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Tanzania: Remanded Opposition Leader Freeman Mbowe’s Charge Sheet

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Tanzania Receives 1st Batch of COVID-19 Vaccines

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — Tanzania on Saturday received its first batch of 1 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. government.

Tanzania had been among the few countries in Africa yet to receive vaccines or start inoculating its population, mainly because its former leader had claimed prayer had defeated COVID-19 in the country.

The vaccines were received by Foreign Affairs Minister Liberata Mulamula and the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, Donald Wright, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the country’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Former Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who died in March, had refused to accept vaccines after he claimed three days of prayer had healed the country of the virus in June 2020.

Magufuli, 61, was among the world’s most prominent skeptics of COVID-19. Though his official cause of death was reported to be cardiac arrest, Magufuli’s critics believe he died of COVID-19.

Magufuli’s deputy, Samai Suluhu Hassan, took over as president in line with the country’s constitution and became the first female president in Tanzania.

Hassan has reversed Tanzania’s practice of denying COVID-19′s spread in the East African country.

Source: AP

English News

Tanzania Receives First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccines

The East African nation plans to inoculate 60% of its 60m population from coronavirus, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima announced today

English News

Tanzania: Main Opposition Chadema’s Chairman Freeman Mbowe Held On Terrorism, Assassination Consipracies

The saga involving the Chadema national chairman, Mr Freeman Mbowe, took a new turnyesterday when the police said it was holding the opposition leader for questioning over allegations of terrorism and a plot to kill government leaders.

The police said in its statement yesterday that Mr Mbowe was being held in connection with the allegations that were also made against six other people who have already been arraigned in court in court.

The statement, signed by the police spokesperson, Mr David Misime, said the law enforcers had been compelled to issue a statement on why they were holding Mr Mbowe after realising that his party was releasing misleading statements regarding the reasons behind the arrest of the party’s national chairman.

Chadema had said that Mr Mbowe was being held for interrogations for organising a forum in Mwanza that was meant to deliberate on demands for anew constitution. Police had however aborted the forum that was to be held at a hotel in Mwanza.

Police said yesterday that Mr Mbowe was aware that he was being investigated even before he left Hai in Kilimanjaro for Mwanza where he was later arrested.

In the meanwhile, the management of a tourist hotel that was to host the aborted forum said yesterday that it was counting losses, emanating from the decision by police to temporarily turn the place into a crime zone on Tuesday

On Tuesday, police with guns and tear gas closed entrance and exitto and from the Tourist Hotel inthe Kitangiri area where the Katiba Mpya (new consdtitution) forumorganiszed by Chadema was to take place.

To render the area impenetrable, the entrance to the hotel was also ‘ring-fenced’ with a caution tape (scene barrier) to prevent people from gaining access while the road from Kona ya Bwiru to Kitangiri where hotel is situated was also closed by police vehicles.

The hotel’s manager, Mr Simon Lemamba, told The Citizen yesterday that they had registered a loss amounting to in the region of Sh1.8 million because customers were unable to access the facility for drinks, food and other services on that eventful day.

Chadema only managed to makean advance payment of Sh100,000 out of the agreed Sh600,000 for conferencing at the hotel.

“As we are talking, my employer is asking me if I have received the remaining Sh500,000, but unfortunately, my calls are not being replied to,” said Mr Lemamba.

He said when he met with the national chairman for Chadema’s youth wing (Bavicha), Mr John Pambalu, the agreement was that it would be a mere internal meeting which would be attended by 200 participants.

“Unfortunately, when the day of the meeting arrived (Wednesday), I received a call from a person who identified himself as a government official, informing me that the hotel was surrounded by police because it was hosting a political rally,” said Mr Lemamba.

It has however taken time before the police finally made it open that they were holding Mr Mbowe and 15 party other members, claiming that they were being interrogated over several offences.

Mwanza Regional Police CommanderRamadhani Ngh’anzi said Mr Mbowe and his accomplices were arrested at dawn July 21. The opposition leader was arrested at the Kingdom Hotel located at Ghana street in Mwanza Region.

