DAR-ES-SALAAM, The Tanznian government has categorically stated that some opposition politicians in the country are behind the standoff which has caused delays in the commissioning of the Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft ordered by national carrier Air Tanzania from the Canadian manufacturer.

However, it expressed confidence that the stalemate will be resolved and that the aircraft will be delivered as planned. Speaking to reporters here over the weekend, the acting Director of the Tanzania Information Services (MAELEZO), Zamaradi Kawawa, said the government had begun instituting legal and diplomatic measures to resolve the problem.

Kawawa, who was addressing the media on behalf of the Government Spokesperson and Director of Tanzania Information Services Dr Hassan Abbas, urged the public to ignore propaganda from certain opposition leaders.

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft was planned to have been delivered in July, but a conflict that emerged later caused a delay in its commissioning.

The statement from the government came after opposition politicians claimed that lawyers representing an Italian company had attached the government property to exert pressure for payment of a debt reportedly owed by Tanzania.

According to Kawawa, the conflict was engineered by opposition politicians for their personal and political interests, completely unmindful that they, too, were Tanzanians. Our fellow countrymen who have all along been either engineering or supporting conflicts that aim at thwarting efforts by President John Magufuli to bring about development are indeed unpatriotic, she emphasised. The government has been deeply saddened by such counter-development propaganda waged by the opposition politicians.

She said a patriotic person would always throw their weight into finding solutions to obstacles hindering the country's development efforts instead of being in the forefront to support them.

Kawawa also said it was unfortunate that the same opposition politicians recently waged a campaign to deter development partners from helping the country.

The acting government spokesperson said lawyers who filed charges; including attaching the government plane, had no locus standi to do so.

On Friday, Chadema member of Parliament (MP) Tundu Lissu told the media that the Bombadier Q 400 plane, the third in line to be delivered by the Canadian company, has been seized. The passenger plane, he added, had been seized after the government failed to pay the Canadian Stirling Civil Engineering company 38 million US dollars for termination of a road-building contract.