Tanzanian News

Tanzania: State drops terrorism charges against 12, court sets them free

Dar es Salaam. The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court has dismissed five terrorism cases and set free 12 accused persons , who were facing charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The move comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions in Tanzania (DPP) informed the Court that he had no intention of proceeding with the charges against them.

The accused who were set free are Seif Mwishehe, Yusuph Rajabu, Buheti Buheti, Juma Athuman, Ally Nassoro popularly known as Omary Swala, Hassan Mnele and six others.

The decision to dismiss the cases was handed down today, March 1, 2022 by five different Magistrates, namely Chief Resident Magistrate Evodia Kyaruzi, Huruma Shahidi and Yusto Ruboroga, after the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss the charges against the accused.

A panel of four prosecuting attorneys led by Senior State Counsel, Waziri Magumbo, assisted by Ramadhani Kalinga, Ashura Mzava and Yusuph Avoid, told the court that the cases were called for mention but the DPP decided to not proceed with the case against the defendants.

Magumbo claimed that the accused had their charges dropped under section 91 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), chapter 20, which was amended in 2019.

Defendants are alleged to have committed offenses on December 23, 2015 and 2016 in various regions in the country including, Dar es Salaam and Manyovu area in Kigoma region.


African Culture

The story of how Swahili became Africa’s most spoken language

Once just an obscure island dialect of an African Bantu tongue, Swahili has evolved into Africa’s most internationally recognised language. It is peer to the few languages of the world that boast over 200 million users.

Over the two millennia of Swahili’s growth and adaptation, the moulders of this story – immigrants from inland Africa, traders from Asia, Arab and European occupiers, European and Indian settlers, colonial rulers, and individuals from various postcolonial nations – have used Swahili and adapted it to their own purposes. They have taken it wherever they have gone to the west.

Africa’s Swahili-speaking zone now extends across a full third of the continent from south to north and touches on the opposite coast, encompassing the heart of Africa.

The origins
The historical lands of the Swahili are on East Africa’s Indian Ocean littoral. A 2,500-kilometer chain of coastal towns from Mogadishu, Somalia to Sofala, Mozambique as well as offshore islands as far away as the Comoros and Seychelles.

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This coastal region has long served as an international crossroads of trade and human movement. People from all walks of life and from regions as scattered as Indonesia, Persia, the African Great Lakes, the United States and Europe all encountered one another. Hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and farmers mingled with traders and city-dwellers.

Africans devoted to ancestors and the spirits of their lands met Muslims, Hindus, Portuguese Catholics and British Anglicans. Workers (among them slaves, porters and labourers), soldiers, rulers and diplomats were mixed together from ancient days. Anyone who went to the East African littoral could choose to become Swahili, and many did.

African unity
The roll of Swahili enthusiasts and advocates includes notable intellectuals, freedom fighters, civil rights activists, political leaders, scholarly professional societies, entertainers and health workers. Not to mention the usual professional writers, poets, and artists.

Foremost has been Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. The Nigerian writer, poet and playwright has since the 1960s repeatedly called for use of Swahili as the transcontinental language for Africa. The African Union (AU), the “united states of Africa” nurtured the same sentiment of continental unity in July 2004 and adopted Swahili as its official language. As Joaquim Chissano (then the president of Mozambique) put this motion on the table, he addressed the AU in the flawless Swahili he had learned in Tanzania, where he was educated while in exile from the Portuguese colony.

The African Union did not adopt Swahili as Africa’s international language by happenstance. Swahili has a much longer history of building bridges among peoples across the continent of Africa and into the diaspora.

The feeling of unity, the insistence that all of Africa is one, just will not disappear. Languages are elemental to everyone’s sense of belonging, of expressing what’s in one’s heart. The AU’s decision was particularly striking given that the populations of its member states speak an estimated two thousand languages (roughly one-third of all human languages), several dozen of them with more than a million speakers.


Source: The Conversation

Global Health

Woman is cured of HIV in huge breakthrough for virus treatment

Scientists appear to have cured HIV in a woman for the first time.

A group of American researchers used a new method of transplanting stem cells that they hope could be administered to dozens of people every year.

The woman, who is of mixed race, is the third person ever to be cured of HIV. Scientists announced on Tuesday that the method, which involves the use of umbilical cord blood, could lead to more racially diverse people being cured than was previously believed to be possible.

There is a larger supply of cord blood than adult stem cells, which are usually used in bone marrow transplants, and cord blood also doesn’t need to be as closely matched to the patient. Most donors are Caucasian, meaning that a partial match could cure dozens of those suffering from both cancer and HIV in the US every year, The New York Times reported.

The woman who was cured was also afflicted by leukaemia, and she received cord blood to treat it, which came from a donor who was a partial match. The usual practice is to find a bone marrow donor whose race and ethnicity is similar to that of the patient. The woman also received blood from a close relative to temporarily boost her body’s immune system as the transplant settled.

