TZ defense budget up by 30%

Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, Tanzania's Defense and National Service Minister

Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, Tanzania’s Defense and National Service Minister

Tanzania’s defense budget will rise by about 30% this year compared with 2014/15, as the country plans to invest more in sophisticated security like stealth jets.

Figures presented within the National Assembly Friday, Defense and National Service Minister Dr Hussein Mwinyi show the defense ministry will get the lion’s share of the East African nation’s budget for FY 2015/16.

According to the Minister, the about Tsh 1.716 trillion will be set aside for the ministry up from Tsh1.269 trillion during fiscal year 2014/15.

Unveiling the budget, the defense ministry chief, insisted “it was vital for the ministry to strengthen security operations.”

He said “the government had continued to invest in the army by providing it with modern military equipment ranging from submarine, surface and navy aviation tools.” The minister added today “Tanzania’s army is well equipped with powerful tools to execute its duties.”

Dr Mwinyi told the house, plans to purchase sophisticated and modern military weapons would be sustained.

He cited security at the country’s territory, along North, East and South borders was strong last year as security concerns were frequently recorded at the 1,220Km-long on the Western border.

Mwinyi indicated the border the country’s border with Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) still faces serious threats from armed militants from these neighboring countries.

“In December last year, unidentified armed men in military uniform attacked people and seized their property including money. And in November last year armed robbers also ambushed fishermen in Lake Tanganyika depicting security threats at the border.”

Dr Mwinyi notified parliamentarians Tanzania is taking precautionary measures in light of terrorist groups attacking neghbouring states in the region.

Amid reports that groups like Somali-based Al-Shabaab are targeting countries that have contributed troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the defense minister maintained Tanzania is vigilant.

Mwinyi says part of the funds will be used to strengthen cross-border security.