1. Tanzanian nurses to be charged with organ-harvesting

    Warning: Some readers may find the details of this story distressing

    Alfred Lasteck

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Four nurses in Tanzania's western Tabora region are to be charged in court with harvesting the organs of baby twins, a regional official has said.

    A committee set up to investigate the incident found that the bodies of the prematurely born twins were mutilated after they had died.

    The mother found her babies' eyes gouged out and part of their skin peeled off from the forehead.

    Tabora regional commissioner Batilda Buriani said the nurses, who are under arrest, have been suspended from their duties.

    She said the organ-harvesting was linked to witchcraft.

    The nurses misled the investigating committee by falsely claiming that the bodies were kept in the maternity ward when, in fact, they were found in the nurses' room, Ms Buriani added.

    The nurses have not yet commented on the allegations.

    The report also indicates that the twins died due to a lack of neonatal care services, which were unavailable at the facility where they were born.

  2. Tanzanian teen wins prestigious royal award in London

    Image caption: Zamana was recognised for her campaign to help Tanzanian girls stay in school

    A Tanzanian teen has won the Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award in London for her efforts to support girls' education.

    The annual Prince’s Trust Awards recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

    Award winner Zamana was recognised after launching her own campaign to support and encourage girls to stay in school in Tanzania.

    Through her “Allow Me To Study” campaign, Zamana focuses on helping schoolgirls and their parents understand the importance of completing their education.

    “This award means so much to me. Every girl in my community has a dream for her future, just like girls all over the world. My dream is for more girls to stay in school,” Zamana said after receiving the award on Tuesday night in London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

    Following the ceremony, Zamana will later on Wednesday meet King Charles III during a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the winners’ achievements.

    Founded by the King, Prince’s Trust International supports young people across 18 countries through employment, education and enterprise programmes.

  3. Tanzania opens landmark bone marrow transplant unit

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dodoma

    PM Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa in the bone marrow transplant centre at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Dodoma, Tanzania - 10 May 2023
    Image caption: Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa toured the unit at Wednesday's launch

    Tanzania has opened its first bone marrow transplant centre in the capital, Dodoma.

    According to the director of Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, it marks a milestone for the country’s health sector and the unit will focus on treating patients with sickle cell.

    People attending the launch at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital
    Image caption: It is a milestone for Tanzania's health sector

    Very few countries in Africa offer bone marrow transplants - only Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia have similar treatment programmes.

    The opening of Benjamin Mkapa Hospital's bone marrow transplant unit
    Image caption: The unit was launched with great fanfare

    Sickle cell is an inherited disorder and most cases are found in sub-Saharan Africa.

    It is caused by a faulty gene that affects how red blood cells develop and the condition can cause severe pain and organ failure.

    A bone marrow transplant replaces bone marrow with healthy cells. It is also used to treat patients with leukaemia or blood cancer.

    The East African nation ranks fourth in the world for the highest rates of sickle cell, with around 11,000 children born with the disease each year, according to Tanzania’s health ministry.

  4. Tanzania MPs warned not to undress in parliament

    Speaker Tulia Ackson
    Image caption: Speaker Tulia Ackson said she expected MPs to remain formally dressed in the chamber

    Tanzanian MPs have been warned not to take off any of their clothes when in parliament.

    Speaker Tulia Ackson issued her warning after MP Mwita Waitara took off his jacket and tie during a debate.

    He had become angered during a heated session - regarding compensation for his constituents who had been displaced by mining - and ended up storming out of the chamber.

    Ms Ackson was not bothered about the manner of his leaving, but by the breach of parliamentary dress code, which requires formal wear in the chamber.

    She described his removal of jacket and tie as “undisciplined”.

    "This behaviour is not permitted inside parliament and it should never happen again. If you're angered, go wind down outside," said Ms Ackson.

  5. Tanzanian music star resurfaces after long illness

    Alfred Lasteck

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    East African music legend and Tanzanian opposition politician Joseph Haule, popularly known by his stage name Professor Jay, has for the first time posted on social media after more than a year of public concerns about his whereabouts and health.

    The Tanzanian rapper, songwriter and former MP revealed that he had been admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit for more than four months.

