Posts tagged as: number

Dar es Salaam, Arusha Rule the Roost As Fakes Rock Insurance Sector

By Hazla Omar

Arusha — Arusha and Dar es Salaam are the country’s two cities reported to be notorious in having the highest number of vehicles with counterfeit insurance cover stickers glued on their windscreens.

A statement from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) explains that more than 10 per cent of all vehicles cruising on the country’s roads and landscape do not have genuine insurance covers, but cleverly faked replicas, which is against traffic regulations and national laws.

TIRA Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware stated in the statement that the influx of forged protection comes from a network of racketeers including underwriters of local insurance firms.

“Usually, motorists and car owners collude with officers of insurance firms so that they can be given cheap faked stickers or use single cover for multiple vehicles, sometimes motorcycle insurance is used on motor vehicles and even stickers for small private cars are glued onto heavy commercial vehicles,” pointed Dr Saqware.

With the number of active motor vehicles being estimated to be around 400,000, it seems more than 40,000 cars are running around full of risk, without the necessary or valid insurance covers, in the wake of myriad road accidents.

According to the recent World Bank (WB) Collection of Development Indicators, the number of car distribution in Tanzania places the country at seven cars per every 1,000 people and at the estimated population of 50 million residents; the number of vehicles should be around 400,000.

Dar es Salaam Region, with around 120,000 vehicles roaming the city, accounts for 30 per cent of the country’s total number of cars but also leads in having the highest number of fake insurance stickers followed by Arusha, according to TIRA.

To serve the vehicles, there are 31 insurance companies in Tanzania, and between them, over 100 brokers and 500 agents. The national coffers reportedly collect more than 700 billion/- revenue from insurance firms every year, despite the lost returns from fake vehicle covers.

TIRA, other than conducting thorough inspection of motor vehicles here, was on the other hand launching their new digital portal known as Motors Insurance Stickers (MIS) mobile application or ‘TIRA-MIS’ which has been hatched to manage motor insurance stickers and their respective cover notes and therefore solve the influx of fake covers.

According to Mr Eliezer Rweikiza, the TIRA Northern Zone Manager, local insurers, brokers and agents will be able to use this portal to complete and submit relevant information regarding motor insurance stickers and their affiliated cover note, issued at a particular time on-line.

Mr Aaron Mlaki, the Manager in-charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for TIRA, said that all vehicle owners and motorists will be able to verify details right from the palms of their hands.

Using the ‘TIRA-MIS’ portal, all stakeholders are able to verify the issued stickers and respective cover notes on-line by clicking the link ‘Validate Motor Insurance Sticker’ or sending a short message to 15200 with a word STICKER followed by the respective ‘Motor Insurance Sticker Number.’

The verification can also be done online upon signing onto the MIS-TIRA website at this link ‘mis.tira.go.tz’ and following instructions.

Shoppers Snap Up Cheap Maize Flour

Photo: Francis Nderitu/The Nation

A couple at the Ronald Ngala branch of Tuskys Supermarket in Nairobi purchase a packet of maize flour on May 17, 2017.

By Nation Team

Kenyans in different parts of the country went into panic buying on Wednesday as the first batch of government-subsidised maize flour hit shop shelves.

However, for the better part of the morning and early afternoon, the Sh90, two-kilogramme packets were yet to arrive in some major supermarkets and in a number of towns.

In Nairobi, Tuskys supermarket outlets, which appeared to be the only ones well-stocked with the cheap flour in the morning, started running out of the commodity in early afternoon due to the high demand.

Nakumatt outlets did not have the flour for the better part of the day, but in the afternoon officials announced via Twitter that they had received supplies.

Sensing the desperation and restlessness, millers assured consumers that the flour would be available in all stores and supermarkets in major towns, and attributed the poor supply to logistics.

ADJUST DISTRIBUTION SCHEDULES

“Some of our members have had to adjust their distribution schedules to take the contractual obligations between our members and particular supermarkets,” chairman of the millers association, Nick Hutchinson, said in a statement.

“We would like to clarify that the lack of maize flour in some retail chains does not in any way reflect a lack of maize flour in the country.”

Mr Hutchinson said millers expected the cheap flour to reach other stores by tomorrow, and in small shops and supermarkets upcountry by Sunday.

In Nairobi, there were long queues at the stores that had the maize flour in the morning.

TAKE ORDERS

Mr Moses Mwangi, a manager at EastMatt supermarket, said retailers had rushed to make their orders with the millers.

