Head of Tanzania's port authority suspended
The acting director of Tanzania’s port authority has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations he violated procurement procedures.
The suspension comes at a time when the Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam, a major gateway to east Africa long plagued by inefficiencies, is due to receive a major facelift as part of a push to become a regional trade hub.
Director Madeni Kipande, whose predecessor was removed in a graft scandal two years ago, said he had done nothing wrong.
Tanzania signed a $565-million deal with the World Bank and other development partners last September to expand the Dar port. Inefficiencies and other problems at the port have cost Tanzania and its land-locked neighbours up to $2.6-billion a year.
Officials insisted the upgrades would go forward as planned.
Tanzania, like its neighbour Kenya, is working to capitalise on its long coastline to serve the region’s fast-growing economies. It is due to begin construction of another port, in Bagamoyo.
Dar is a major gateway for trade from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Zambia and Malawi.