ARUSHA - Tanga Cement, a Tanzanian cement manufacturing factory, has pledged to contribute 20 tonnes of cement to the ‘One Dollar Campaign’ initiative, The New Times has learnt.
The humanitarian programme was launched on April 4, this year, whose aim is to construct a hostel to host hundreds of children orphaned by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
According to the outgoing Rwandan Ambassador to Tanzania Zeno Mutimura, the factory will deliver the cement to Kigali.
“The factory management made the pledge as part of their contribution to the One Dollar Campaign and it is a welcome gesture,” Mutimura said in an interview with The New Times, yesterday.
The First Counsellor at the Embassy Rwandan in Tanzania, Shakilla Umutoni, added that the cement will be delivered through Tanga Cement’s Kigali branch.
“The pledge will go a long way in achieving the objective of the campaign which is to find shelter for the children,” Umutoni said.
Meanwhile, The New Times can also reveal that the Rwandan Diaspora in Tanzania is currently leading in contributions to the campaign having pooled $34,925 in cash.
Umutoni said that the Rwandan Diaspora community and friends of Rwanda had contributed the amount, making Tanzania the largest contributor followed by the United States of America with $34.687.
“We are so far the leading contributors in this campaign. All this has been made possible by the generosity of Rwandans living here and friends of Rwanda,” the envoy said.
Robert Masozera the head of the Diaspora directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the development saying that Tanzania is followed by U.S.A, Sweden and Norway.
The Rwandan Diaspora in Tanzania is mainly concentrated in Dar es Salaam and Arusha where a large number of Rwandans either work for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), organs of the East African Community and other institutions.
In Dar es Salaam, the campaign was boosted by the corporate fraternity with regional media mogul Reginald Mengi as one of the organisers in a fundraising dinner that accrued several pledges.
“Efforts are ongoing because very many people are supportive of the idea. They have made pledges not only in cash value,” Umutoni added.
In Arusha, the amount was made possible by enormous support from the Diaspora community as well as friends working in the different international organisations.
“We are registering success because there has been an element of ownership of the idea by both Rwandans living here and our friends who work for all the international organisations here,” said Geraldine Umugwaneza, the Chairperson of the Rwandan Diaspora in Arusha.
She is also the Deputy Registrar of East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
Meanwhile, Masozera said that he had not yet been notified of the cement contribution by the Tanzanian firm but said it was most likely true.
“Tanzanians have always been supportive, especially through the Nyerere Foundation and I cannot be surprised,” said Masozera.
He said that other materials that are expected from the Diaspora include a water treatment machine donated by a Dutch company while a firm based in the Nordic countries pledged to furnish the hostel once completed.