    Neither he nor his family have said what he was suffering from.

    Professor Jay says that he received treatment at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam, and was later supported by the government to get further treatment abroad.

    On Tuesday, he posted on Instagram for the first time since January last year.

    View more on instagram

    He expressed appreciation for the support he received from the government, his Chadema party, and the public while he was fighting for his life.

    Professor Jay is widely known as one of the pioneers of Tanzania’s modern Swahili music genre Bongo Flava.

  6. Tanzania’s hip-hop politician

    Video content

    Video caption: Joseph Mbilinyi pioneered Swahili rap and then turned to politics, but ended up in jail

    Joseph Mbilinyi pioneered Swahili rap and then turned to politics, but ended up in jail

  7. Ethiopia peace talks kick-off in Zanzibar, rebels say

    Alfred Lasteck

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) have begun on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, a rebel commander has confirmed to the BBC.

    This is the first time the Ethiopian government is formally negotiating with OLA after years of conflict.

    No details have been shared so far about the format of the negotiations or who will be mediating between the two parties.

    The US, Norway, Sweden and Kenya are said to have been pushing the two sides to peacefully end the hostilities in the country’s vast Oromia region where the majority of residents are Oromos, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group.

    The OLA has been fighting government forces since it split from a former rebel movement in 2018.

    The talks come about six months after Ethiopia's government reached a peace deal to end a bloody two-year war in the northern region of Tigray.

    OLA fighters
    Image caption: OLA fighters have been projecting themselves as the champions of Oromo nationalism

    More on this topic:

  8. Tanzania plans to evacuate students from Sudan

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dodoma

    Damaged shops during the ongoing fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan - 19 April 2023
    Image caption: Many shops in Khartoum are closed - and some damaged - in the fighting

    Tanzania says it is planning to evacuate its citizens from Sudan where rival factions have been battling each other for five days.

    About 200 people have died - mainly in crossfire - as the fighting is taking place near residential areas in the capital, Khartoum.

    “The government continues to communicate with the Tanzanian embassy in Khartoum in order to know how things are unfolding. We have 210 Tanzanians in Sudan, of whom 171 are students and the rest are officers from the embassy and other citizens. Until now, no Tanzanian has been affected,” Tanzanian Foreign Minister Stergomena Tax told parliament.

    The government was co-ordinating with neighbouring countries and bodies such as the African Union and UN, to ensure their safety, she added.

    Some students stuck in Sudan have told the BBC that they are worried for their safety - as it is not safe to venture outside.

    Another challenge is electricity as without power they lose their connection to the internet - leaving them unable to communicate with people at home.

  9. Tanzania VIPs to get only 10-minute road clearance favour

    Vice-President Philip Mpango
    Image caption: Vice-president said road closures were unfair to the public

    Tanzanian Vice-President Philip Mpango has ordered police to close roads for only a few minutes and not for hours when clearing VIPs to pass.

    It came after police closed roads for four hours as Mr Mpango toured the northern Mwanza region on Wednesday.

    He said this happened despite him warning the inspector general of police against long closure of roads.

    "I don't want to hear this happening again. Let the public use the roads. Is 10 minutes not enough?" Mr Mpango wondered.

    He apologised to Mwanza residents over the traffic congestion he had caused.

  10. Ethiopian migrants arrested in Tanzania after crash

    Police in Tanzania are holding 63 Ethiopian migrants after their arrest in the south-western Njombe region, near the border with Malawi.

    Njombe regional police commander Hamis Issah said the migrants were arrested after their lorry was involved in an accident over the weekend.

    Mr Issah said about 100 Ethiopian immigrants sneaked into the country through the porous border between Tanzania and Kenya.

    About 40 others are said to be on the run.

    Ethiopian migrants seeking better living conditions in South Africa often transit through Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique to reach their destination.

    Local media say Tanzania is detaining more than 4,000 irregular migrants and often repatriates those willing to return home.

  11. 'Facebook rapist' will face no charges in Tanzania

    Munira Hussein

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    Convicted South African murdered and rapist Thabo Bester and his girlfriend will not face charges for entering Tanzania illegally, police say.

