Legal Aid Organization Pushes for Live Hearing of Tanzania-Dubai Pact Case

Dar es salaam port – Government Island and Critics in a tangle

A Tanzanian, Arusha-Based non-governmental organization has implored the presiding judge of the high court of Tanzania to openly adjudicate the case opened by legal activists to challenge sections in the intergovernmental agreement between Tanzania and Dubai.

The Civic and Legal Aid Organisation, (CILAO) managing director, Odero Odero, issued a letter with Ref Number, CILAO/HC/MBEYA/01/2023, pleading to the presiding Judge, Dunstan Ndunguru, adjudicated the case live before extreme media—on grounds that it bears huge human interest.

“This case directly touches the interest of 60 million Tanzanians, who are supposed to know the fate of the opposed contentious sections in the Tanzania-Dubai pact. I implore presiding judges to let extreme media cover the hearings alongside members of the public to accord the case a huge attendance,” reads part of the statement issued by the CiLAO managing director.

On July 5, the plaintiffs led by Advocate Boniface Mwambukusi and Philip Mwakilima opened a case to challenge some sections in the Tanzania-Dubai pact against the defendants, Minister of Works and Transport, the Attorney General alongside the Works and Transport General Secretary.

Over the past few weeks, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, Attorney General Eliezer Feleshi, Works and Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa, and Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) director general Plasduce Mbossa are among government officials who have issued detailed clarifications on a number of issues in the document.

The list of those who have come out in support of the IGA includes business magnate Rostam Aziz, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) chairperson Angelina Ngalula and politician-cum-academician Kitila Mkumbo.

There are also those who have openly voiced their concerns about some provisions in the agreement, including Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) secretary-general Charles Kitima, former Cabinet minister Anna Tibaijuka, former Chadema secretary-general Wilibrod Slaa, as well as law and development expert Issa Shivji.

A statement issued by The Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) considers that the provision, which calls for the enhancement of Tanzania’s investment legal infrastructure, may positively impact Tanzania.

TLS, however, was concerned about the phrasing of the article requiring the project to be stabilized in a way that is comparable and satisfactory to the parties and the Project Company.

“It is also widely known that the existing legal environment across all sectors does not favor private or Public-Private Sector Partnership (PPP) investments, including the PPP law,” reads a part of the TLS’ statement availed to the media a few days ago.

TLS recommended that the government undertake sector-wise comprehensive legislative and regulatory reforms, taking cues from the Business Environment Strengthening for Tanzania Program.

However, Attorney General Eliezer Feleshi said the ongoing misleading on the DP World and negative perception towards the company, was unhealthy for the development of the country.

He said the matter could be perceived as Tanzania discriminating against investors from some countries.

“Discriminatory language uttered by a section of people towards investors from some countries can tarnish the country’s image as the best destination for tourists in the content,” warned Dr. Feleshi.

“So, do you want us to create an environment that will worry investors in the sense that our country doesn’t want investors?” he said.

The case to challenge sections in the Tanzania-Dubai pact is set for hearing on 20th July at the High Court of Tanzania, Mbeya Division.

By Mutayoba Arbogast, K-NEWS Tanzania Contributor

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