A Tanzanian plane has been impounded in Canada, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi has revealed.
The Bombardier Q400 plane is among new aircrafts procured by the government for the national carrier-Air Tanzania Corporation Limited.
Prof Kabudi said on Saturday that the plane was supposed to fly to Tanzania before the end of November.
Prof Kabudi claimed that the aircraft was impounded after a South African farmer, Hermanus Steyn, asked the Canadian authorities to impound it pending a court case in which he is demanding $33 million from the Tanzanian government.
Mr Steyn is demanding the money as a compensation following the government’s decision to seize his land back in 1980s.
The minister disclosed this to President John Magufuli at the State House in Chamwino, during a ceremony to swear in new Tanzanian ambassadors to Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Egypt and Abu Dhabi.
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 African court ordered the seizure of another Tanzania plane following a request from the farmer.
However, the plane was released after a successful appeal by the Tanzanian government.
Prof Kabudi said a group of lawyers will be dispatched to Canada to appeal against the decision to impound the plane.
“We defeated him (Mr Steyn) in court in South Africa, he then appealed, but we won the case. This time he demanded that the Canadian authorities impound our Bombardier Q400 but we are ready for the (court) battle,” said the minister.
The minister also expressed concerns over what he claimed as a tendency of Canadian authorities to seize Tanzanian planes.
In November 2017, President Magufuli wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister in regard to the seizure of Tanzanian airplane, Bombardier Q400.
The plane, which was supposed to be delivered in July, is being held in Canada after the Tanzanian government failed to pay $38 million owed to United Kingdom Stirling Civil Engineering Limited due to a contractual dispute.
The firm won the tender to construct the Wazo Hill-Bagamoyo Road but the government terminated the deal without compensation.
The firm, successfully sued Tanzania at the International Court of Arbitration in Montreal Canada. The plane was later released.