Monday, February 23, 2015

Councilors wants investors to pay taxes in district council

The councilors’ committee for Longido district council in Arusha region has called upon investors in tourism hunting sectors to pay tax revenues to their council instead of directly paying the money to villages surrounding them as the case now. They made a concern in their normal meetings over the weekend and noted that, investing companies have been paying revenues arising from the hunting activities which are taking place in their district level to villages surrounding them, an aspect that denies revenues to the main district council. Speaking during the meeting proceedings, the chairman of the district council Josepgh Ole Sadira said that, there is a need to review contracts which allows the investors pay such money directly to villages surrounding them so that the district council should start receiving them with immediate effect. However, the chairman’s call came after having realized that in their audit reports the surrounding villages surpassed the district council in terms of revenue collection an aspect which he termed as a great shame and wanted the councilors to look at the matter more closely. 

President Jakaya Kikwete greets residents of Longido during his tour of tre district recently.

“This is a problem and therefore we want lawyers to review the contracts as soon as possible so that the main district council should benefit with the on-going investments in the district”, he said. He noted that, one reason is that his council is faced with challenges of having fewer sources of revenues while the main sources which are entirely depended by the council is only cattle auctions which he said are not enough to supply the council with sufficient money. “It is impossible to have sources of revenues and then the revenues are not collected to meet the needs of the social and economic for the people in the district”, he said. On his part, the councilor for Olmolong ward in the district, Mathias Mollel was surprised by the way the Longido district council is collecting its revenues from petty traders and forget big investors in the district, an aspect which he said cannot be tolerated. On his part the Director of the District Council, Julius Chalya said that money received from investors are not supposed to be charged twice as such investors pay revenues to the villages surrounding them. He said according to the country’s investment laws, such investors are paying taxes directly to the central government and that the district council benefits only 25 percent of the investment potentials.

Magufuli helps the deceased mother of an abducted albino child

The Minister for Works Dr. John Magufuli on Friday last week condemned the recent abduction and subsequent killings of an albino child named Yohana Bahati which occurred in Chato district, Geita region. Dr. Maghufuli has also expressed his heartfelt gratitude over the matter and has sent a message of condolence to the mother of the deceased Ester Jonas who was seriously injured by the abductors. Ester struggled without success while in an attempt to save her child from the bloody hands of the unknown people who attacked her and successfully made away with the child leaving her with pain and injuries. Speaking while in grief stricken mood in Dar es Salaam, Dr. Magufuli who is also a Member of Parliament for Chato (CCM) has called upon Tanzanians to live in peace and harmony and share love with each other. 

Tanzania's Minister for Works Dr. John Magufuli

The renowned MP has also called upon people to desist from embracing wrong notions which drives some people to think that, they could become rich from body parts of the albinos. “This is an intolerable inhuman act which is not accepted world widely, people are ought to know that they cannot become rich by chopping off albino’s body parts just the way it had been done to a child Bahati”, he said. Following the incident, Dr. Magufuli has donated his condolences of Sh. 1 million to the bereaved family and the child’s maternal mother Esther Jonas. “I have seen the need to donate my early condolences so that it could help the mother of the deceased for the time being for her various needs at this time she is deeply consoled by her lost child, but I promise to help more when I will physically visit her home. Either Minister Dr. Magufuli has thanked the management of Chato district hospital and that of Bugando referral hospital in Mwanza for the medical help they have rendered to the injured mother. In line with these thanksgivings, Dr. Magufuli has also thanked the Regional security committee of Geita region for having undertaken serious steps in search of those who in one way or another have participated in the grisly killings of the innocent child.