The new findings were presented on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Denver, Colorado.

University of California, San Francisco AIDS expert Dr Steven Deeks said that “the fact that she’s mixed race, and that she’s a woman, that is really important scientifically and really important in terms of the community impact,” The New York Times reported.

Women account for the majority of global HIV cases but only make up 11 per cent of participants in cure trials. The disease is thought to develop differently in men and women.

But Dr Deeks added that he doesn’t believe the new treatment will grow into widespread use. “These are stories of providing inspiration to the field and perhaps the road map,” he said.

Almost 38 million people around the world are living with HIV, with around 73 per cent of them receiving treatment via strong antiretroviral drugs that can control the virus. Most of them cannot go through a bone marrow transplant, as the procedure is invasive and risky. This kind of treatment tends to be provided to cancer patients without other options.

According to The Times, two others have previously been cured of HIV. Timothy Ray Brown, known as “The Berlin Patient”, remained free of the virus for 12 years before dying of cancer in 2020. Fellow patient Adam Castillejo was confirmed to have been cured in 2019. Both of them received bone marrow transplants from donors carrying an HIV-blocking mutation, which has only been found in around 20,000 donors, most of whom are descended from northern Europe.

Both Mr Brown and Mr Castillejo suffered harsh side effects, including graft and host disease – Mr Brown almost died following the transplant. Mr Castillejo lost almost 70 pounds (32kg) in the year that followed his procedure. His doctors said he also experienced hearing loss and went through several infections.

The woman who was recently cured left hospital after 17 days and didn’t experience graft or host disease, which is when donor cells attack the body of the transplant recipient. The patient’s doctor, Weill Cornell Medicine physician Dr JingMei Hsu, said the mix of cord blood and the cells from her relative may have counteracted the destructive side effects experienced by other bone marrow transplant recipients.

The president-elect of the International AIDS Society, Dr Sharon Lewin, told The New York Times that “it was previously thought that graft versus host disease might be an important reason for an HIV cure in the prior cases” but that the new revelations reject that notion.

The woman was diagnosed with HIV in June 2013. While antiretroviral drugs kept the issue under control, she received an acute myelogenous leukaemia diagnosis in March 2017.

In August that same year, she received cord blood from a donor with the HIV-blocking mutation. The blood from her relatives supported her immune system during the six weeks it took for the cord blood cells to become dominant. This meant that the transplant was much safer, according to Weill Cornell Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr Marshall Glesby.

“The transplant from the relative is like a bridge that got her through to the point of the cord blood being able to take over,” he told the paper.

The patient ended her use of antiretroviral therapy 37 months after the procedure. Over 14 months after that, there’s still no trace of HIV in her blood and she appears to have no antibodies to the virus.

While it remains unclear why cord blood is effective, the director of the transplant service at Weill Cornell, Dr Koen Van Besien, told the paper that it might be because cord blood is “adaptable”.

“These are newborns, they are more adaptable,” he said.

“Umbilical stem cells are attractive,” Dr Deeks added. “There’s something magical about these cells and something magical perhaps about the cord blood in general that provides an extra benefit.”



Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan Heads to France, Belgium, Her First Euro Tours Since She Became President Last March

Global Health

Moderna Launches Clinical Trials for HIV Vaccine

Jan. 28, 2022 — Human clinical trials have started for an experimental HIV vaccine that uses the same kind of mRNA technology found in Moderna’s successful COVID-19 vaccine, the drug company announced this week.

The first vaccinations were given Thursday at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, the company said in a news release. Phase I trials will also be run at the Hope Clinic of Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The vaccine is designed to prompt white blood cells to turn into antibodies that can neutralize HIV, ABC News reported. A booster shot to work with the HIV vaccine is also being studied.

For 4 decades, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has managed to dodge the immune system’s attempts to destroy it. Scientists have not been able to develop a vaccine, though they have made advancements in treatments, such as long-acting injectables for pre- and post-exposure prevention and treatment. HIV can lead to AIDS, which can be fatal.

The release said 56 healthy HIV-negative adults are taking part in the clinical trial, with 48 getting one or two doses of the mRNA vaccine and 32 also getting the booster. Eight people will just get the booster. All of them will be monitored for up to 6 months after receiving a final dose.

The immunogens — antigens that elicit an immune response — that are being tested were developed by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Scripps Research. They will be delivered using the same messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in Moderna’s successful COVID-19 vaccine, the news release said.

About 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2019, according to the CDC, with more than 36,000 people being diagnosed in 2019.

The World Health Organization says 37.7 million people in the world had HIV in 2020.

