Monday, July 25, 2016

Researchers: Extractive industry to face a bleak future in Tanzania

Although Tanzania is proud of being endowed with vast and valuable extractive resources, the government is likely to loose as much revenues more than it had anticipated due to lack of transparency, a researcher has observed. Dr. Martin Kijazi who is an independent consultant at Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) made a concern last week in Dar es Salaam at a policy forum breakfast debate which was held at British Council Hall in Dar es Salaam. He said lack of transparency about the available resources in some parts in the country still surrounds the mindset of the majority of the ordinary citizens in the country. Dr. Kijazi was presenting the preliminary research findings of his own research study titled, “The role of local institutions in accountable natural resource management”. The full study reports will be made available soon. In his earlier findings, the researcher has discovered that, “there is a great weakness on accountability especially in the natural resource management as many ordinary Tanzanian citizens do not know exactly how the extractive industry operates and the contribution of their incomes to the national budget”. He noted that, there is a tendency of hiding the truth about the sector and this is a challenge as most officials are reluctant to give information concerning with the natural resources management and the exploration activities currently going on in some parts in the country. He attributed the attitudes of most officials as being resentful and do not want to cooperate effectively whenever are contacted to give comments or clarifications over the matter. However, he noted that, there are concerns that Tanzania’s lucrative extractive industry is not generating adequate revenues to the national coffer and at the same time is not contributing significantly to poverty reduction strategies amongst the people. Although he praised the Tanzania Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (TEITI) for its role in increasing transparency, but the firm does not guarantee accountability. On his part, the Program Manager responsible for East and Southern Africa programs for Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) Silas Olan’g has cautioned that as long little continues yo be attained from the extractive industry, the government needs to review the laws and policies governing the exploration activities. 

Extractive industry in Tanzania is likely to face a bleak future

Ola’ng is on the view of then fact that, as the government is now working effectively to ensure good output from the extractive industry and in view of this a change of policy in the mineral sector is necessary for some changes to take place. “We still have a room to improve our policy and if possible change our laws so as to make the sector work with greater profits. We need to make a dialogue and come up with something useful” he said noting that, Tanzania should emulate Uganda which discussed their mining policy for two years.  “Most government officials are not transparent over the incomes and expenditures incurred to ascertain how the country uses its natural resources in alleviating poverty, education and many other things of national interest”, he said. A discussant over the matter who is a retired University professor has said that, the much awaited production economy of the natural gas whose exploration is still going on in southern Tanzania now for the seventh year, will not alleviate poverty stricken situation amongst citizens in the country. Professor Adolf Mascarenhas was contributing his views over the topic that sparked a hot debate and noted that, working together in transparency as Tanzanians is a sole means to alleviate the persisting poverty stricken situation in the country. A retired Professor has called on Tanzanians to wake up and see to the production of gas in the country and have all the details in hands instead of politicizing about the matter which would later on put a nation in danger. He is of the opinion that, the politicians and the local people must work together in close ties to ensure that the natural wealth such as gas is publicly addressed and not leaves the matter for the few to make decisions.

