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Tanzania: Chinese aid better for its ‘fewer conditions’ – Magufuli

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Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who has been threatened by review of relations by the country’s allies over human rights concerns, said on Tuesday he prefers assistance from China, as Beijing imposes fewer conditions.

“The thing that makes you happy about their aid is that it is not tied to any conditions. When they decide to give you (assistance), they just give you,” Magufuli said, according to a statement posted on State House’s website.

He delivered the comments at the launch of a new library at the University of Dar es Salaam built at a cost of 93.6 billion Tanzanian shillings ($40.61 million) with the help of the Chinese government, the president’s office said.



In recent weeks, Western donors have increasingly put pressure on Tanzania over what they say is the declining human rights situation there.

Earlier this month, Denmark froze funding to Tanzania, saying it was withholding $10 million worth of aid money over concerns about policies that threaten gay people.

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The European Union has also launched a comprehensive review of its policies towards Tanzania over concerns about rights abuses.

Meanwhile, the World Bank put a planned $300 million loan for an education project on hold, partly in response to a law preventing pregnant girls from returning to school.

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Magufuli said on Tuesday his government will continue to develop and cultivate its good relationship with China.

“They have helped us in a lot of other areas of development,” he said.

China has dramatically increased its involvement in Africa in the past decade, funding major infrastructure projects across the continent. Beijing’s critics say its projects have pushed some African countries too deeply into debt.

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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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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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