“We are tremendously excited to be advancing this new direction in HIV vaccine design with Moderna’s mRNA platform,” Mark Feinberg, MD, president and CEO of IAVI, said in the news release. “The search for an HIV vaccine has been long and challenging, and having new tools in terms of immunogens and platforms could be the key to making rapid progress toward an urgently needed, effective HIV vaccine.”


Flying Cars are Finally Here

A car capable of transforming into a plane and taking to the skies has been awarded an official certification of airworthiness.

That means, the ‘AirCar’ has passed all of its safety checks and is fully certified to fly in its home country of Slovakia.

Officials say the flying car logged 70 hours of rigorous flight testing compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.

That means over 200 takeoffs and landings.

‘AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,’ said Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor, leader of the development team and the test pilot.

‘It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.’

Anton Zajac, the project cofounder, added: ’50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.’

Undated handout photo issued by Klein Vision of an AirCar by Slovakia-based company Klein Vision which has completed a 35-minute journey from Nitra to Bratislava in the country at around 6am on Monday morning. Issue date: Wednesday June 30, 2021. PA Photo. Using wings that fold away in less than three minutes and a propeller at its rear, the dual-transportation vehicle has now completed more than 40 hours of test flights. See PA story TRANSPORT FlyingCar. Photo credit should read: Klein Vision/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The AirCar has logged over 70 hours in the sky (Credits: PA)

The AirCar uses a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol. It is capable of flying at 8,200ft at a speed of up to 170kph.

It took a team of 8 specialists over 100,000 manhours to create the vehicle, which transforms from car to plane in just under three minutes.

It has narrow wings that fold down and tuck inside the car for when it comes time to drive on the roads.

The car, which has been in development for the last five years, is capable of carrying two people with a combined weight of 200kg.

Watch the 'AirCar' fly between airports, transform, and drive off down the road picture: Just Planes metrograb Just Planes
The car takes just under three minutes to transform (Klein Vision)

‘The Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of the unique AirCar development from its start in 2017,’ said Rene Molnar, the director of the Civil Aviation Division at the Transport Authority of Slovakia.

‘The transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards.

‘It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task,’ he said.

Will we see the AirCar making it to driveways and flight paths across the UK? Not for some time, we’re afraid.

When the flight is over, the car just drives down the road (Klein Vision)
When the flight is over, the car can be driven along the road like any normal vehicle (Klein Vision)

The invention would still need to pass safety certification in this country and anyone that wanted to get behind the wheel would need both a driving licence and a pilot’s licence.

Not to mention very deep pockets, the prototype alone cost £1.7 million so a final production model likely won’t come cheap.


African Movers and Shakers

Forbes Rich List 2022: Mohammed Dewji (@moodewji) is East Africa’s Richest Man, He’s Worth USD 1.5 Billion

  • Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.
  • METL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.
  • METL operates in at least six African countries and has ambitions to expand to several more.
  • Dewji, Tanzania’s only billionaire, signed the Giving Pledge in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
  • Dewji was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in October 2018 and released after nine days.

ON FORBES LISTS#15Africa’s Billionaires 2022#1931Billionaires 2021Personal Stats

Age: 46

Source of Wealth: diversified

Residence: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Citizenship: Tanzania

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Did you know Dewji retired from Tanzania’s parliament in early 2015 after completing two terms. Dewji, who is known as Mo (short for Mohammed), launched Mo Cola several years ago to compete with Coca Cola.

SOURCE: Forbes

African News

Nigeria: Former President Obasanjo Decorates Promoted Son with Rank of Brigadier General

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday January 19, decorated his son, Adeboye Obasanjo, with badges of rank of a Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army.

The decoration ceremony held at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Army Engineers Corps, Bonny Camp, Lagos, followed Adeboye’s recent promotion from the rank of Colonel to Brigadier General.

Obasanjo was accompanied by Towulade of Akinale Kingdom of Egbaland, Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, to the occasion

The newly-promoted Brigadier General has two Master Degrees and other professional qualifications.

African Movers and Shakers

Tanzania: President @SuluhuSamia Among 100 Most Influential Africans of 2021. Nobel Prize Winner Abdulrazak Gurnah Makes it to the List Too

Most Influential Africans of 2021


Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB, Nigeria

Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister, Morocco

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor, Sierra Leone

Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, Director, ARC, Senegal

Samia Suluhu Hassan, President, Tanzania

Hakainde Hichilema, President, Zambia

Paul Kagame, President, Ruanda

Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy, UNFSS, Rwanda

Martha Koome, Chief Justice, Kenya

Kwasi Kwarteng, Politician, Ghana

Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA, South Africa

John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC, Cameroon

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, WTO

Ali Bongo Ondimba, President, Gabon

Benedict Oramah, President, Afreximbank

Félix Tshisekedi, President, DR Congo


Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Tech Guru / Investor, Nigeria

