New skyscraper project in offing for Dar es Salaam, but: Red Cross opts for cloud of secrecy -Identity of investor-partner to remain confidential DAMAS MWITA Dar es Salaam THE Tanzania Red Cross Society has opted to remain silent as to the identity of the private investor with whom it has entered into a partnership to build what is expected to become the tallest building in Dar es Salaam. TRCS Deputy General Secretary Peter Mlebusi said in the city yesterday the partners identity and other details of the agreement, including estimated costs involved, are supposed to stay confidential as agreed in the contract. Mlebusi was speaking to THISDAY in the wake of reports that the society has entered into a somewhat mysterious partnership with a certain prominent local businessman (name withheld for the time being) to develop the societys prime plot in the city centre. The plot in question, along Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, is currently in the process of being cleared following demolition of the TRCS headquarters building that was situated there. According to Mlebusi, the planned 25-storey block (which will surpass the 21-storey Mafuta House along Azikiwe Street) will be part of a joint venture project also including construction of a bungalow on another plot owned by TRCS in Mikocheni along Old Bagamoyo Road in the city, to become the societys permanent headquarters. Currently the headquarters are temporarily hosted in a building at plot number 874, Mrokao Street in the city�s Masaki suburb. Construction works are expected to start anytime from now after relevant permits have been issued by the authorities, said Mlebusi. The TRCS deputy secretary general denounced allegations that the society had auctioned off the main plot without the consent of the general assembly, which is supposed to be the societys top decision-making organ. In our organizational structure, we have a board of directors which implements the day- to-day activities of the organization, and is answerable to the general assembly. The decision to go into public-private partnership has been blessed by the legal decision- making organs of TCRS, Mlebusi stated. A group calling itself the TRCS G-54 members recently wrote to the societys chairman Msafiri Ramadhani Msafiri, threatening court action against himself, secretary-general Adam Kimbisa, and the societys board of trustees over perceived secrecy engulfing the whole plot deal. The widely-circulated letter was signed by Reverend Christopher Mtikila, as the groups chairman. It said Msafiri, Kimbisa and the board of trustees were up for litigation for conspiring to sell TRCS properties without the consent of the general assembly which last took place in 2006. Mlebusi however, said yesterday that the TRCS did not recognize Mtikila as a member of the society because he had not gone through the proper channels of obtaining society membership. Mtikilas membership is questionable�he claims to have been given a membership card by another member, but this is against the societys constitution which allows only recognized field officers to offer cards and not any member, Mlebusi said. He called on other members of the G-54 group, if true society members, to air their grievances through the societys internal channels rather than outside. On the construction project in the pipeline, he said the move is intended to help the society operate as a sustainable entity and reduce dependency on external sources of funding, which has been the case in the past. But according to other sources contacted by THISDAY, there are no meeting minutes to show that the societys general assembly - which convenes once a year � did actually endorse the sale of the prime plot.