TABOA wants bus fares to be increased instead of reduced

Despite the fall of price for oil products at a global market, Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA) has claimed that, the recent reduction of fuel selling prices which was announced by the government is not enough to subsidize the operational costs for transporters in the country. Instead, the transports are in demand of the fare increase as the current fare rate being charged by the government is not even enough despite reduction of fuel price at a local market. TABOA’s Chairman, Ernea Mrutu said last week in a telephone interview on Wednesday this week that, his association had been demanding for the fare increase since 2012 when the fuel price rates in the country was fetched the same as the current rate after review but the government could not respond. Mrutu noted that, transporters are not operating by using fuel alone, but there are other huge expenses which they have to incur such as vehicle maintenance service costs as well as vehicle spare parts whose costs he said are so expensive at a local level. He outlined other reasons as transportation businesses in upcountry regions is so expensive and very tough bearing the fact that, greater percentage of roads are not in good order as most of them are dilapidated and quite impassable during rainy seasons. He said transportation business in upcountry regions is mainly dominated by the private sector who feels the pinch and the public sector had surrendered due to its expensiveness. However, he further noted that, the reduction of fuel price rate is a relief for transporters and it should not be a prerequisite of fare reduction at a local level as this is temporary for the world fuel market is not predictable as it might rise indefinitely and shot up. In view of this, however, he is appealing to the government organ to think twice and if possible increase the fare or leave it at a constant rate. 

Three weeks ago the Energy and Minerals minister George Simbachawene called upon both the Tanesco and Sumatra to lower prices but to date, the latter remains reluctant. Issuing the order Minister Simbachawene said “I will be happy to see the fares of community buses reduced so as to enable common people to also benefit from the falling fuel prices”. Following the Minister’s order, TANESCO announced the cut of electricity charges by 2.6 percent effective from 1st March next month for electricity consumers in the country. But Sumatra’s Corporate Communication Manager David Mziray was quoted by this paper onm Monday this week as saying that the decline in world and local oil prices was too minimal to warrant a reduction in bus fares.  He outlined basic factors as the transport sector is different from other sectors  because it is faced by a number of issues that must be considered before reducing any prices. Also according to him, Sumatra is guided by rules and regulations that stipulate ‘only when bus operators are getting profits in excess of 25 per cent of their initial investment can they reduce fares. The government through the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) announced the reduction of the wholesale and retail prices of petroleum products by between 139/- and 187/- per litre.  Ewura said the retail prices per litre for petrol, diesel and kerosene have decreased by Sh. 187 (9.56 per cent) for petrol, 139/- (7.53 per cent) for diesel, and 177/-(9.64 per cent) for kerosene respectively. In December last year, prices per litre for petrol, diesel and kerosene dropped by Sh. 149/- (6.83 per cent), Sh. 119/- (5.85 per cent) and Sh. 106/- (5.31 per cent) respectively. Apart from the retail price, wholesale prices also decreased by Sh. 148.66/- (7.16 per cent) for petrol, Sh. 118.69/- (6.16 per cent) for diesel, and Sh. 105.81/- (5.59 percent) for kerosene respectively.

Tanzania is free of ‘Ebola’ disease prevalence, says ministry official

THE Government has declaled that, the country is safer from any possible contamination of the ‘Ebola’ pandemic disease which had threatened lives of the entire population following its widespread infection in West African countries whereby the epidemic claimed lives of thousands of people seven months ago. The assurance was issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam by an officer with the Ministry of Health and Social Services Dr. Vida Mmbaga in an exclusive interview at the occasion of handing over of the equipment for Ebola and pandemic influenza preparedness which was held at the ministry’s headquarter. The equipments which are personal protective worth $46,070 (equivalent to Sh. 83.6 million) have been donated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) through its representative accredited in the country Dr. Rufaro Chatora in support of the strategic plans currently being undertaken by the government to control any possible prevalence of the deadly Ebola disease in the country. 

