2009-01-15 02:01:00 Bunge team warns Govt over Ticts By Mwanamkasi Jumbe THE CITIZEN Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure Development, yesterday threatened to take the Government to task if it fails to elaborate the controversy surrounding its contract with Tanzania International Container Terminal (TICTS). The committee has also asked the Government to explain steps taken so far to ease congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port. The committee chairperson, Mr Mohamed Missanga (Singida South-CCM), told reporters in the city yesterday that the committee want to know why the Government has remained silent on the TICTS issue. "Why doesn't the Government give an explanation about the TICTS contract? It should respond to these queries during the next Parliamentary session," he said. Mr Missanga was briefing reporters on discussions between the committee and the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) held in Dar es Salaam recently. He said the Government representative to the meeting, Dr Bartholomew Lufunjo, who is the director of transportation in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, failed to offer satisfactory explanation about the contract. Elaborating TICTS contract, Mr Missanga said the committee had sought explanation on several issues, notably royalty payment, exclusivity and the extension of the contract for more than 15 years when the previous contract had not expired. He pointed out that the committee is aware that the Government is reviewing the contract, but the process has taken too long despite recommendations made by the MPs during last Parliamentary session. The committee feels that the continuation of TICTS under the current conditions as stipulated in the contract, would slow down efficiency at the Dar es Salaam port. "We will demand answers to these issues during the next House session," he insisted. He said committee is dismayed to learn that there has been no tangible investment made by TICTS during its eight years of operations and that TPA is capable of doing better than TICTS. Mr Missanga though agreed that the performance of the port very much depends on efficiency of Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) and Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). But added that what is worrying is that the Government is aware of the deteriorating situation at Dar Port, yet it seems not to care about it despite receiving recommendations from the stakeholders. A report issued by TPA director general Ephraim Mgawe, stated that congestion at the container terminal began in 2006. Mr Mgawe sided with the Parliamentarians and urged the Government to quickly resolve the TICTS issue for the sake of national development.