TANZANIA: Banda, Kikwete nod Tazara sale

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda and his counterpart in Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete have agreed to explore the possibility of concessioning the Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (Tazara) as a way of improving its performance.

And the two presidents have also agreed to cooperate in the
rehabilitation of the single point mooring (SPM) at Tazama) pipelines
in order to enhance the flow of oil to Zambia.

This is contained in a communique issued in Dar-Es Salaam today, following the official visit of President Banda to Tanzania.

According to the communique, the two heads of State have agreed on the
immediate and long term strategies to address the logistical chain from
the port to Tazara until final destination.

And the duo has urged the relevant ministries to convene a meeting of
experts to expedite the conclusion of an agreement on the one stop
border post concept.

The two presidents also discussed issues relating to the supply of
power to Rukwa region in Tanzania as well as transport facilitation
under the one stop border concept.

The two heads of State who exchanged views on the performance of
various key institutions and sectors such as Tazara, Tazama and the
Port of Dar-es-Salaam also emphasised the importance of revitalising
the joint permanent commission (JPC) of cooperation between the two
countries in order to create a platform in which issues of mutual
benefit could be dealt with speedily.

President Banda and President Kikwete further re-affirmed their
commitment to ensuring that the ninth session of the JPC of cooperation
is held.

With regard to regional issues, the two presidents pledged to continue
to work together to address matters of mutual concern in the SADC
region and the continent as a whole.

In this regard, they exchanged views on the situations in the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe,'' reads the communique in

The two presidents also expressed hope that the problems facing DRC and
Zimbabwe would be resolved so as to ensure peace, security, stability
and development in the SADC region and the continent as a whole.

Earlier, President Banda toured Tazama Pipelines tank farm and the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (Mofed) port of facilities.

Mr Banda assured management at Tazama after he toured the facilities
that he would work closely with his Tanzanian counterpart to see how
the problems affecting the company could be solved.

He said he had held useful discussions with President Kikwete adding
that agreements had been reached that would see some of the problems
facing the joint ventures resolved.

And speaking earlier, Tazama Pipelines regional manager, Abraham
Saunyama said the company was failing to operate to its full capacity
due to financial problems that had dogged the institution.

Mr Saunyama bemoaned the fact that the equipment was old but noted that rehabilitation had been underway since 1986.

He appealed to the governments of Tanzania and Zambia to help
recapitalise the company whose facilities have been in existence for
more than 30 years.

Mr Saunyama said the equipment at Tazama currently posed both
economical and environmental challenges hence the need for the two
governments to agree to finance the rehabilitation of the equipment.

He appealed to the Zambian Government to make it possible for the
company to borrow so that its facilities could be protected in order
for them to continue to serve and contribute to the economic
development of the two countries.

Energy and Water Development Minister, Kenneth Konga echoed the
sentiments of Mr Saunyama adding that the facility was the blood
vessel' for the Zambian economy.

And Tanzanian Minister of Energy and Minerals, Adam Malima said the
concerns raised by Mr Saunyama would be looked into and see how they
could be resolved.

Later, President Banda toured Mofed port facilities and expressed satisfaction at the operations of the company.

I am pleased to see what is happening here which signifies the
cooperation between our two countries. This is the way we should go as
Africans and if we do more of joint ventures, we will get quickly to
the concept of African Unity,'' he said.

And Mr Banda who was in Tanzania for a two day official visit left
Tanzania for Malawi. He was seen off at Julius Nyerere International
Airport by Mr Kikwete and other senior government officials.

He is accompanied to Malawi by Energy Minister Kenneth Konga, Transport
and Communications Minister, Dora Siliya, Foreign Affairs Minister,
Kabinga Pande and other senior Government officials.-ZANIS

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