Minister for Health and Social Services Dr. Seif Seleman Rashid shakes hands with the WHO representative in Tanzania  Dr. Rufaro Chatora, after the latter had donated Ebola equipment worth Sh. 83.6 million.
These includes gumboots, heavy duty gloves, aprons, protective goggles, sprayers and cadaver bags worth in total Sh. 29.7 million. Others are one laboratory incubator worth Sh. 1.5 million, IT equipment for PIP preparedness including 10 computers, 10 UPS machines and 12 printers worth Sh. 52.3 million.  Dr. Mmbaga who is in charge of the disease control in the country has assured citizens to walk freely across the borders as the government has put in place strategic measures for protection at its border posts, a move that has been jointly coordinated by the five East African countries to curb the prevalence of the pandemic. “Up to now Tanzania has yet recorded a single patient as we have put in place an intensive care and close follow up since the disease broke out in West African countries”, she said adding that, whoever feels to have overcome any signs of the disease is required to report urgently. Earlier, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Donan Mbando told press Conference after the handing of the medical equipment that, medical scientists have not yet discovered the medicine which directly cures the deadly Ebola disease. He noted that, this is a global crisis as the disease has neither special vaccine nor inoculation for the infected people as part of the cure and that is why larger death tolls occurred in some West African countries. However, he said that it is estimated that about 23,000 people have lost their lives He then noted that, in a bid to control the disease prevalence the government has put in put up the State-of-the-art laboratories in various towns and cities in the country with enough expertise in order to fight the scourge, and are closely monitoring an possible attack. He is of the view of the fact that, people should take precautions at this time when the government has intensified tight security and close monitoring of the disease across the country as the infections are spreading more quickly.

CEOrt members cast top executives for lack of commitment

Members of CEO Roundtable (CEOrt) of Tanzania have expressed their grave concern over major challenges facing Tanzania in the key economic sectors which are critical for national development. They said the persisting challenges are largely caused due to lack of commitment and seriousness by some top most national executives who are not innovative enough to ensure high productivity in various sectors they stand for. The CEOrt members made the observation in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday night this week during the first members’ monthly dinner meeting of the year 2015 which was held at Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam. CEO Chairman Ali Mufuruki who is also founder of Infotech Investment Group on Tanzania said that, the challenges are many and alarming such as low education levels, lack of access to reliable energy and powering industries, inefficient transport and logistics infrastructure to encourage trade. Others he mentioned are inadequate technological advancements for maximizing agricultural production, and most importantly the depletion of country’s cast most precious resources at the hands of corrupt senior officials. The meeting had a discussion under the theme, “Africa is not rising, Africans are not changing”, whose focus highlighted ideas which ironically looked at whether Africa continent is rising and making progresses in terms of social and economic development. According to Mufuruki, citizens of most African countries including Tanzania are faced with a myriad of social and economic problems due to a number of reasons, the basic one is incompetence caused as a result of poor leadership codes which is full of corruption. “The sabotage of African economies by Africans is on the rise, be it through direct theft, corruption or the wars that never seen to end”, he said adding that the capacity to destroy treasures and manpower is growing faster than the capacity to build them.  

CEO Chairman Ali Mufuruki  

He noted that, in order to remedy the situation, the private sector need to be empowered by governments in order to ward off unemployment problems facing young graduates who are increasing year after year in most countries across Africa. In the case of Tanzania he noted that, there cannot be progresses made despite the fact that the country boasts of gradual economic growth, if the issue of unemployment is not solved. He said although Tanzania has made a great stride for the economic growth rate which currently stands at 6 percent, this is not enough to cater for the need of citizens and however, he presumed that, this rate should have been doubled at a much faster pace by end of 2025. He suggested that, private sectors have to help challenge the problem to curb with the increased unemployment rate and the government help fight corruption which continues to haunt the lives of most poor Tanzanians. On his part a representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to the meeting,  Abdalah Said Shah said that, Tanzania cannot develop if the top executives are wrecking own economy through corruption, theft and other forms of sabotage. Shah is dismayed by the conduct of some executives saying that Tanzania and Africa in general cannot rise if the environment and biodiversity that sustains life are dying in own hands.  He is on the view of the fact that, people need to work with trust in order to protect own wealth for the betterment of the citizens and the nation at large. Founded in 2000, the CEOst is a policy dialogue forum with the main objective of creation a platform through which captains of industry can constructively engage the government with the vision of creating a more conducive environment for businesses to prosper and contribute to Tanzania’s economic growth. The forum brings together over 100 organizations doing business in Tanzania which lead account for more than 40 percent of the tax revenue collected by the government.