Defence 2.99tri/- budget to up capacity

  • Country’s borders safe

THE National Assembly has passed 2.99tri/- budget for 2023/24 fiscal year for the Defense and National Service ministry which focuses on further strengthening capacity and developing infrastructures of all camps and border points.

When tabling the budget for his docket, Minister Innocent Bashungwa, also assured the house that the country’s borders are safe.

Among top priorities in the budget is to build capacity and develop infrastructures of all army camps, especially at the border points to strengthen capacity of the National Service (JKT) to accommodate more youths for skills development, as well as purchase weapons and military equipment that align with the technological and communication advancement in a bid to improve the army’s workforce.

Mr Bashungwa noted that the ministry would also conduct research and technological innovation for production of goods and services, introducing defence industries which will produce products for the defense forces and the public at large.

“The ministry will also intensify bilateral relationships with the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), regional organisations and other countries in the areas of defense and security,’’ he said, expressing commitment for close collaboration with other public authorities in averting possible calamities and during emergencies.

Regarding the country’s border security, the minister said that all borders are safe, save for the Tanzania-Mozambique border where security situation remain on average as it is unpredictable due to presence of the Ansar Al Sunna Wal Jamaah (AASWJ) organisation in the Northern Mozambique just near Mtwara region.

“The AASWJ attacks in Mozambique’s northern district of  Macomia Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania’s southern region of Mtwara have been threatening security around that area as the former has been using non-violence radicalisation technique to reach out to new followers through peaceful means,’’ noted Mr Bashungwa.

However, the minister said, the steps that were taken to protect the country’s border included strengthening cooperation with the neighbouring Mozambique in military training, exchange of intelligence information as well as conducting joint military operations.

Elaborating, the minister noted that the security situation in other borders of the country is safe.

Tanzania borders ten countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Around the Indian Ocean, the country borders Comoro and Seychelles.

In another development, the Defence and National Service Minister said that his ministry was working tirelessly to avert and end all disputes between civilians and the army over land.

In this regard, he said, the ministry was currently implementing a three-year strategy (2020/21-2022/23 for verification, surveying and valuation of all areas owned by the army, which seeks to ensure that all the areas are surveyed and formalized by receiving title deeds in efforts to end the land disputes.

“Until now, the strategy has been implemented by 71.48 in all areas currently under control of the army,’’ he added.

During the 2022/23 financial year, the minister said, his ministry had paid compensation in different areas including  Gurungu, Mtipa, Mkiwa, Mkwese and Choda in Singida region, Kisakasaka and Chukwani (Mjini Magharibi) Ras Nondwa in Kigoma region, Itaga and Usule (Tabora), Funta Kihangaiko and Mkupuka (Coast region), Bulifani Misenyi (Kagera) as well as Machenje Kongwa in Dodoma region.

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