Olugbenga Agboola, Techpreneur, Nigeria

Mimi Alemayehou, Independent Director, Twitter, Ethiopia / Kenya

Roberta Annan, Investor, Ghana

Aliko Dangote, Industrialist, Nigeria

Tomi Davies, Investor, Nigeria

Makhtar Diop, Managing Director, IFC, Senegal

Serge Ekué, President, BOAD, Benin

Isaac Fokuo, Investor, Ghana

Ilham Kadri, CEO, Solvay Group, Morocco

Strive Masiyiwa, Entrepreneur, Zimbabwe

Ralph Mupita, CEO, MTN, Zimbabwe

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO, Orange MEA, Senegal

Myriam Sidibe, Marketer, Mali

Patrick Soon-Shiong, Entrepreneur / Inventor, South Africa

Bosun Tijani, Techpreneur, Nigeria

Victor Williams, CEO, NBA Africa, Sierra Leone

Lionel Zinsou, Financier, Benin

Moez-Alexandre Zouari, Retail, Tunisia


Ayoade Alakija, Health Activist, Nigeria

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Scientist, Eritrea

Mary-Jane Bopape, Climatologist, South Africa

Rebecca Enonchong, Tech Entrepreneur, Cameroon

Timnit Gebru, Computer Scientist, Ethiopia / Eritrea

Julie Gichuru, Media Personality, Kenya

Aida Habtezion, Scientist, Eritrea

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Activist, Chad

Anne-Marie Imafidon, Mathematics Wizard, Nigeria

Paula Kahumbu, Conservationist, Kenya

Sefora Kodjo Kouassi, Activist, Côte d’Ivoire

David Makara, Lawyer, Kenya

Ndoni Mcunu, Climate Scientist, South Africa

Vanessa Nakate, Climate Activist, Uganda

Catherine Ngila, Research Scientist, Kenya

Reine Dominique Ntone Sike, Aerospace Engineer, Cameroon

Angelique Pouponneau, Environmentalist, Seychelles

Jeremiah Thoronka, Inventor, Sierra Leone

Opinion Shapers

Simon Allison, Journalist, South Africa

Zain Asher, TV Anchor, Nigeria

Hopewell Chin’ono, Journalist, Zimbabwe

Edward Enninful, Editor, Vogue, Ghana

E. Gyimah-Boadi, Political Scientist, Ghana

Afua Hirsch, Writer, Ghana

Khabane Lame , TikToker, Senegal

Zyad Limam, Publisher / Editor, Tunisia

Lesley Lokko, Architect / Educator, Ghana

Achille Mbembe, Political Scientist, Cameroon

Dambisa Moyo, Economist, Zambia

Nnenna Nwakanma, Web Activist, Nigeria

David Olusoga, Historian, Nigeria

Hannah Ryder, Economist, Kenya

Minouche Shafik, Economist, Egypt

Zainab Usman, Commentator, Nigeria

Rama Yade, Director, Atlantic Council, Senegal


Virgil Abloh, Fashion Designer, Ghana

Yemi Alade, Singer, Nigeria

Osei Bonsu, Curator, Ghana

Sami Bouajila, Actor, Tunisia

Michaela Coel, Actress, Director, Writer, Ghana

David Diop, Writer, Senegal

Bernardine Evaristo, Writer, Nigeria

Damon Galgut, Author, South Africa

Abdulrazak Gurnah, Writer, Tanzania

Cush Jumbo, Actress, Nigeria

Daniel Kaluuya, Actor, Uganda

KiDi, Singer-Songwriter, Ghana

Pulane Kingston, Art Collector, South Africa

Sidney Kombo-Kintombo, Special Effects Artist, R Congo

Elsa Majimbo, Comedienne, Kenya

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, Writer, Senegal

Thuso Mbedu, Actress, South Africa

Lupita Nyong’o, Actress, Film Maker, Kenya

Abel Selaocoe, Musician, South Africa

Wizkid, Singer, Nigeria

Marie-Cécile Zinsou, Art Historian, Benin


Letesenbet Gidey, Athlete, Ethiopia

Ahmed Ayoub Hafnaoui, Swimmer, Tunisia

Sifan Hassan, Athlete, Ethiopia

Ons Jabeur, Tennis Player, Tunisia

Eliud Kipchoge, Athlete, Kenya

Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, Athlete, Kenya

Francis Ngannou, UFC Boxer, Cameroon

Mo Salah, Footballer, Egypt

Nafissatou (Nafi) Thiam, Athlete, Senegal

Global Health

Covid Has Now Killed 150,000 People in UK

The UK’s official Covid death toll has passed 150,000 in a tragic milestone after the virus claimed a further 313 lives on Saturday.

The heartbreaking figure, the highest daily number since February last year, means 150,057 people have died of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

The UK is just the seventh country to pass the devastating landmark, following the USA, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Peru.