“As a result,” he explained, “those of us who made our orders late have been pushed behind the queue, so we’re still waiting for deliveries.”

The chain only had old stock of the commodity and was selling the Oryx brand at Sh135 and Hostess at Sh189.

Tuskys, the only supermarket in the CBD that stocked the Soko brand, had to restrict the number of packets each customer could buy.

At their Kenyatta Avenue branch, customers were allowed two packets while at their Imara branch the maximum was three.

BUY SIX PACKETS

But, even then, customers tried to outmanoeuvre the retailer by going from one store to another. Ms Linda Omolo, a resident of Lucky Summer in Baba Dogo, told the Nation at the Imara branch that she had been sent by her aunt to buy six packets. “I’ll have to go to another branch to pick the rest,” she said.

Asked why she needed to buy so many packets, she asked: “What if another shortage occurs or the price increases?”

At Naivas supermarket in the CBD, Mr Joseph Gitonga said they were still waiting for the government stock.

Some customers, like Mr Richard Chege from Juja, bought wheat flour instead, unaware that just a few metres away Tuskys had already replenished the staple that has been missing from most retail shelves for close to a week.

SAVE MONEY

“We haven’t eaten ugali for a week in my house but chapati has been working just fine because then I save the money I would have used to buy bread for breakfast,” said Mr Chege.

In Nakuru, Tuskys sales coordinator Brian Kandie said they had reduced the price of old stock to Sh90, although they had not received any information or new stock from the suppliers.

“Normally, we get a credit note from the suppliers in case the market price suddenly changes. However, we are not sure whether that will happen,” Mr Kandie said.

However, other supermarkets, like Woolmatt and Gilani’s, had not lowered their prices. Mr George Ngugi, a manager at Woolmatt, said they had not received any communication from their suppliers.

In Mombasa, cheap flour had not hit the shelves by yesterday evening, and so the two-kilogramme packet was still going for between Sh140 and Sh150 in most supermarkets.

MORE EXPENSIVE

In Nyeri some of stores, such as Mathai Supermarkets, had the subsidised flour, but Naivas still had the more expensive stock which managers expected to clear in two days.

In Eldoret, cheaper flour was available in most outlets although high demand saw the shelves emptied before noon. Nakumatt, for instance, ran out of stock by mid-day.

“People have really bought a lot of Unga today and the number of shoppers is increasing since morning. We expect more to come,” an attendant at Tuskys said. The scenario was the same in Naivas outlets in the town.

Reporting by Pauline Kairu, Mohamed Ahmed, Reitz Mureithi, Marion Wambui, Irene Mugo, and Brenda Gamonde.

All Is Set for a Free Ebola-Alert Mission

Photo: OMS/S. Hawkey

(file photo).

By Jimmy Lwangili

A six-member team of health experts embarks on an Ebola sensitisation mission embracing five Tanzanian regions bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The government says during the itinerary in Kagera, Kigoma, Katavi, Rukwa and Songwe regions, its members will interact with members of the public by mobile phone.

Through free connection by Number 117 on all networks, the team members will respond to public enquiries about the swiftlyspreading, fast-killing disease.

The focus will include safety precautions and response procedures. At a media briefing session yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Mpoki Ulisubya,said the mission comes on the heels of reports of an Ebola outbreak in DRC.

Initial reports were released by the International Health Regulations (National Focal Point), and subsequently confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last Friday.

Three out of nine initial patients have died. Dr Ulisubya said Ebola, which had initially struck the West African region, spread to North-East Uele in the Central African Republic (CAR), and subsequently to DRC. He said experts in Tanzania’s team that will soon embark on the educative mission, were part of a larger group that had been on an experience-acquiring experience in West Africa.

The PS pointed out that, although not a single person in Tanzania had been reported to have been infected by the disease, state had to be on full alert and take precautions.

He said since human interaction was one of the agencies for swift infection, people in Tanzania, especially those bordering DRC, should be extra cautious.

Tanzania

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The Puzzle in Collection of Value Added Tax From Foreigners

opinionBy Amani Michael

The Value Added Tax Act 2014 (also known as the New Value Added Tax Act) that came to effect on 1st July, 2015 introduced a requirement to have non-resident entities registered for VAT in circumstances where the non-residents (herein referred to as “foreign persons”) carry out taxable economic activities in Mainland Tanzania without having a fixed place in the same.

According to the Act, an economic activity by a foreign person is regarded to have been supplied in Mainland Tanzania, where it is supplied to a non VAT registered person (herein “non-registered person”) and; (a) the services are performed and enjoyed in Mainland Tanzania (b) the services are received for radio or TV broadcasting in Mainland Tanzania (c) the services are “electronic services” delivered to a person who is in Mainland Tanzania at the time when the service is delivered.

The term “electronic services” is used in the act to include services that are provided or delivered through a telecommunication network, for example, websites, webhosting or remote maintenance of programmes and equipment, software and updates, images, access to databases, self-education packages, music, films and games etc.

The above implies, where a foreign person carries out such services in Tanzania, the supplier of such services will be required to account for and charge VAT in Tanzania. As a consequence, such foreign service providers or businesses are liable to register and account for VAT as a vendor pursuant to the provisions of the VAT Act.

The Act goes further to require these foreign persons to appoint a local representative who will be responsible for “doing all things required to be done under the VAT Act” on behalf of the non-resident, which are highlighted in the Act to include but not limited to applying for registration or cancellation, paying any VAT or fine/penalty etc. on behalf of the principal (foreign person).

Previously under the Old Act (VAT Act 1997), such services were subject to mere disclosures where they were supplied to registered persons under what is known as reverse charge mechanism (as input VAT and output VAT in the same period). However, with this introduction, the suppliers will be required to account for VAT on such services as any other local supply of goods and services.

This is a commendable effort by the government in trying to widen the tax net by reducing the over dependency in PAYE, corporate tax and other taxes in contributing to the national budget. Nonetheless, we foresee a great challenge in enforcement and in compliance with the existing law.

One of the major challenges is faced by both tax payers and the TRA, is on the implementation of the requirement to register foreign persons for VAT in Tanzania. The Act and its respective regulations require such persons to appoint a VAT representative who will assist with compliance of VAT in Tanzania. But against all odds, the person required to register under the VAT Act is the foreign person as opposed to the appointed representative.

Hence posing a number of key questions i.e. what will be deemed as sufficient procedure for the registration? Would the TRA make special allowance for foreign persons to have VAT Registration Number without having to register for TIN (Tax Identification Number)? Will the system of TRA accept registration, payment and online filing of returns without having a TIN? Does the current legislation allow obtaining a TIN without registration with Business Registration and Licensing Authority (Brela)?

Notwithstanding the above, there is recently a decided case at the Tax Revenue Appeals Tribunal of The Commissioner General vs African Barrick Plc. where it was ruled in favour of the Commissioner that the latter who is a foreign person pay taxes on income derived in Tanzania by virtue of its registration and exercise of management in Tanzania. The ruling was based on the Income Tax Act 2004 which regards a corporation to be resident and hence taxed on its worldwide income if it is incorporated or formed under the laws of Tanzania and/or management and affairs of the company were carried out in Tanzania.

An obvious cause for concern for foreign persons would be willingness to register for VAT in light of these circumstances. This would be avoided with an inclusion of a clause in the Income Tax Act or issuing a government notice to exclude registration for VAT purposes from creating a presence/residency Tanzania.

Another challenge for the enforcers from the current provision is, whilst VAT registration in principle, is based on the reaching a minimum amount of taxable revenues of Sh100 million, the same is not the case with regards to the registration of foreign persons. Judging by the definition of an economic activity, even a lone supply of a service by foreign persons would trigger the registration requirement. This not only imposes unwanted administrative burden but also an impossible task to administer.

In conclusion, whilst we understand and commend the decision to only limit the application of the law to include only services charged to consumers (non-registered persons) as opposed to services to businesses registered for VAT, we urge that the law be revisited to address the above issues.

The rule of thumb in taxation is that the simpler and more convenient the tax structures are, the more likely the taxpayers will be inclined to comply. The success of such a tax requires a great deal of transparency by the service providers, who if the above concerns are not addressed will be dis-incentivised to comply voluntarily. This said, it will be interesting to see how many foreign persons register as vendors over the coming months.

Amani Michael is a tax manager at Basil & Alred. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Basil & Alred.

Zimbabwe: ‘Housing Loans Most Popular’

By Kudzai Kuwaza

EMPLOYEES hold more housing loans and personal loans than car loans with the banking sector getting the majority of the loans, a survey has revealed.

The study was carried out by Industrial Psychology Consultants and is titled Financial Wellbeing Survey Zimbabwe Employers Loan.

