Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tanzania president denies torture of doctors' leader

02 July 2012, 14:48

 Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete denied any government involvement in the kidnap and torture of Steven Ulimboka, the leader of a medical group coordinating a doctors' strike, and urged doctors to go back to work.

Ulimboka, chairman of the Medical Association of Tanzania, said he was abducted by gunmen last Tuesday, taken to the outskirts of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and beaten.

"I am aware that the government is also being named in the list of suspects. I am very shocked by these suspicions ... why would the government want to harm Dr. Ulimboka?" Kikwete said in an address on national television late on Sunday.

The previous Friday Ulimboka had called for a nationwide doctors' strike to demand better pay and working conditions, leaving many patients unattended in state hospitals.

The high cost of living in Tanzania has stoked anti-government sentiment, leading to mounting pressure from public sector workers and others.

Kikwete said the government would not triple the salaries of doctors as demanded by their representatives and warned striking medics to return to work or risk being sacked.

Doctors were demanding a starting monthly salary of 3.5 million Tanzanian shillings plus allowances equivalent to 140 percent of the salary, while the government was prepared to offer them a maximum pay of 1.2 million shillings, he said.

"I urge doctors to end the strike and return to work. Your fellow Tanzanians are suffering and losing their lives," he said.

"We can't promise that we can pay them a starting salary of 3.5 million shillings and all those allowances. If we do that, the total starting pay package for a doctor would be 7.7 million shillings. We definitely can't afford this amount."

Kikwete said the strike was illegal, unethical and not in the best interests of the Tanzanian public.

East Africa's second-biggest economy said it was willing to raise salaries of all public sector workers by 15 to 20 percent in the 2012/13 financial year.

The president said doctors' starting salary at 957,700 shillings, was double the average starting salary of other civil servants, and that public sector pay accounted for 48 percent of the government's total spending.

"This level is too huge. A good ratio is to have a wage bill not exceeding 35 percent of the budget so 65 percent of the budget can be used to finance services and other development projects," he said.

Tanzania's inflation rate fell marginally in May, but still remained in double digits - at similar levels to other countries in the region - at 18.2 percent.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...