The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Police arrest demonstrators marching against Tanzania’s decision to award Dar Port to Emirati firm, DP World

A number of Tanzanians who had taken onto the streets, marching in protest against the government’s decision to engage a firm from the United Arab Emirates in running the Port of Dar-es-salaam have been arrested by the Police.

The Demonstrators who were opposing the move to award the country’s main sea entry point to a Dubai firm, DP World, were mostly confronted and ultimately when they reached the Mnazi Mmoja section of Dar-es-Salaam, bearing banners to drive their demands and messages home.

Other than opposing the Dubai’s DP World takeover of Dar-es-salaam Port and related deals, the placards in their hands also called for a new constitution to give the country citizens voice and freedom of making decisions.

Until going to press, the exact number of arrested protestors was yet to be divulged.

Previously, the protestors said theirs were peaceful demonstrations.

Earlier, the Dar-es-salaam Regional Commissioner, Albert Chalamila issued a warning to the residents of the city against taking part in the mass protests.

For many weeks now the country has been in uproar following reports that the government of Tanzania was intending to place the Dar-es-salaam harbor and other inland ports under the management of the firm from the Arab Emirates.

Several prominent personalities including veteran journalist Jenerali Ulimwengu, religious leaders, including the head of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo have been speaking against the deal.

Others are former Land Minister, Anna Tibaijuka, former Presidential Candidate and retired Tanzania Ambassador to Sweden, Dr Wilbroad Slaa as well as a number of lawyers. However, some Members of the Parliament seem to love the deal.

The DP World’s proposed investments claim to focus on improving the Dar Port’s infrastructure through modern equipment and machinery to enhance the harbor’s efficiency.

However, according to observers and especially the series of discussions regarding the matter, mostly conducted through social media platforms indicate that the initial project contract leaves many loopholes.

Tanzania recently reported that the proposal had sailed through parliament but this again has been sparking controversy and public outcry throughout the country.

Tanzania has three major ports along the country’s Indian Ocean Coastline, including Tanga, Mtwara and Dar-es-salaam.

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