The average housing loan amount in urban areas is US$42 000 whereas the average loan amount in rural areas is US$13 000, the survey revealed.

“For personal loans, housing loans and car loans, the banking sector is consistently among the sectors whose employees hold more loans,” the survey revealed. “Furthermore, interest rates in the Banking sector are the lowest.

In other words, the cost of borrowing is cheapest for employees in the banking sector.”

There were 830 participants in this survey. Most of the participants (74%) in the survey were in the US$500 to US$3 000 income bracket.

The survey revealed that among respondents in the “Below US$500” income bracket, none of them have car loans.

“However, participants in the same bracket have personal loans and housing loans indicating that transport is not a high priority,” the report noted.

The survey revealed that car loans still remain the least popular of the loans taken, behind the personal and housing loans.

The report also revealed that the proportion of loan holders is greater among house owners and those that stay in company houses.

The survey revealed that at least a third of the respondents from banking (33%), insurance (31%) and energy and oil sectors (36%) have housing loans.

A quarter of the respondents, the survey revealed, are from the manufacturing sector and have housing loans. Other sectors with housing loans include telecoms (27%), medical services (20%), mining (19%) and transport logistics (11%).

The survey found that 22% of the respondents who have car loans are from the banking sector. Other sectors which access car loans include manufacturing (17%), insurance (18%), telecoms (16%) and mining (9%).

The banking sector also had the highest percentage (78%) of those who access personal loans. Other sectors which access personal loans include energy and oil (75%), agriculture (72%), professional services (30%) and tourism (60%).

The survey also established that the request for salary advances within the various sectors does not follow the job levels.

“In other words, regardless of level of employment, employees run out of money and request for salary advances,” the report noted. “We observed that as responsibility increases (as measured by the number of children supported), the number of loans that are taken increases.

“However, the same was not observed when we investigated the impact on loans as the size of extended family supported changes. This may be an indication that decisions to borrow are mostly driven by an employee’s immediate responsibilities (their children),” the report noted in its conclusion.

Zimbabwe

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Eight More Rhinos and Two Lions Relocated to Akagera Park

By Collins Mwai

The second batch of rhinos arrived into the country yesterday morning at 3:30 am aboard Etihad Airways Cargo plane alongside two male lions.

This batch follows the first batch of 10 rhinos which arrived in the country a week ago.

This brings the total number of lions in Rwanda to 19 and 18 rhinos.

The latest arrivals were also taken to Akagera Park where they will spend a day in a shed for observation before being released into the wild.

The relocation process is through a partnership between African Parks, a non-profit that manages national parks on behalf of governments, the Rwanda Development Board and funding from Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Prior to the relocation last week, the last rhino was spotted in the country about 10 years ago.

In the 1970s estimates put the number of black rhinos in Akagera National Park at about 50 but their numbers declined largely due to poaching. The last sighting of the species was in 2007.

In readiness for the rhinos, the park which is a protected savannah habitat has since undergone transformation since African Parks assumed management in 2010.

Among the upgrades in readiness for the rhinos included establishment of an expertly-trained rhino tracking and protection team, a canine anti-poaching unit and the deployment of a helicopter for air surveillance.

With fewer than 5,000 black rhino remaining experts estimate that there are only about 1,000 Eastern black rhino remaining.

Rwanda

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Govt to Establish Special Police Zone in Rufiji to Curb Brutal Killings

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — The government plans to establish a special police zone in Rufiji to arrest the wave of brutal killings in the area, Minister for home affairs Mr Mwigulu Nchemba told the parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Nchemba, who was tabling his ministry’s 2017/18 budget, said 56,913 criminal offences were recorded in the country in a period between July 2016 and March 2017.

The minister told the August House that 2,532 people were murdered in the period between July 2016 and March 2017. Out of the number, 2,067 were men while 465 were women.

Mr Nchemba also told the House that 410 firearms and 2,262 rounds of ammunitions were seized in the same period. The minister also told the House that 576 cases of armed robbery were reported.

The government’s decision to establish the special police zone in Kibiti comes as the wave of killings of police officers and local leaders has escalated recently.

Some 13 local government leaders have been shot dead recently by people riding on motorcycles and who do not steal anything from those targeted. Police last week shot dead three people dressed as women when they defied orders to stop at a roadblock in Lindi.

In April 14 seven police were killed by unknown men.