Why children‘s rights is an icon of true African societies

LAST month, African countries celebrated the Day of African Child (DAC). The occasion is commemorated annually as a remembrance of the importance of children as they are future builders of the African society and the world at large. The DAC is commemorated every year on 16 June by Member States of the African Union (AU), and its Partners. This occasion is firstly a commemoration to recall the 1976 uprisings which took place in Soweto, South Africa. The DAC reminds African nations who felt pity when police officials of the minority regime of the Apartheid South African government killed unarmed young African children who were demonstrating on the streets. The children were protesting against apartheid –inspired educational curriculum which had elements of discriminations among schools in South Africa by then. Since 1991, the OAU and its successor, the AU, have since used the DAC to celebrate children in Africa as well as to inspire sober reflection and action towards addressing the plethora of challenges that African children face on a daily basis. The Concept Note for this year edition sets out the situational context of conflict and crisis in Africa and the impact on children. It further highlights the challenges hindering the elimination of conflicts and crises in Africa, to finally recommend examples of best practice in the elimination of conflicts. In addition to that, the DAC has a great significance in African societies being an icon that demonstrate peace among children in African continent bearing the fact that, children are taken as future leaders of the continent. The occasion also has some significance in it as it reminds stakeholders from public and civil societies and administrators as well, to think about the basic necessities of children so as to make them grow in a society from their childhood to adulthood. Childhood is an early stage of growth for a normal human being who by nature after having been born needs parental care so as to reach the maturity stage and become aware of the global activities and most importantly is able to participate in various economic developments for the society. Medical doctors and psychologists suggests that, child care is of the most paramount importance because it is the early stage of human development which if strictly followed makes children to grow mentally and physically for the wellbeing of the future generation. “Imagine a world in which children are free from poverty, live in happiness and have open access to social basic needs like adequate free education, free medical care, and many others”, these are the components that makes a society to be free, says a psychologist. Rebecca Samson a psychologist on child behaviours working at a UN organized refugee camp in Kasulu is of the view of the fact that, “in a world where children, even those born in a disadvantaged part of the world, can be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy for the development of a nation if all the basic necessities for their lives are provided freely.  

Children at work in a construction site

She further stated that, in order to tackle children behaviours into morality, the basic necessities for them should be provided in order to make them grow mentally and psychologically. In view of all these factors, it is therefore imperative for African countries to stand firm to protect the conventions of the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) which have been ratified in national laws to protect the wellbeing of children in Africa, says Andrew Thomas a human right activist According to him, Africa needs to prepare its own leaders who in future would stand to defend African culture and stand to represent the continent into the international outlook. In order to achieve the goals, African governments must show commitments by laying a strong foundation for children by looking at the basic necessities required by then in the society. But it has come to the general understanding that, the basic rights of children are still abused in most societies despite of the United Nations conventions which almost every country in the world has adopted as part of children protection agenda. There are various forms of child abuse which most nations have violated and the most notorious one is child labour. This kind of violence against children has a profound impact on emotional, behavioural and physical health and social development throughout their lifetime. Tanzania ratified the UN-ILO’s conventions No. 182 and 138 respectively for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour as well as the minimum age of employment required. A report of progress of this by the ILO at the global level shows a significant progress is being made. In the period between 2000 and 2012, there had been a decline of over 340 percent in the number of children trapped in child labour from 246 million to 168 million. Over ten years between 2004 and 2014, the ILO’s Child labour program has been active in over 1207 countries with 42 in Africa, 25 in America, 17 in Asia and the Pacific, 16 in Europe and central Asia and 7 from Arab States. Another form of violence against children is sexual harassments which of late has become a common practice in Tanzania.  Latest results of a national survey on violence against children in Tanzania reveals that, almost a third of females aged 13 to 24 experience at least one incident of sexual violence before the age of 18. The most common form of sexual violence experienced was unwanted sexual touching followed by attempted unwanted sexual intercourse. Among males in the same age group, more than 13 percent stated that they had experienced at least one incident of sexual abuse prior to the age of 18. Victims of sexual violence are often reluctant to let others know about their experiences due to confusion, feelings of guilt, shame, fear of not being believed, or even being reprimanded for what shall have occurred.