Commander Ngh’anzi said Mr Mbowe and his associates were being held on allegations of conspiracy to commit crimes and disturbing peace by organiszing a ‘New Constitution’ conference without seeking permission from the law enforcers.

“The Mwanza Regional Commissioner (Robert Gabriel) announced a ban on unnecessary gatherings due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, Chadema leaders organised the so-called conference to demand a new constitution by mobilising and holding rallies at the Tourist Hotel at Kona ya Bwiru,” said Commander Ngh’anzi.

He said the decided to arrest the leaders after they defied the legitimate order of authorities in Mwanza.

He said the arrest of Mr Mbowe followed intelligence information that he was about to engage himself in a plot to commit crimes and breach of the peace.

“After his arrest, our Dar es Salaam colleagues told us that they were also looking for him for other offences that he is alleged to have committed there,” said Mr Ngh’anzi, noting that this was why how the opposition leader had to be sent to Dar es Salaam.

He said after completion of interrogations with the police in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mbowe would be returned to Mwanza to answer the charges that the police will determine after completing the exercise.

Source: The Citizen

English News

BREAKING: Tanzania Records 29 new Covid-19 deaths, 176 New Cases Taking Total Since Outbrake of the Third Wave to 858.

Tanzania has today confirmed 29 deaths with 176 new coronavirus cases recorded yesterday.

The new cases brings the total number of cases since the outbreak of the third wave to 858.

Speaking at a press conference Health Minister Dr Dorothy Gwajima said the figures were recorded only yesterday saying that there is a possibility that more deaths could have occurred.

The minister stated that despite the government’s continued efforts to insist people take all precautionary measures against the disease, a large section of the public is still negligent.

The government, on June 28, for the first time in over a year made public the data, where President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed that there were 100 new Covid-19 cases in the country, with 70 in critical condition then.

The President relayed the alarming statistics during her maiden press conference at the State House in Dar es Salaam

As the third wave seems to be catching steam, President Hassan has continued to remind Tanzanians to take precautions to protect themselves from the pandemic. In one instance she cited some of the regions that have so far been hit by the deadly third wave.

With growing number of cases and hospitals now running short of oxygen supply, Tanzania has found itself against the ropes trying to guard itself from the heavy blows of the virus, with some patients succumbing to the disease.

So far, some of the heavily affected regions by Covid-19 as mentioned by the Head of State are: Kagera, Arusha, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and the administrative capital Dodoma.

She reiterated the need for everyone to be accountable during these trying times as the whole world is battling an unprecedented health crisis.

President Samia has adopted a completely different approach to dealing with the pandemic since she ascended to power on March 19, following the death in office of her predecessor, the late Magufuli on March 17.

She said on Monday that as soon as she was sworn-in as President, she immediately embarked on ways of adopting the globally-accepted measures of preventing the spread of coronavirus, including adopting vaccines.

In strengthening fights for Covid-19 yesterday Health Ministry, banned ‘all unnecessary public gatherings’ nationwide saying that those that appear to be compulsory should observe all precautions.

Source: The Citizen

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President Samia Meets former British PM Tony Blair in Dar

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What is Pegasus spyware and how does it hack phones?

Pegasus can infect a phone through ‘zero-click’ attacks, which do not require any interaction from the phone’s owner to succeed.
NSO Group software can record your calls

It is the name for perhaps the most powerful piece of spyware ever developed – certainly by a private company. Once it has wormed its way on to your phone, without you noticing, it can turn it into a 24-hour surveillance device. It can copy messages you send or receive, harvest your photos and record your calls. It might secretly film you through your phone’s camera, or activate the microphone to record your conversations. It can potentially pinpoint where you are, where you’ve been, and who you’ve met.

Pegasus is the hacking software – or spyware – that is developed, marketed and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group. It has the capability to infect billions of phones running either iOS or Android operating systems.

The earliest version of Pegasus discovered, which was captured by researchers in 2016, infected phones through what is called spear-phishing – text messages or emails that trick a target into clicking on a malicious link.

Since then, however, NSO’s attack capabilities have become more advanced. Pegasus infections can be achieved through so-called “zero-click” attacks, which do not require any interaction from the phone’s owner in order to succeed. These will often exploit “zero-day” vulnerabilities, which are flaws or bugs in an operating system that the mobile phone’s manufacturer does not yet know about and so has not been able to fix.

