Tanzania's plane seized in Canada released: President

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-12 21:15:27|Editor: xuxin
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DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Thursday announced the release of Air Tanzania's aircraft, a brand new Bombardier Q400, which was impounded in Canada in November before it was delivered to the east African nation.

"The plane has been released and it will arrive in Tanzania anytime from now," Magufuli told a high-ranking meeting of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) broadcast live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation from the Lake Victoria city of Mwanza.

The head of state, who did not give details on the release of the plane, said the plane will be received at the Mwanza airport on a date to be announced later.

Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Palamagamba Kabudi announced on Nov. 23 that the aircraft bought by the government has been seized in Canada.

"The plane was supposed to be flown to Tanzania before the end of November," Kabudi told President Magufuli at Chamwino State House in the capital Dodoma.

Kabudi said the plane was impounded after a South African farmer, Hermanus Steyn, had asked the Canadian authorities to impound the plane, pending a court case from which he is demanding the Tanzanian government to pay him 33 million U.S. dollars.

The South African farmer is demanding the money as a compensation following the Tanzanian government's decision to seize his land back in 1980s.

This is the second time that the South African farmer has demanded the seizure of Tanzania's planes over compensation claims.

In August, a South Africa court ordered the seizure of an Airbus 220-300 aircraft of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) following a request from the farmer.

However, the plane was released following a successful appeal by the Tanzanian government.

In October, the east African nation delivered a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner bringing to eight the number of new aircraft delivered to Tanzania since Magufuli took office in November 2015 and began reviving the loss-making ATCL.

Magufuli has personally taken charge of the revival of the state carrier, with his government spending millions of dollars purchasing new planes.

Magufuli's government hopes that a more efficient national airline will help boost tourism, the main foreign exchange earner in Tanzania's economy.