cornerstone of China's foreign policy, as well as a firm and longstanding strategy. Over the years, China-Africa cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results, which has not only brought tangible benefits to Africa, but also created better conditions for the international community to conduct cooperation with Africa. As the world is now facing multiple challenges and crises, it is all the more important for China and Africa to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to safeguard the common interests of the vast number of developing countries as well as international fairness and justice. China is ready to provide new opportunities to African countries with its new development, and work with African brothers, including Burundi, to follow through on the outcomes of the Dakar Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, promote Belt and Road cooperation, synergize the Global Development Initiative with the African Union's Agenda 2063, and achieve common development and progress.

Ndayishimiye said although Burundi and China are far apart, the friendship between the two peoples has grown stronger as time goes by, and the two countries have always respected, trusted and supported each other. Burundi thanks China for its valuable support, and regards China as an all-weather cooperative partner for its national development. Burundi firmly pursues the one-China policy and considers Taiwan as an inalienable part of China. Burundi firmly supports the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative put forward by China, opposes double standards on human rights issues, and stands against interference in other countries' internal affairs. Burundi hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in agriculture, mining, animal husbandry and other fields, to align with the African Union's Agenda 2063, help Burundi and Africa achieve development and strive for greater development of Africa-China relations. The Africa-China cooperation is mutually beneficial for win-win results. Burundi is ready to work with China to enhance communication and cooperation in regional and international affairs, strengthen Africa-China solidarity and cooperation, and build a more just and reasonable international order.

Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Wang Yi, and Shen Yiqin, among others, attended the meeting. - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

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