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Tanzania plunged into darkness after nationwide blackout

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A technical fault at Tanzania’s national electricity supply company plunged the East African nation into total darkness.

Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), the supply company said on Thursday that it was working to normalize the situation which left households and businesses without power.

TANESCO confirming the incident on Thursday said in a Swahili tweet that: “there has been an error on the national grid and thus caused blackout to all the regions that were connected to its power supply. Efforts continue to re-establish the electricity (supply).”

Tanzania’s power generation mix blends hydro, natural gas and heavy fuel oil to generate electricity. Like in most African nations, there are incidents of partial blackouts which occur due to minor faults.

President John Pombe Magufuli in January 2017 fired head of Tanesco after the outfit hiked tariffs by 8.53%. The president said the hikes would stunt his plans to industrialize the east African country. He went ahead to order a reversal of the move.

The power firm had initially sought an 18.19 percent tariff increase to arrest a loss-making trend and clear debts to independent power producers and fuel suppliers. The energy regulator however approved 8.53 percent which was less than half of what the utility said it needed to stem losses.

About 40 percent of Tanzania’s population of around 50 million has access to electricity and the government is aiming to push that rate up to 75 percent by 2025.

Since coming into office in 2015, Magufuli – referred to as the bulldozer – has sacked dozens of public officials as part of an anti-corruption campaign and a new drive to root out government inefficiency.

TANESCO has been unsuccessfully seeking loans from the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and commercial lenders to turn the company round.

Despite reserves of over 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, Tanzania has been facing chronic power shortages over the past decade due its reliance on drought-prone hydro-power dams.

Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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