How interoperable networks impacts Tanzania’s economy

In any country in the world, its unified national economy becomes stronger to a certain extent due to the circulation of local currency which among other tasks is to regulate the high rising inflation rates in order to build up stronger economies of the people and the community at large. The growth of the national economy is always determined by the rate at which Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increases, and this is being contributed by all sectors of the economy in the country including communication sector. Another factor about the GDP increase in the country is determined by a strong local market whereby there is exchange of goods, and Tanzania as an example has no way to evade bearing in mind the fact that the country has lower economic capacity compared with other nations. Statistics by National Bureau of Statistics indicates that, Tanzania’s GDP keeps on increasing at an annual rate of between 6 and 7 percent, this slowly moving rate is an indication that the country needs to put much effort into developing its own resources and achieve more in order to cater for the need of local demand. In addition to that, the country needs to strengthen its economic and solidify major financial bases in order to widen the gap that still exists between the poor and the rich. It is from this point of view that, mobile phone communication companies operating in the country established ‘Money Transfer Technology (MTT) systems whose major focus is to boost national economy. With the introduction of MTT interoperable network in Tanzania, commercial banks which forms part of country’s economy have been flourishing as customers make regular transactions to cater for their daily business needs.Interoperability refers to the ability of different information technology systems and software that permit the transfer of funds from one mobile account to the mobile account of yet another telecommunication company. The mobile telecommunication companies are MIC Tanzania Ltd via Tigo Pesa, Vodacom Company via M-Pesa,  Bhati Ltd via Airtel Money and Zantel  via Ezy-Pesa respectively. With all these companies, Tigo has become the only operator in Tanzania to offer interoperability with the rest of other operating companies, and Vodacom which joined the system in late 2015 has created the largest mobile financial eco-system in Tanzania.Tigo Pesa services being the most acknowledged innovative technology has enabled its customers to enjoy a greater variety of the company’s services, now have access to Africa’s first universal mobile money exchange system. Interoperability can help businesses manage costs, increase efficiencies through shared infrastructure and increase transaction volumes. The technology is among the last to seek a solution in industry wide standards for data management. According to financial experts, the technology has highly advanced and widely used although its is currently being dominated by four mobile phone companies operating in the country. The system has proved successful with the help of their potential customers who use their mobile phone handsets for easy facilitation. It is now clear from the working systems that, “all cell phone companies operating in the country have merged with the main objectives of expanding the interoperability eco-systems in Tanzania’s mobile financial inclusion”. An interoperable network already set up by mobile phone communication companies, aims at increasing the country’s economy by unifying financial systems which eases banking activities for the promotion of national economic development activities. According to a Dar es Salaam based financial expert Mr. Ruan Swanepoel the MTT service technology is able to move funds in customers’ mobile wallets to boost mobile financial service ecosystem in Tanzania. He believes that the interoperability is crucial to the success of mobile money and the wider goal of increasing financial inclusion. It is also a fundamental building block towards constructing a digital economy, enabling merchants and other start-ups to participate in the financial services ecosystem”. 

Interoparability in Tanzania today is not exclusive to mobile operators, and also includes more than 25 banks. The country’s 16 million mobile financial users transact the equivalent of more than 50 percent of Tanzania’s GDP each month. “Thanks to this growing network, Tanzania is now the leading place for mobile money in east Africa, overtaking Kenya This model, which has the approval of Tanzania’s central bank, the Bank of Tanzania (BOT), allows all Tanzanian mobile money operators to create powerful new loyalty incentives for customers. The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) says that, with the on-going technology the total balance of trust accounts held in commercial banks in the country which backs through mobile payment services has amounted to Sh. 448.3 billion as at the end of January 2015. BOT’s Director of National Payment Systems Bernard Dadi says that the number of registered active mobile payment services users for mobile phone companies who facilitated such financial transaction reached 14.2 million out of 38.8 million registered accounts. According to him, “such meteoric rise has caused a tremendous development impact on the conventional banking services by enhancing their operations which in turn is a boost to national economy ”.This is contrary to the beliefs of many business stakeholders in the country who think that the persisting mobile money transfer technology would kill banking services as most customers divert their transactions and prefer the use of mobile money transfer services. However, the BOT says that such services in the country has also improved liquidity in the banking system as the money which is circulating electronically are backed by funds deposited in trust accounts held by commercial banks operating in the country. According to BOT officer, the system platform has enabled some banks to partner with the mobile payment service providers where the banks acts as agents for providing  cash out services. East Africa regional economic integration is a major development strategy that without mobile money transfer technology, to a certain extent trade across the border is rendered inefficient and ineffective as well.  According to Dadi, with the cross-border mobile money transactions currently in place, more opportunities for business will be created for Tanzanian small-scale entrepreneurs.  In addition, the interoperability systems among mobile phone companies is expected to go at a higher scale and hence bring down transaction costs and fair competition to service providers which will result in better quality services, he said. Statistics from the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) shows that, Tanzania is among the leading countries in the world in using mobile phones to pay and receive money. Official records show that there are more than 25 million subscribers with access to mobile money transfer technology which is accommodated by all mobile phone companies operating in the country, of which nine million are active users of the accounts undertaking at least a transaction per month.  In just four years, from 2009 to 2013, the usage of non-bank formal financial services, mainly mobile financial services, increased from just under 7 percent to almost 44 percent, bringing the rate of financial inclusion from around 16 percent to close to 58 percent as per Financial Sector Deepening Trust.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Water expert urge treatment of water before use

