Tanzanian aircraft seized in Canada over $38m debt, claims Lissu

Friday August 18 2017

A Bombardier Q400 Air Tanzania plane. A similar one is being held in Canada over debt. PHOTO | NMG


A commercial aircraft that was expected to be delivered to the national carrier Air Tanzania in July this year has been detained in Canada after the government failed to pay $38 million (Tsh83 billion) owed to a contractor, an opposition member of parliament said on Friday.

Tundu Lissu, the Chadema MP for Singida East, told reporters that the Bombardier Q400 was seized after failure by government to pay the money it owed Canadian Stirling Civil Engineering Limited over a cancelled contract.

The firm had been contracted to construct the Wazo Hill-Bagamoyo road in Dar es Salaam but the government terminated the contract.

The contractor then went to the International Court of Arbitration and won the case.

“The government lost the case in 2010 and was ordered to pay the compensation amounting to $25 million with an interest of eight per cent,” said Mr Lissu.

He said the debt was not paid on time and had risen to $38 million as of June this year.


The failure by the government to pay prompted an order to attach the Tanzanian government assets in Canada, France, Netherlands, Belgium, England and Uganda. So the Bombardier Q400 was seized.