Tanzania has terminated its Bilateral Investment Agreement with the Netherlands that East African and Dutch civil society had said was biased against the country.
Attorney General Dr Adelardus Kilangi gave the Dutch government notice of intent to terminate the treaty hours before the October 1 deadline.
The Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between Tanzania and the Netherlands was set to expire on April 1, 2019. Any party that wanted to terminate was obliged to do so six months before this date beyond which the agreement would automatically be renewed for a period of 10 years.
The East African Strategic Group on Influencing Multi and Bi-lateral Trade and Investment Negotiations, comprising 10 organisations, engaged Tanzania, asking the country to end it.
Since June, the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)- Uganda) has been engaging civil society in Tanzania to push for the termination of the agreement.
According to the East African Strategic Group, the Bilateral Investment Treaty with the Netherlands prevented Tanzania from terminating the agreement while it was in force.
The BIT provisions allow investors to sue states, hence limiting government ability to regulate investments in the public’s interest. Nor is the agreement coherent with legal reforms that the country has recently adopted.
The agreement further prohibit a host country from entering into agreements with a third party that are more favourable, and doing that would attract a suit at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
In a message sent to The EastAfrican, Jane Nalunga, country director SEATINI- Uganda, said they wished to ensure all investment related policies favour both development and people.
Last year, the Tanzanian parliament approved two new laws and amended several others through the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2017, with a view of managing the country’s natural resources.
The new laws — the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act, 2017 and the Natural Wealth and Resources (Permanent Sovereignty) Act, sought to correct shortfalls in the way the country has been managing its natural resources.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
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Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
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