TANZANIANS have been urged to build the culture of conducting frequent water tests to ensure it is safe from all types of contaminants. A resident Technician at Ngurdoto Defluoridation Research Station, Mr Godfrey Mkongo, says that the system will help to reduce the possibilities of contracting waterborne diseases and other related health impacts. “Many people conduct water tests when the source is new, without knowing that the water can be contaminated or its content can change with time due to various factors,” Mr Mkongo said. Mr Mkongo said that even individuals who receive water from public systems can take samples for testing because the water can pick up contaminants during distribution. “We are enlightening the public on the importance of testing water to establish its status and advise on measures to avoid further impacts,” Mr Mkongo noted. According to Mr Mkongo, the cost of a water test depends on the parameters to be tested, adding that one parameter can be tested at costs ranging between 4,000/- and 8,000/- . He noted that the frequency of testing water also depends on the number of people served from it. Mr Mkongo added that if the water source serves many people, this means there is a need to undergo more tests. Explaining on the level of fluoride in water and its impact on human health, he said the chemical is essential for teeth and skeletal health when taken through drinking water at a concentration of about 1.0mg/l. “Fluoride is colorless, odorless and tasteless in food and water. Concentrations of up to 1.0mg/l in drinking water are known to prevent dental caries but higher concentration are toxic and cause dental, skeletal and crippling fluorosis,” he said. He mentioned the regions with high concentration of fluoride as Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Singida, Mwanza, Mara and Manyara. Mr Mkongo, however, noted that people in the areas can use modern technology to reduce the concentration of the chemical in water such as bone char.

Government loses billions of shillings for lack of surveillance radars

TANZANIA misses out 18bn/- each year from international airlines using the country’s skyline due to lack of surveillance radars to guide them, Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Engineer Edwin Ngonyani, revealed on Tuesday this week. “International airlines flying over our skyline are supposed to pay charges but this is not the case since we do not have the radars,” Eng. Ngonyani disclosed when officiating at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stakeholders’ forum in Dar es Salaam. Adding, “Our counterparts in Kenya and Uganda are now utilizing the opportunity since they have capacities to guide airlines in Tanzania’s airborne.” The country requires four surveillance radars to have full coverage of the airborne but the one currently operating is obsolete. It is on this backdrop that the government has placed orders to purchase two radars at a total cost of US $24 million for installation at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). “During the current financial year the government will procure two radars and additional two radars will be acquired in the next fiscal year which will be fixed at Songwe International Airport in Mbeya and Mwanza Airport,” Eng. Ngonyani explained. According to the Deputy Minister, each of the radars will cost US $12 million dollars and are expected to be delivered in 18 months after the order has been placed. For his part, the Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Mr Hamza Johari, said a task force has been formed to work on procurement of the radars. “We are still consulting International Civil Aviation Authority Organization (ICAO) to provide us with specifications for the equipment,” Mr Johari told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting. The DG said the equipment would boost revenues as well as efficiency and safety in the aviation industry in the country. The IATA stakeholders’ forum brings together member airlines from Africa to discuss and propose solutions to challenges facing the aviation industry in the continent. The Deputy Minister went on to assure delegates at the meeting that the government of Tanzania was committed to revive Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) and restoring its membership with IATA. Privately owned Precision Air is the only member airline of IATA in Tanzania following suspension of Tanzania in the past on concerns of safety of its fleet of aircraft. Eng. Ngonyani stressed that the revival of ATCL and eventual restoration of its membership with IATA was among priorities of the government.

Premier Majaliwa urge African countries to focus on water research findings

AFRICAN countries have been challenged to direct their focus on the significant results of scientific research to underpin the solutions of the challenges facing the water sector on the continent. The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, made the remarks in Dar es Salaam early this week during the opening of the 6th Africa Water Week which commenced on Tuesday and to be followed by to be followed by the 10th African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) General Assembly. Themed ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) on Water Security and Sanitation, the conference drew participants from across Africa to discuss and collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation in the continent. Mr Majaliwa said that, research findings are projecting a future climate of above normal rainfall by 2035 in East Africa region. “This capital climate perspective should be taken into account in all our activities related to water resources management … we need to manage potential impacts of climate change, within the context of managing floods and drought,” Premier Majaliwa said. He added that, such management efforts also require cooperation among various actors both at regional, national and international levels. Mr Majaliwa, however, challenged all researchers in the water and all related sectors in Tanzania, Africa and beyond to develop and lead innovative research efforts that could directly contribute to attaining Sustainable Development Goal on water. Expounding, Mr Majaliwa said that the 6th Africa Water Week offers an opportunity for cooperation among public and private sectors, researchers and development partners to discuss and collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation in the continent . He noted: “The importance of water for growth and economic development is no longer a scholars’ hypothesis but rather reality of which requires sustainable capital investment.” The PM, however said that, Tanzania places high degree of importance to water sector adding that the country is commitment to continue to accord national priority to water resources management and sanitation. 

Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who is also the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Special Envoy for Water in Africa addressed the congregations who gathered in Dar es Salaam for the 10th African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) General Assembly

Mr Majaliwa observed that, Africa needs to address the daunting challenge on shortage and gaps in human resource and capital investment if is to achieve meaningful cooperation and the SDG number six. He further detailed that the Africa continent has the highest number of transboundary river basins that collectively cover 64 percent of Africa’s surface area and contain over 93 percent of its surface water resources. Mr Majaliwa insisted the need for co-operation in managing water resources as the key element in achieving SGD number six. On his part, the Minister for Water and Irrigation Eng Gerson Lwenge said that Tanzania government has placed priority on water sector by allocating 1tril/- in this year budget. Mr Lwenge said that his government has gone further in improving water access in the country where by currently the rural population access the precious liquid by 65percent while in urban by 75 percent. He explained that African countries had set the target of ensuring that all the countries have access to water by 2030 but Tanzania has set out strategies to ensure that the target is achieved by 100 percent in 2025. Mr Lwenge however said that, through the budget the stalled projects will be revived and new ones will be implemented to make sure that the entire population in the country has access to the precious liquid. Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who is also the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Special Envoy for Water in Africa said that water is critical driver of economic progress. Mr Kibaki said that water availability and management are crucial for human existence but yet its availability has been the biggest challenge in Africa. He detailed that Africa comprise of 18 percent of the world population but it has only 9 percent of fresh water sources adding that Africa is the second driest continent after Australia. He however called upon governments, civil societies and entire population to undertake course of action to spare the continent from further depreciation of water.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Research shows high candidiasis rate in Tanzania

EIGHTY per cent of women who have reached reproduction age in the country have yeast infections (candidiasis), according to findings of a survey conducted by the School of Health Sciences (SoHS) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). The health condition, according to health journals, has largely affected women in the 14-to-49 age group. Candidiasis is a fungal infection due to any type of Candida (a type of yeast). When it affects the mouth, it is commonly called thrush.  Signs and symptoms include white patches on the tongue or other areas of the mouth and throat. When it affects a woman’s private parts, it is commonly called yeast infection. Signs and symptoms include genital itching, burning, and sometimes a white ‘cottage cheese-like’ discharge. Mr Donath Damian, a research scientist at the SoHS told the ‘Sunday News’ recently that the research, which started two years ago has revealed that each patient has more than four species of candida yeast - candida; albicans, tropicalis, norvegensis and crusei. "The species forms gem tubes which later extract nutrients and proteins from the host tissues," he said. "They produce proteinses enzymes that destroy human's immune." Mr Damian, who is also assistant lecturer at the university, explained that yeast infection can cause itching in the genital and for a while pain and odor during urine and or having sex. The fungal infection, according to the scientist is a result of poor hygiene, use of condom and excessive taking antibiotics, which change the balance of lactobacillus acidophilus - common bacteria which help keep other organisms like yeast under control. “The infections are also caused by high estrogen levels resulting from pregnancy and related health problems, including HIV infection and diabetes,” he added. The scientist warned that a prolonged yeast infection can cause heart, lung, river and kidney health complications. Other related problems include oral trash, moniliasis and the most common one - Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). According to health experts yeast infection can be prevented through eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat dairy products. They said some women think that eating foods with lactobacillus organisms, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk, will help prevent yeast infections. So far there is no evidence for this connection. But eating foods that contain lactobacillus can be part of a healthy diet. Yeast infection can also be prevented through good control of blood sugar levels that decreases the risk of infection and through avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics because they can change the normal balance of vaginal organisms, allowing excess growth of yeast

Legal technicality delays hanging of two in Shinyanga

Legal technicality delays hanging of two in A LEGAL technicality has saved two people, Mabula Damalu and Makenzi Mihambo, alias Kabora, from being hanged to death for killing their village mate, Mayunga Elias, after posing to be medicine-men with repute, who could hold his shop business flourish. Instead, Justices Salum Massati, Kipenka Mussa and Augustine Mwarija ordered a fresh hearing of the murder trial having found that the High Court judge recorded almost all evidence of witnesses in the form of a reported speech, which was irregular. Referring to some provisions under the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), they noted that the judge of the High Court was required to take down the evidence of witnesses in writing and not in the ordinary form of question and answer, but the form of a narrative. The justices said that noncompliance with the provision was fatal and may lead to the expulsion of the evidence of witnesses taken in contravention thereof and that any other form of recording of such evidence reduces it to no evidence at all. “In the peculiar circumstances of this case, including the little that could be gathered from the record, we exercise our jurisdiction revision, quash all the proceedings, judgment and sentence and order a retrial of the appellants as soon as possible before a different judge and set of assessors,” they declared. Meanwhile, the justices ordered the appellants to remain in remand prison to await the new trial. It is alleged by the prosecution that the two appellants committed the offence on September 15, 2010, at Itumbili Village within Kahama District, Shinyanga Region. Facts show that the deceased had a retail shop in his village called Ng’ananga. As is the desire with all businessmen, he wanted his business to flourish. On September 14, 2010, the appellants visited the deceased and held themselves to him that they were medicine men of repute who could help him achieve his ambition. The deceased was convinced. The following day, both the appellants and the deceased left with some money, an axe and a knife to Itumbili Village each riding his own bicycle. That was the last time the deceased was seen alive. On September 18, 2010, a naked, headless body with injuries on the neck and a buttock missing was stumbled upon in a bush in Itumbili village. The villagers reported about the discovery of the unknown body to the police. Since the body was not yet claimed, the police allowed it to be buried. Meanwhile, the family of the deceased, who all along kept on looking for him, got wind of the discovery of the body. They rushed to Itumbili Village where they identified the headless body as that of the deceased. This information was again revealed to the police, who applied for an exhumation order.


