BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 22 July, 2002, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Anger at Tanzania jet purchase
Dar Es Salaam International Airport
Tanzania's aviation facilities are again under scrutiny
The World Bank has asked Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa for an explanation after he ordered a 14m personal jet.

The Tanzanian government is supposed to consult the financial body before any big expenditure, in the framework of its adjustment programme.

The news of the order coincides with the resumption of Britain's aid to Tanzania, suspended a few months ago over the purchase by the Tanzanian authorities of a controversial 28m military air traffic control system.

A BBC correspondent in Dar es Salaam says that for the Tanzanian opposition, this latest move by the government proves that it has not learnt its lessons from the previous controversy.

'Infuriated'

The World Bank is "infuriated" by the news of the order, according to the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Bank officials have asked Tanzania why it is buying a jet for the president when he already has one to take him between the main city, Dar es Salaam, and the new capital, Dodoma.

President Benjamin Mkapa
The president will have to explain himself

But contrary to the World Bank, Britain was aware of the order before it decided to reinstate its 40m annual aid to Tanzania.

A statement issued after recent talks between the British International Development Secretary, Clare Short, and President Mkapa said that Ms Short was told about the proposed purchase of the jet, but was satisfied it was essential for the president to travel around the country, and that she assumed the order had been cleared by the World Bank.

But it turns out it was not the case.

Guarantees

Ms Short is now under pressure to get guarantees that the aid will be spent, as agreed, on health, education and agriculture projects.

The opposition in Britain has criticised the Tanzanian government for ordering the aircraft.

Clare Short
Ms Short knew of the jet order

The Liberal Democrat deputy international development spokesman, Norman Lamb, said he was "extremely concerned" about the proposed purchase.

"Coming so soon after 28m being wasted on a military air traffic control system, this rubs salt into the wound of the people of Tanzania," he is quoted by The Guardian as saying.

In Tanzania itself, the opposition has been equally critical.

Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, the leader of the Civic United Front, has said that the government had repeated the same mistake, that it was still failing to consult the parliament and the people of Tanzania.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Radar deal
Is the UK's deal with Tanzania justified?

Latest news

Analysis

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

03 Jul 02 | Business
02 Jul 02 | Politics
14 Jun 02 | Politics
20 Mar 02 | Politics
24 Dec 01 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes