Tanzania High Court throws out case against DP World ports deal

A ship docked at the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK
A ship docked at the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

By: The East African

Tanzania’s High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition by four private citizens challenging the legality of the government’s new ports management deal with the United Arab Emirates and have it voided on constitutional grounds.

A three-judge High Court panel sitting in Mbeya ruled that the constitutional case was “barren of fruits” and lacked merit in almost all its aspects, including petitioners’ claims that the agreement contained clauses that violated Tanzania’s constitution and endangered national sovereignty and security.

Tanzania and the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2022 for DP World, a multinational logistics company headquartered in Dubai, to run the port of Dar es Salaam, initially, before expanding to run other ports in mainland Tanzania, depending on subsequent negotiations. 

The MoU was followed by an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) titled Economic and Social Partnership for the Development and Improving Performance of Sea and Lake Ports in Tanzania, signed by Works and Transport Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa with President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s consent in October, had been endorsed by parliament on June 10 this year.

Since then, the IGA has drawn much public scepticism over how its conditions may impact Tanzania’s long-term control over its sea and lake ports.

Leave a Reply