Government fines six operating mobile phones in Tanzania

SIX major mobile phone firms were on Tuesday this week fined a total of 649m/- for malpractices and misuse in SIM card registration. They have also been given a seven-day ultimatum, starting yesterday, to deactivate all unregistered SIM cards. Announcing the decision in Dar es Salaam, the Acting Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General, Engineer James Kilaba, named the firms as Airtel Tanzania Limited, SMART, TIGO, Halotel, Vodacom Tanzania Limited and Zantel. He said the mobile phone service providers had been given until July 31 to pay the fine and submit a report of compliance to the authority on a number of areas, failure of which stern legal actions will be taken against them. Eng Kilaba urged providers to stop immediately the use of unauthorised distributors, dealers and agents in selling and or distributing SIM cards. Moreover, they have to ensure that their SIM cards were only sold by authorised agents with traceable physical locations and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Some of the malpractices, which have forced the TRCA to impose the fine include allowing SIM cards being sold without using subscribers’ own identity documents, SIM card sold without filling registration forms, selling pre-activated SIM cards and allowing SIM cards, which are partially registered to be activated and used in their networks. The acting director-general said on April 13, 2013, TCRA met with the mobile phone service providers in the country and agreed to ensure that all shortfalls as far as SIM card registration were concerned should be addressed as they should not allow any unregistered SIM cards to be active. He said from time to time they had been conducting surveys in the market to ensure implementation of the order but it has been realised that as of June 3, 2016 six companies were not complying with the directives. Eng Kilaba noted that the companies were directed to submit their verbal and written defence as to why measures should not be imposed against them for defying the agreement on SIM cards registration. According to him, Airtel Tanzania Limited has been fined 182.5m/-, MIC Tanzania Limited, trading as Tigo, -- 189m/-, Vodacom Tanzania 96.5m/- and Zanzibar Telecom Limited 57m/- for four counts of allowing SIM cards to be sold without using subscribers’ own identity documents. Others are the sale of SIM card without filling registration forms, selling pre-activated SIM cards and allowing SIM cards that are partially registered for reactivation and use in their networks. Benson Informatics Limited, trading as SMART, has been fined 17m/- while Viettel Tanzania, known as Halotel, has been fined 107m/- for three counts. Eng Kilaba reminded subscribers on the need to follow registration regulations as they were liable to a 500,000/- fine or three months in jail term. They are required to dial *106# to know their SIM card registration status. On the switching-off of fake and duplicate mobile phones, Eng Kilaba said that as of yesterday, there were 1,713,337 mobile phones with invalid IMEI while those with duplicate IMEI counted 117,389.


Tanzania government threatens non-EFDs business users

DAYS are numbered for business people who do not use or tamper with Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in their businesses as Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has vowed to embark on an operation in search of the culprits. “We are going to do a street-to-street and corridor-to-corridor operation to ensure that business people use the EFDs. We will take to task all dishonest traders,” the TRA Commissioner for Domestic Revenue, Mr Elijah Mwandumbya, said. He called on the business people who do not have the EFDs to go and collect them as they are given for free. “These devices will help the government to earn proper income and eventually save lost revenue,” he said. Speaking over the status of distribution of the EFDs, Mr Mwandumbya said they have supplied a total of 5,703 devices to traders whose business turnover range between 14m/- and 100m/-. The authority’s decision to conduct the operation comes barely a week after President John Magufuli revealed that an investigation has established that a businessman, who is in custody, created a fake tax system using the EFDs and printed and sold to traders fake receipts. The tax syndicate alone has denied the government of at least a trillion shillings over the past three years. According to TRA Commissioner General (CG) Alphayo Kidata, the investigation conducted with the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has established that four companies jointly evaded income tax and value added tax (VAT) amounting to 29bn/- between 2010 and 2014. Mr Kidata said yesterday that the four companies, which are in the hands of the security organs, have been ordered to pay the money after which they would also face legal measures for violating the country’s laws. In line with the operation, the PCCB said recently that it was investigating other 228 companies. There are reports that three prominent businessmen linked to an EFD tampering syndicate have been arrested in Arusha and transferred to Dar es Salaam for further interrogations.