Posts tagged as: burundi

Tanzania Reopens Borders to Kenyan Milk, Milk Products

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — Kenya and Tanzania have now lifted bans placed on products imported from both countries bringing an end to a stand-off between the two countries that was threatening to derail the East African Community cross-border trading.

According to a joint statement read by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga, Kenya will allow free movement of wheat flour and Liquefied Petroleum gas from Tanzania with immediate effect.

He stated that likewise, Tanzania will lift the ban placed on milk, milk products and cigarettes from Kenya.

“The United Republic of Tanzania will lift restrictions on milk and milk products and cigarettes manufactured in Kenya with immediate effect. The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” he said.

He says the decision was arrived at following a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed further stated that a Standing Joint Technical Committee will be formed between the two countries to deal with any other outstanding issue.

“The Committee will be chaired by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs and will comprise of the Ministries of EAC, Trade, Finance, Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Tourism and will incorporate other key government agencies as the need arises,” she said.

The tit-for-tat came about when Kenya submitted that the products from Tanzania did not meet the quality and safety standards as per the EAC standards.

On April 24, Kenya’s Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau announced the ban on gas imports through Tanzania, a move meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants that posed safety and security risks.

Besides imposing a ban on importation of cooking gas through the two countries’ borders, Kenya had imposed a ban on importation of wheat.

Kenya

Kenya Third Most Innovative Sub-Saharan Africa Country

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Why 2017/18 Fiscal Year Will Be Tough for TRA

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will be under intense pressure in the current financial year as it seeks to collect an amplified amount in tax revenue against a backdrop of missed targets in 2016/17.

The taxman collected a total of Sh14.4 trillion during the 2016/17 financial year.

Much as the money was 7.67 per cent higher than the Sh13.3 trillion which was garnered during the preceding year, it still fell short of the year’s collection target, TRA data show.

A total of Sh15.1 trillion was meant to be collected as tax revenue to partly finance the government’s Sh29.5 trillion-budget for the financial year 2016/17.

With funds from development partners becoming increasingly unpredictable, execution of some development projects suffered.

Presenting a report on the national economic survey for 2016 and the national development plan for the financial year 2017/17 in Parliament in June this year, the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango said while the government planned to spend Sh11.8 trillion on development projects in 2016/17, it managed to raise only Sh4.5 trillion as of April 2017 for that purpose. The poor performance, he said was attributed to delays in securing loans and grants due to prolonged negotiations with development partners and commercial institutions.

“Besides, interest rates rose during the period, forcing the government to defer borrowing. The rates of borrowing from international lenders rose to nine per cent from six per cent,” he said.

But against such a backdrop, TRA is now required to collect Sh17.1 trillion, which is Sh2 trillion more than what the taxman was meant to collect during the 2016/17 financial year and Sh2.7 trillion more than what it (TRA) actually achieved during the year. Similarly, development spending is also expected to increase slightly by 1.2 per cent from to Sh11.999 trillion.

This also comes against the backdrop of closure of a total of 7,277 businesses across the country between July 2016 and March 2017 even as the government says that TRA also registered a total of 224,738 businesses during the same period.

Attainable

But economists are of the view that the Sh17.1 trillion-target is practicable, saying the country’s business environment will gradually improve and thus create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“Had last year’s ways of doing things remained, I would not have been convinced that things would move, but after new measures were introduced in the 2017/18 budget, a lot of things have changed and will continue to change and the Sh17.1 trillion can be realised,” said Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam in a telephone interview yesterday.

Prof Moshi’s arguments are based on a number of measures that the government has taken within the 2017/18 budget aimed at stimulating economic activities.

He is specifically happy with the government’s decision to scrap the annual motor vehicle licence fee and instead raising excise duty on petroleum products by Sh40.

“Before that, one could drive a vehicle with a fake registration sticker and avoid paying the fee, but now, there will be no avoiding the tax. You cannot drive a vehicle without refueling it. So, as you refuel it, you will be paying tax,” he said.

Besides, he said the government has also exempted VAT on importation of capital goods as way of reducing procurement and importation costs on machines and plants used in production. Similarly, it has zero-rate VAT on ancillary transport services associated with goods in transit as it seeks to attract more and more business to the Dar es Salaam Port.

“This was one of the reasons behind a drop a goods at the Dar es Salaam port. This is now bound to change,” he said.

The government, said Prof Moshi, is also determined to pay its various contractors and service providers to public schools, hospitals and security organs, among others.