    Bester and his celebrity girlfriend Dr Nandipha Magudumana were arrested in the East African country last Friday after an audacious escape from South Africa.

    Tanzanian police spokesperson David Misime told the BBC the couple would be handed over to the South African authorities for extradition.

    “We are finalising some legal proceedings between the two countries and we will hand him over to the South Africa’s officials,” he said, adding that the pair remain in custody at the moment in the northern city of Arusha.

    Bester, known as the "Facebook rapist" for using the social networking site to lure his victims, was convicted in 2012 for the rape and murder of his then girlfriend, model Nomfundo Tyhulu. A year earlier, he was found guilty of raping and robbing two other women.

    He escaped from jail last May by faking his own death in a fire and planting a corpse in his cell, but this was only discovered last month.

  12. US vice-president lauds Tanzania democracy reforms

    Anne Soy

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Kamala Harris in Tanzania
    Image caption: Kamala Harris announced over $500m support to boost Tanzania's trade and democracy

    US Vice-President Kamala Harris has lauded Tanzania’s reforms aimed at strengthening the East African nation’s democracy.

    Her host, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, described the visit as a milestone for her country.

    Ms Harris is in the second leg of her Africa tour which began in Ghana and will conclude in Zambia over the weekend.

    With colourful traditional dances, Tanzanians welcomed Ms Harris to their country. Buses in the seaside city of Dar es Salaam were draped in her pictures.

    It’s a rare visit by a senior American official. Many see it as an endorsement of President Samia’s reforms.

    Since taking over from the controversial John Magufuli, who died two years ago, she has lifted a ban on opposition rallies and encouraged press freedom. Exiled politicians have returned home.

    Ms Harris described the decisions as important and meaningful steps that have helped expand the two countries’ partnership.

    She announced $560m (£451m) in support to boost trade with Tanzania and strengthen democracy.

  13. VP Harris to discuss Ukraine war with Tanzania leader

    BBC World Service

    US Vice-President Kamala Harris (L) and her husband Douglas Emhoff arrive at Julius Nyerere International Airport

    The United States Vice-President Kamala Harris has arrived in Tanzania on the second leg of her first tour to Africa.

    She will meet President Samia Suluhu where she is expected to raise the issue of Tanzania's non-alignment over the war in Ukraine.

    The US has been keen to get more countries to condemn the Russian invasion.

    Correspondents say the US vice-president's tour comes at a time of growing competition for influence in Africa by global powers such as China and Russia.

  14. Tanzania excitement as US VP Harris due to jet in

    Aboubakar Famau

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    US Vice-President Kamala Harris listens to Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan - April 2022
    Image caption: President Samia met VP Harris in Washington DC last year

    US Vice-President Kamala Harris is expected to arrive in Tanzania shortly for a three-day official visit - the second stop on her three-nation tour of Africa.

    She will first meet President Samia Suluhu Hassan, before going to the Tanzania Start-up Association (TAS) to speak to upcoming entrepreneurs.

    Expectations are very high among Tanzanians, especially within the business community, as they expect her visit to improve bilateral relations across the board.

    The US and Tanzania enjoy a trading relationship that is valued at $424m (£344m) a yaer, while US investment in Tanzania amounts to $1bn.

    Ms Harris is the first high-ranking official from President Joe Biden’s administration to visit the East African nation.

    Tanzania and the US have long historical diplomatic ties - though they became a little strained under the tenure of Mrs Samia’s predecessor, John Magufuli.

    The US has always been committed to strengthening democracy and working to improve women’s and children’s health, HIV/Aids, nutrition and food security.

    Mr Magufuli, who died in office two years ago, was not shy of showing his intolerance for multiparty politics.

    He was also infamous for scuppering an attempt to overturn the stipulation that pregnant schoolgirls be expelled from school.

    Mrs Samia has sought to improve relations and visited the US 11 months ago when she met Ms Harris in Washington DC.

    Ms Harris's visit also comes at a time when there is a growing debate on LGBT issues in East Africa - and she is likely touch on the topic. Parliament in neighbouring Uganda last week passed a law to crack down on homosexual activities, prompting widespread condemnation.