Tanzania Stands to Pocket $280,000 From Rents in Maputo, Says House Team

The nine-storey Tanzania Embassy building in Maputo, Mozambique, could earn the government an annual $280,000 (616m/-) in rent if its rehabilitation is completed in time.

This emerged from key points of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, which were yesterday put to debate on estimates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation.

The representative of the committee, Col (rtd) Masoud Ali Khamis said the Tanzania Embassy building was in a strategic location within the city of Maputo where demand for real estate was high. He said the government could cash in on the high demand for real estate through renting out and racking in revenue which could finance activities of the embassy in Maputo as well as that of Tanzania’s High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa.

He said that as rehabilitation of the building remain pending, the government was spending $20,190 every month on renting alternative office space and residence of embassy staff.

According to the committee, the government had set aside 1.3bn/- for rehabilitation of the building but it had sent just 900m/- by the time they inspected progress on repair works.

Hon Khamis said the committee had found out that rehabilitation agreement of $2.1m was signed in 2011/2012, but that the cost of rehabilitation had since risen to $3.05m – and still rising due to interest rates.

He said the project managers, Tanzania Building Agency, had failed to inspect the rehabilitation work which delayed processing of payment claims, and that the contractor now pledges to complete the rehabilitation works within the next two months if the government pays up his outstanding dues.

Tabling his ministry’s budget here yesterday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga said the country’s position on Morocco aligns with that of the Africa Union, which had duly readmitted the North African country into the Union’s fold after 33 years of absence.

The minister said Tanzania was aligned to the AU position to readmit Morocco because it believed in the “unity is strength” motto, and in diplomatic negotiations for resolving disputes between states.

“Tanzania aligns to the African Union position on Morocco as it believes the differences could better be solved through negotiation,” he said, as he wound up debate on his ministry’s budget estimates for FY 2017/2018.

Morocco rejoined the AU in January this year — 33 years after it broke ranks with the continental body, then known as the Organisation for African Unity OAU).

Morocco was readmitted as a member of Africa’s main regional body after worked slowly but steadily at establishing itself as a major eco-nomic force within sub-Saharan Africa.

The decision by AU leaders in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, capped a swift and remarkable process since the King informed them at last year’s summit in Kigali, Rwanda of his country’s intention to return to the fold.

Morocco left the former OAU, the AU predecessor, in 1984, to protest the seating of the Polisario Front as representatives of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a former Spanish colony to the west of the Sahara that Morocco considers part of its territory. SADR disputes Morocco’s position, and 30 years later the dispute remains unresolved.

October last year, King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited Tanzania, all as part of his East Africa tour East Africa in efforts to bolster relations with the region and find support for Morocco joining the African Union.

During the tour Tanzania and Morocco signed more than 20 agreements in sectors ranging from economy to science and technology aimed at fostering bilateral relationship and investment development between the two countries.

The agreements focused on tourism, agriculture, gas, minerals, insurance, trade and business, banking and loans, health, railway and manufacturing, and marine fishery.

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Source: Tanzania Daily News

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