What you need to know:
- The plane, which had earlier been scheduled to land in Tanzania in July, is held in Canada after the government failed to pay $38 million (about Sh83 billion) owed to the Canadian Stirling Civil Engineering over a contractual dispute.
President John Magufuli yesterday revealed that he has written to the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau, over the seizure of Tanzania’s aircraft— Bombardier Q400.
The plane, which had earlier been scheduled to land in Tanzania in July, is held in Canada after the government failed to pay $38 million (about Sh83 billion) owed to the Canadian Stirling Civil Engineering over a contractual dispute.
The firm had been contracted to construct the Wazo Hill-Bagamoyo Road but the government terminated the deal midway. The firm then filed a case at the International Court of Arbitration and won.
Addressing residents of Bukoba Municipality in Kagera Region yesterday President Magufuli said he has sent the Attorney General to Canada to sort out the matter within the legal frameworks. The Head of State also noted that he was aware of other cases being filed against the Tanzanian government in various countries but said the country would fight for justice to be done.
He cited a case that has been filed in the United Kingdom by one contractor that leased a fault aircraft to the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL). However, he said just five days before it was handed over to start operations it had to be put under maintenance.
“Then, the plane arrived in the country, but five days before further maintenance, it completely failed to operate,” said President Magufuli.
The Head of State said that the lending firm, which he did not name, then opened a case in the UK demanding ATCL to pay Sh40 billion for termination of contract.
President Magufuli expressed his optimism that Tanzania would win in such cases.
“Our lawyers should cooperate with the government in protecting the county’s interests from being exploited,” said he at the inauguration of the Bukoba Airport. He also told Bukoba residents that the government has put aside a total of Sh35 billion for the construction of a new ship that would operate in Lake Victories.
Touching on whether public servants sacked over holding fake academic certificates would be entitled to any retirement benefits, Dr Magufuli said the matter was complex because some disloyal officials handling the matter were colluding with the culprits to press for fake claims.
He cited the example whereby one public servant (name withheld) had pressed claims amounting to over Sh7 billion to Treasury through the President’s Office (Public Service Management), but after thorough verifications the claim was found to be fake.
In same event, some Bukoba Municipal Council officials faced the President’s wrath after they failed to give figures on money set aside for roads.
Reports reaching The Citizen had it that the President revoked the appointment of Bukoba Municipal Council executive director Erasto Mfugale and that of his Bukoba Rural counterpart Mwantumu Dau.
Meanwhile, the Head of State is scheduled to visit Uganda on a three-day state visit that will start on November 9.
President Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni are scheduled to inaugurate a one-stop border post at Mutukula.
The two Heads of State would also lay a cross-border mark-stone at Luzinga Village for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline and address a rally in Kyotela, according to reports from Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The two leaders are also expected to sign key bilateral agreements in the areas of transport and power projects.