In 2019 WhatsApp revealed that NSO’s software had been used to send malware to more than 1,400 phones by exploiting a zero-day vulnerability. Simply by placing a WhatsApp call to a target device, malicious Pegasus code could be installed on the phone, even if the target never answered the call. More recently NSO has begun exploiting vulnerabilities in Apple’s iMessage software, giving it backdoor access to hundreds of millions of iPhones. Apple says it is continually updating its software to prevent such attacks.

Technical understanding of Pegasus, and how to find the evidential breadcrumbs it leaves on a phone after a successful infection, has been improved by research conducted by Claudio Guarnieri, who runs Amnesty International’s Berlin-based Security Lab.

“Things are becoming a lot more complicated for the targets to notice,” said Guarnieri, who explained that NSO clients had largely abandoned suspicious SMS messages for more subtle zero-click attacks.

For companies such as NSO, exploiting software that is either installed on devices by default, such as iMessage, or is very widely used, such as WhatsApp, is especially attractive, because it dramatically increases the number of mobile phones Pegasus can successfully attack.

As the technical partner of the Pegasus project, an international consortium of media organisations including the Guardian, Amnesty’s lab has discovered traces of successful attacks by Pegasus customers on iPhones running up-to-date versions of Apple’s iOS. The attacks were carried out as recently as July 2021.

Forensic analysis of the phones of victims has also identified evidence suggesting NSO’s constant search for weaknesses may have expanded to other commonplace apps. In some of the cases analysed by Guarnieri and his team, peculiar network traffic relating to Apple’s Photos and Music apps can be seen at the times of the infections, suggesting NSO may have begun leveraging new vulnerabilities.

Where neither spear-phishing nor zero-click attacks succeed, Pegasus can also be installed over a wireless transceiver located near a target, or, according to an NSO brochure, simply manually installed if an agent can steal the target’s phone.

Once installed on a phone, Pegasus can harvest more or less any information or extract any file. SMS messages, address books, call history, calendars, emails and internet browsing histories can all be exfiltrated.

“When an iPhone is compromised, it’s done in such a way that allows the attacker to obtain so-called root privileges, or administrative privileges, on the device,” said Guarnieri. “Pegasus can do more than what the owner of the device can do.”

Lawyers for NSO claimed that Amnesty International’s technical report was conjecture, describing it as “a compilation of speculative and baseless assumptions”. However, they did not dispute any of its specific findings or conclusions.

NSO has invested substantial effort in making its software difficult to detect and Pegasus infections are now very hard to identify. Security researchers suspect more recent versions of Pegasus only ever inhabit the phone’s temporary memory, rather than its hard drive, meaning that once the phone is powered down virtually all trace of the software vanishes.

One of the most significant challenges that Pegasus presents to journalists and human rights defenders is the fact that the software exploits undiscovered vulnerabilities, meaning even the most security-conscious mobile phone user cannot prevent an attack.

“This is a question that gets asked to me pretty much every time we do forensics with somebody: ‘What can I do to stop this happening again?’” said Guarnieri. “The real honest answer is nothing.”

Source: The Guardian

English News

Tanzania: New Mobile Money Transfer Charges

A new so-called “patriotism levy” imposed on mobile money transfers in Tanzania has come into effect on July 15th amid criticism.

The tax, which was approved last month by the country’s parliament, will impose additional charges every time payments are sent or received via phones.

Tanzania’s telecommunication companies are running adverts in the local press displaying their new charges to transfer money through mobile phones.

Some firms indicate that the patriotism levy has caused transaction fees to double.

Tanzania’s finance ministry has defended the tax, saying the money raised will be used to fund development projects, such as providing running water in schools.

But the new fees have been widely criticised as unfairly targeting the East African nation’s poor citizens.

English News

Tanzania To Receive First 42 Korean Electric Trains By November

The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) has said it will receive first 42 electric locomotives by November this year.
This will see the corporation officially start operating the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
This was stated by the Minister for Works and Transport, Dr Leonard Chamuriho, after he witnessed the signing of the contract between Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), and Hyundai Rotem on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam.

