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Tanzania gets tough and throws 4 Chinese contractors to jail over snail's pace at constructing state-funded project

Tanzania's president John Magufuli
  • The three men and a woman are employed by two companies contracted to build a canal and a section of road in Dar es Salaam.
  • The four will "spend each night at the central police station and go every morning to supervise the works until the governor of the Dar es Salaam decides the speed of work is sufficient".
  • President Magufuli nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for pushing through his policies, is never shy to take such drastic measures.

Tanzania has had it with ‘lazy and slow’ contractors and decided to throw them in jail to teach them a lesson and serve as an example.

On Thursday,Tanzanian authorities said they had arrested four Chinese contractors because of their snail pace manner in constructing a state-funded construction projects, in what it said would serve as an "example" to other businesses.

"The governor of the Dar es Salaam region, Paul Makonda, ordered the arrest of these business people...he wants it to serve as an example to others," said Abubakar Kunenge, executive secretary of the Dar es Salaam region, who said work on the two schemes was "going nowhere".

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The three men and a woman are employed by two companies contracted to build a canal and a section of road in Dar es Salaam.

Mr. Kunenge said the four would "spend each night at the central police station and go every morning to supervise the works until (Makonda) decides the speed of work is sufficient".

"These are projects of great public interest... business people who cannot respect contracts have no place in Dar es Salaam." he added.

Since coming to power in 2015, President John Magufuli's government has become infamous for meting out such summary measures. His administration does not hesitate to break or forcing the renegotiation of contracts with foreign companies it feels is unfair against Tanzania.

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In 2017, President Magufuli nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for pushing through his policies, ordered the confiscation of passports belonging to foreign employees of an Indian infrastructure company managing a water project that was running late.

The Tsh29 billion shilling ($13 million) water project in the southern town of Lindi was expected to be finished in March 2015 but remains incomplete.

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