“All these measures will stimulate economic activities. Besides, people have realised that President John Magufuli wants everyone to work hard and pay tax. You can see how people are complying with payment of Property Tax. I am convinced that the situation will be better this year,” he said.

According to the TRA director of taxpayer services, Mr Richard Kayombo, the tax body is currently undertaking various sensitisation programmes aimed at ensuring that businesses make use of EFDs effectively. Similarly, it hopes to collect more in Corporate Tax, with the deadline for last financial year collections ending on Saturday, July 15.

Top European Clubs Now Eye Samatta

Photo: Daily News

Taifa Stars captain, Mbwana Samatta (file photo).

By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam — The national soccer team captain Mbwana Samatta is now one of the most sought-after players in Europe, it has been revealed.

A number of English Premier League clubs are interested in recruiting the gifted, who plies his trade with KRC Genk of Belgium.

But they will face competition from Spain’s La Liga, Serie A (Italy) and Bundesliga (Germany) sides, which are also interested in roping in the player.

Samatta, who has three years remaining on his current contract with KRC Genk, revealed yesterday that he has attracted interest following his stunning performances for his team in the Belgium Premier League.

“All I want to do is play. I’m at an age where I have to play,” Mbwana said. “Many teams in Europe have shown interest in recruiting me, but they have to wait until 2020 when my contract with KRC Genk expires,” he said.

But he fell short of naming the team, saying his club would make them public if need be. Nearly two years ago, Mbwana was named the African Player of the Year – for players based in Africa.

Mbwana, then one of the key players for DR Congo’s TP Mazembe, became the first from East Africa to win the coveted prize, reserved for footballers plying their trade on the continent.

The forward garnered a total of 127 points for the DR Congo and African Champions TP Mazembe, ahead of his TP Mazembe teammate and DR Congo goalkeeper Robert Muteba Kidiaba, who amassed 88 points. Algerian Baghdad Bounedjah trailed in third place with 63 points.

Samatta was a key figure as TP Mazembe won last year’s CAF Champions League crown scoring seven goals in the process and finished as the competition’s top scorer.

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Digital Money Accounts Boost Diaspora Remittances

Photo: Daily News

Worldremit mobile money platform.

By Masembe Tambwe

Tanzanians living in the Diaspora have hit a milestone of 10,000 unique monthly transactions using WorldRemit, a digital money transfer service.

In an exclusive communication via email, the WorldRemit founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ismail Ahmed said that there has been a 150 per cent year on year growth in Tanzania last year, driven primarily by the rapid expansion of mobile money accounts as the preferred receive method.

“Our Mobile Money partnerships combined with existing services for bank deposits and cash pick-up will give more choice to Tanzanians, further supporting the transition from costly offline remittances via high street agents to faster, cheaper and safer online transfer methods,” Mr Ahmed said.

Remittances play an important role in the economy of Tanzania where in 2015 the country received a total of 390 million US dollars according to the World Bank, almost ten times the amount received in 2010.

WorldRemit customers can send money to Tanzania via Mobile Money to TigoPesa, Vodacom M-Pesa and Zantel EzyPesa Mobile Money accounts, as well as bank deposit and cash pick up.

The money transfer service early this week added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to send money internationally and reach millions using mobile money accounts.

Pioneering a mobile-first approach to the $600bn a year remittance industry, the move sees WorldRemit bringing together the leading players in mobile payments from Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launching the global rollout of the service at MoneyConf 2017, WorldRemit will enable Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to +112 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network.

The integration will make WorldRemit the only remittance provider offering international payments through Android Pay around the globe. By connecting directly with Android Pay, WorldRemit customers can transfer money instantly across continents in just five taps – without entering credit card or 3DS details.

Tanzania

335 Tax Defaulters’ Properties to be Auctioned

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Political Parties Challenged to Embrace Gender Equality

By Janeth Mesomapya

Dar es Salaam — Women participation in politics is said to remain low because it isn’t a priority within political parties. Political Science Professor Ruth Meena voiced this during a panel discussion at this year’s Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Wednesday.

She said that the gender gap in politics is fueled by the fact that gender equality is not a priority, even in nominating candidates during the elections. “The constitution should compel political parties to align with international policies in order to enhance gender equality and bridge the gap,” she said.

Former Parliament Speaker Ms Anna Makinda said young girls should be taught to be bold from the family level to be able to stand against any sort of gender discrimination. “Let’s build a society where women are confident of who they are and participate all socio-economic activities,” she added.

Tanzania

Magufuli Orders Seizure of Undeveloped Farms

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Public Debt Crosses Sh4 Trillion Mark As State Eyes More Loans

By Brian Ngugi

Kenya’s public debt crossed the Sh4 trillion mark at the end of March this year, reflecting the Jubilee government’s sharp appetite for loans.

This has raised fears of the country’s future ability to repay the mounting credit.

The latest Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review report released Wednesday by the Treasury shows that total public debt has now risen to an equivalent of more than half (52.6 per cent) of the gross domestic product (GDP), on the back of massive increase in borrowing since the Jubilee administration took power four years ago.

The public debt comprises 51.9 per cent foreign and 48.1 per cent domestic loans.

“The gross public debt increased by Sh782.3 billion from Sh3.26 billion as at the end of March 2016 to Sh4.04 trillion, equivalent to 52.6 per cent of GDP by March 31, 2017,” says Treasury in the report tabled in Parliament.

“The overall increase is attributed to increased external debt due to exchange rate fluctuations, disbursements from external loans and more uptake of domestic debt during the period.” The rate of increase in the debt load, however, does not correspond with growth in revenue generation, indicating the widening gap and mounting pressure on government’s capacity to repay loans.

The ability to generate and grow tax revenue is a strong indicator of future ability to repay debt.

The Treasury report shows that the government’s cumulative revenue collection for the period July last year to March this year amounted to Sh984.6 billion against a target of Sh1.05 trillion.

“This represented an under-performance of Sh65.9 billion mainly due to shortfalls in income tax, (fees, charges and court fines) collection, Investment Income and Imports Declaration Fee (IDF),” says Treasury in its documents.

The total external debt stock including the international sovereign bond stood at Sh2.1 trillion at the period ending March 2017.

The debt stock comprised multilateral debt at 38.4 per cent, bilateral debt at 32.8 per cent, commercial banks debt at 28.3 per cent including international sovereign bond and suppliers’ credit debt at 0.5 per cent.

Corresponding to the rising debt load, foreign interest payments rose to Sh38.2 billion in the period compared to Sh26 billion in the same period of the 2015/16 financial year. On the other hand interest payments on domestic debt totaled Sh145.8 billion, which was higher than the Sh122.6 billion paid in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

According to the budgetary review, Kenya’s loan repayment to China stood at Sh18 billion over the period representing over half of the total bilateral loans (Sh32.8 billion) highlighting the country’s growing appetite for Chinese loans.

Kenya this week committed to borrowing additional billions of shillings to finance the ongoing construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) line indicating that the borrowings could soon take the debt load past 60 per cent of GDP level.

On Monday the government announced it is seeking an additional Sh370 billion ($3.59 billion) Chinese loan to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu, pushing the construction cost to Sh847 billion.

The country has in the past four years borrowed billions of shillings to finance power generation and road construction projects.

In addition to Sh327 billion spent on the first phase between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh150 billion that the emerging Asian economy extended recently for the Nairobi-Naivasha section, the Chinese will have pumped a total of Sh847 billion in the venture.

This excludes interest on the loans that would push the overall cost beyond Sh1 trillion.

Why Nairobi County Budget Is in Limbo

By Lillian Mutavi

Nairobi County Assembly has ordered the republishing of the county’s Appropriation Bill, 2017 which could render the devolved unit’s 2017/18 budget null and void.

The assembly has also faulted the committee executive for finance Gregory Mwakanongo for the passing of Sh35.9 billion 2017/18 budget un-procedurally.

The budget could be rendered null and void since the executive published the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2017 before the passing of the 2017/18 budget estimates.

However through communication to the chair, speaker Alex Ole Magelo has ordered that the Bill be republished in accordance with Public Finance Management Act, 2012 section 129(7).

“Upon approval of the budget estimates by the county assembly, county executive committee member for the finance executive shall prepare and submit a County Appropriation Bill to the assembly of approved estimates,” reads Section 129(7) of the Act.

The County Government’s Sh35.9 billion 2017-2018 budget was un-procedurally passed after county treasury published the Appropriations Bill, which is meant to authorise expenditure, before MCAs approved the budget estimates.

It was published on April 4 before the assembly had even passed the budget estimates for the financial year 2017/18.

The assembly considered and passed the report of the select committee on finance, budget and appropriation on the submitted budget estimates for the 2017/18 budget on April 5 and passed the Nairobi City County Appropriation Bill, 2017 a day later.

“There was no authority from the County Assembly for the decision to publish the Appropriation Bill which as shown earlier should be entertained once estimates have been passed,” said Ole Magelo.

Mr Ole Magelo has blamed the finance department for contravening the Public Finance Management Act which requires the county executive member for finance to submit budget estimates and other documents to county executive committee for approval before publishing an Appropriation Bill.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

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Work, Not Complaints Makes the Perfect Women Police Officer – Vice President Samia

The Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged women police from Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) to participate actively in various operations taking place in the region as an effective measure to curb criminal acts.

Ms Samia threw this challenge in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the inaugural opening of three-day training session for women police from SARPCCO member states.

She further challenged the women police officers to work hard and dedicate their time, a key element in rising through the ranks– as do their male colleagues at their workplaces- stressing that there was “no time to complain” in order to be promoted; instead, the women officers should also “show their ability and skills at their best.”

“Positions do not just come… we show that our women police can earn promotions and leadership positions in the Armed Forces.

“Promotion and high ranks do not come out of the blue … you have to work hard to fulfill that desire in your life,” she said Regarding the performance of women police, Ms Samia has urged them to make use of the three-day summit to discuss in detail how to overcome such challenges that affect their performance.

Expounding, she said if women police stopped pulling each other down and allowed unity and peace to prevail among them, they would accomplish their goals especially in participating actively in the fight against crimes such as drug abuse.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, said he strongly believed that the training would help to significantly improve the performance of women police.

Masauni also encouraged women who receive the training to pass the knowledge gained to their colleagues SARPCCO embraces 15 member countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

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Mineral Output, Export Audit System Polished

By Bernard Lugongo

Dodoma — Over the years, Tanzania has improved its national capacity of physically auditing mineral production and exports, a new study has established.

Launched by the Energy and Minerals Parliamentary Committee on Monday, the report on ‘Taxation and the State of Africa Mining Vision implementation’, attributed the introduction of mineral audit agency, the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA), to the achievement.

“This has resulted in identification of unpaid taxes owed, while helping to build the capacity of mining companies to calculate tax revenues payable.”

Presenting the report to members of the committee, a representative of the Tax Justice Network-Africa (TINA), which conducted the study since 2011, said following the introduction of the Mining Policy of 2009, the country has also undertaken reforms in the tax systems to increase revenue from the mining sector. The move has seen the revenue increased from 2.4 per cent to about 4.4 per cent in 2001 to 2014, respectively.

However,it suggested that the country still needed to do more with respect to reviewing terms of double taxation agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT’s) which Tanzania had signed with host countries of mining companies.

The Committee’s Chairman, Dotto Biteko, said the report had come at a right time, considering the ongoing exploration in various parts of the country, promising that the committee will use it as a reference tool.

Commenting on the report, Mlimba MP Susan Kiwanga said the document will be a crucial tool for her to effectively oversee the government on issues of mining taxation, considering that the country has continued to discover minerals in various areas.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

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Mary Wambui Calls Time On Elective Politics

By Joseph Wangui

Othaya MP Mary Wambui has quit elective politics after losing in the Jubilee Party primaries.

Ms Wambui on Wednesday said she had decided not to ditch the party to defend her seat as an independent candidate like a host of incumbent MPs in Nyeri have done.

SH15 MILLION

The first-term MP said she would focus her energy and influence on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election campaigns.

Speaking in Othaya town after issuing bursary cheques worth Sh15 million to 1,000 students from low-income backgrounds, the MP said her desire was to see residents get education and development.

She lost in the nominations to Gichuki Mugambi, who garnered 20,228 votes against her 12,524.

Ms Wambui called on voters to turn out in large numbers during the August elections and vote for Mr Kenyatta, saying he had performed well.

PROJECTS

“Giving President Kenyatta a second term in office will enable the country to continue witnessing more growth and development. Tens of projects have been put up to improve the economy,” she said.

She condemned the opposition coalition Nasa, describing as “selfish” the five-man team led by Raila Odinga.

“The Nasa coalition is an outfit that is out to divide Kenyans. They are more concerned about themselves and their families than Kenyans,” she said.

She was referring to the nomination of Nasa co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka’s son, Kennedy, to the East African Legislative Assembly.

She further took a swipe at Nasa’s pledges to Kenyans ahead of the General Election, calling them “unrealistic”.

RIVALS

She took over the parliamentary seat from retired President Mwai Kibaki, who had represented the constituency in the National Assembly for 34 years.

In the last elections, Mr Kibaki opposed Ms Wambui’s candidature and supported Mr Mugambi of the Sabasaba Asili Party.

Mr Mugambi will face Nairobi based-lawyer Peter King’ara of the Democratic Party and Zack Ireri of Maendeleo Chap Chap in the race to succeed Ms Wambui.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

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