During the signing TRC was represented by its director general, Masanja Kadogosa, while Hyundai Rotem was represented by its senior manager, Mr Lee Se-Han.
“Earlier, we procured 42 electric locomotives from Germany and South Korea. Once they arrive in November, the testing of the SGR section from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro will commence,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Mr Kadogosa said it was encouraging that they the contractor has seen the need to train local engineers on how to operate the SGR.
“In every contract that we have signed so far, there is a component that compels the teaching of local experts on maintenance, signals and driving.
“This will enable our experts to be trained in different areas. We want more local engineers to be competent in all the aspects just like the way we have our own experts operating Air Tanzania,” he said.
Mr Kadogosa stressed that 200 engineers and 10 drivers will go Korea to learn how to operate electric trains. “The approach we are using is to allow locals experts to operate in the SGR instead of going for foreign engineers,” emphasized.
He said construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section of the SGR has reached 92.7 percent – and, currently, the contractor, Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi, was completing the remaining 15 kilometres of the project.
Explaining, Mr Kadogosa said they decided to choose Hyundai Rotem to manufacture the electric locomotives because it is a big company that has been operating for many years.
In his remarks, Mr Lee Se-Han said his organization was happy to work with TRC to supply EMUs and electric locomotive for the SGR.
“We are confident that through close cooperation we will be able to manufacture the electric locomotives within the specified time 25 months,” he said.
The deal follows the Tanzanian government’s plan to modernize its railroads, investing 7.9 trillion ($6.9 billion) to replace its old railway system. Tanzania’s rails were narrower than standard gauges, and trains had to be driven at a slow speed of 30 to 40 kilometers per hour.
With new rails, electric locomotives and EMUs supplied by Hyundai Rotem will run at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour.
Along with the ongoing construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section, work on the 426-kilometre long Morogoro-Makutupora section of the SGR is currently ongoing.
Like the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section, the Morogoro-Makutupora section is also being built by the Turkish company Yapi Merkezi.

There are still three more phases left in Tanzania’s standard gauge railway project — modernizing the 673 kilometer railway between Makutupora, Tabora, Isaka and Mwanza — and Hyundai Rotem aims to actively participate in future bids to supply more electric trains.

Source: The Citizen

English News

BASATA Nullifies Miss Tanzania Committee’s Decision To Strip Rose Manfere of Crown, Orders She Should Represent the Country at Miss World

The National Arts Council (Basata) has ordered that Miss Tanzania Rose Manfere should represent the country at Miss World, therefore nullifying the decision to send the second runners-up for the contes. Basata has also ordered that Rose’s should be sent to the organizers of the world beauty pageant that will take place in Puerto Rico.

The statement was issued today on Tuesday July 15, 2021 by the Acting Executive Secretary of the Council, Matiko Mniko.

The move comes after Rose went to Basata’s offices earlier today seeking to know her fate following Miss Tanzania’s decision to strip her of the right to represent the country at Miss World contest. Yesterday the rumors started to spread on social media that Rose was not going to Miss world but also she was stripped of her crown as Miss Tanzania.

Miss Tanzania Organizing Committee yesterday announced that first runner-up, Julianna Rugumisa will instead represent the country at the World’s beauty pageant in December.

 In an interview with The Citizen’s sister newspaper Mwananchi Miss Tanzania organizers through their representative Azama Masango, said that there are mistakes that Rose made which are against the contract and therefore lacking qualifications to represent the country at Miss World but she will remain with her crown as Miss Tanzania until her term expires.

 “Rose is still a miss Tanzania she will remain with her crown, there are mistakes she made but the committee’s decision has seen that she should not be Tanzania’s representative at Miss World this year,”

“Juliana Rugumisa (first runner up), will go as Miss World Tanzania representative as the agreement says that in the event that the first winner fails to fulfill her responsibilities as per the contract then the second winner will be the representative, but she (Rose) is still Miss Tanzania, “he said.

Following many comments from different people asking why the runner up was selected and not the winner. Writing on her Instagram account Rose said she was not aware of the decision and explained that she was awaiting Basata’s guidance.

Source: The Citizen