TZ-DUBAI IGA Legal contents laid bare

THE government has shed more light on legal contents in the Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) between Tanzania and the Emirates of Dubai, in particular its lifespan and national security matters.

Last month, the Parliament unanimously endorsed the Resolution on the IGA concerning partnership on ports’ developments, arguing that the agreement is crucial for transforming the port sector.

The IGA aims at developing, improving, managing and operating the sea and lake ports in areas like special economic zones, logistic parks and trade corridors.

Speaking on Saturday evening during the open virtue symposium ‘clubhouse’, the Director of Legal Services at the Ministry of Works and Transport, Advocate Mohamed Salum allayed fears to the public that the IGA is a framework agreement which is not eternal.

“This contract is a framework agreement; it does not talk about the time or even the figures that are going to be invested…the duration of the contracts would be unveiled in project agreements apart from this framework agreement…the contract is not forever as explained in the IGA,” Advocate Salum pointed out.

Adding: “The duration of the contract will depend on the assessment of the expected projects to be undertaken jointly by the government and the investor.”

Moreover, he added that the procedure for the investment on concession agreements, the investment period is directly compatible with the level of investment adding that the level of investment will determine the duration of the investment.

Commenting about the fear of the nation’s security being in the hands of foreigners after investment, the Director of Legal Services said the agreement established does not eliminate the government’s role in managing the port’s security.

“There is something we need to distinguish between the port operator and terminal operator…in Tanzania, only TPA has a mandate as port operator …we can have terminal operators like Tanzania International Container Terminal Services Limited (TICTS).

“So the responsibility of port security belongs to the port operator and not the terminal operator, and here in section 12 explains the implementation of projects  do not compromise the security of our nation… we have been with TICTS for almost 22 years and we have never had a security incident,” he said.

Expounding on the question raised about Article 2 of the IGA which establishes a legally binding framework of areas of cooperation focusing on the development, improvement, management, and operation of the port, Advocate Salum said “Few people thought we had given everything but there are port areas (designated areas) where the investor can only do management and operations depending on the use”.

“The areas where DP World is expected to make investments are areas of general cargo berths 1 to 5 and container terminal 6 to 7,  in this Article, terminal eight to 11 have not yet been discussed …in this area, the investment would be made in designated areas of Dar es Salaam Port and not the whole area,” he added.

In particular, the Director of Legal Services at the Ministry of Works and Transport underscored that the Dar es Salam port is in safe hands adding that no privatisation is going to be made.

According to him, the Ports Act, of 2004, has mandated the TPA to only manage ports in Tanzania adding that no person or other institution has equal authority to own it.

“The Ports Act, (2004) sections 5 and 12 have given the mandate TPA to lease the port areas or enter into agreements with various service providers in the port areas to enhance efficiency… what is happening now is TPA is looking for an investor to invest in designated areas agreed in the contract and not to privatise or sell the port…ports will remain to be owned by the government of Tanzania,”he added.

Another area that raises questions about the agreement, is Article 4(2) which states Tanzania will inform Dubai about any other opportunities, Advocate Salum noted that the application of the word ‘will’ in the section is not an imperative command or binding obligation.

In the line, he expounded why Tanzania entered the agreement with Dubai Emirates and not the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an elective monarchy formed from a federation of seven emirates, Advocate Salum said in some areas their federation allows the emirates to enter into agreement independently.

“Even the signing of the contract raised questions as to why Tanzania signed a contract with the Emirates of Dubai…it is clear that in their federation there are some areas where any emirate can enter into contracts independently as an emirate, so in commercial areas such as ports are not part of the federation, so the emirates of Dubai have the mandate to sign international agreements in such areas,” he added.

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