They were returning to camp after a daylong shift. Their camp is 100km from Dar es Salaam and was established in response to activities linked to a shadowy group along the coast that has mounted sporadic attacks on security personnel and local leaders.

The incident occurred at Mkengeni Village along the Dar es Salaam-Lindi road.

Tanzania

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Monitor Celebrates One Million Facebook Likes With Readers

By Edgar R. Batte

Kampala — In 2014, Daily Monitor grew its Facebook likes to an impressive 400,000 likes.

The following year, it almost doubled the number. It registered an organic growth of 700,000 likes on the online platform.

Today, Daily Monitor, has surpassed the one million mark which is a good reason to celebrate. And as it makes merry, it is giving back to its readers through a fun challenge.

“We are back again, this time with the challenge for our readers and followers on our Facebook online platform as we celebrate one million likes. We will ask a question and if you are one of the first four to answer it, you will win yourself airtime or data worth Shs10,000,” explains Ms Elizabeth Namaganda, Daily Monitor brand manager.

The challenge kicked off last week and will last a month.

Ms Clare Muhindo, Monitor Publications Limited social media specialist, says the page has been growing over the years because it shares authenticated content.

Some of the stories that have trended recently include one about Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye, a 37-year-old mother of 38 children.

Stories in the past that trended highly include those about the Kasese clashes, the murder case involving the Kanyamunyus and murder of former police spokesman, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

These are stories run on the website and shared with readers on the social media platforms.

“We are giving back to our audiences for being loyal and helping us become Uganda’s first media house to get one million likes on our Facebook page.

The questions we are asking in the challenge revolve around Daily Monitor website, www.monitor.co.ug and the Sqoop website,www.sqoop.co.ug, so we encourage our readers to keep visiting our website and other online platforms, including our Twitter page (@DailyMonitor), Instagram (dailymonitorug) and Google Plus (Daily Monitor),” Ms Muhindo explains.

Readers interested should visitwww.facebook.com/DailyMonitor, to find out how they can participate.

The Daily Monitorwebsite is Uganda’s number one indigenous website.

Rewarding readers

Daily Monitor, has surpassed the one million mark which is a good reason to celebrate. Ms Muhindo, Monitor Publications Limited social media specialist, attributes the achievement to sharing authenticated content. As the media company makes merry, it is giving back to its readers through a fun challenge.

Nigeria: Light Up Awards 2017 to Showcase Governors With Outstanding Power Projects

The 2nd Edition of Nigeria’s Light Up Awards 2017, holding later this year, will be focusing on the Electricity Power projects of the 36 states governors. These projects were submitted by the states for entries for the award and are available on www.projectlightupnigeria.com for Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to view, appraise and vote for final winners of the various awards categories available this year. The organisers of this innovative award event has already sent out requests to the 36 states Governors to make available pictures and details of electricity power projects executed by them for this purpose and states are already responding. The date for this award event which shall be held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos and streamed live on a DSTV channel shall be announced shortly.

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, the National Coordinator of Project Light Up Nigeria, Mr. Frank Aja Ukpabi said Nigeria’s Light Up Awards is designed to encourage elected public office holders who are already delivering on their electoral promises in the area of electricity power projects to do more and at the same time emphasize the urgent need for Nigerian voters to desist vehemently from voting for public office holders who have been revealed to be non-achievers for any second term in office as that is primarily responsible for our nation’s lack of development which Nigerians hate.

Some of the Governorship Award categories available are: ‘Governor with the Biggest State Power Plant’, ‘Governor with the Highest Number of Streetlight Projects 2017″, “Governor with the Best Maintained Streetlight Projects 2017″, ‘Governor with the Best Rural Electrification Projects 2017” and “Energy Governor of the year 2017” amongst others. Ukpabi said this year’s edition promises to be more interesting as it will reveal the project performance status of public officials elected on the platform of the two major political parties in the country presently unlike in the past when only one party enjoyed overwhelming presence in the political arena.

The Awards will show the political party whose elected public officials have delivered more electricity power projects under this administration and are therefore qualified to be re-elected come 2019 general elections.

Nigeria

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Over 9,000 Scramble for 124 Public Service Jobs

Photo: Colleb Mugume/Daily Monitor

Some of the shortlisted applicants sit aptitude test for 124 Public Service job slots at Namboole stadium.

By David Mafabi

Kampala — A total of 9100 candidates who applied for Public Service Jobs have appeared for an aptitude test at Namboole Stadium seeking to join the central government.

According to the commissioner human resource in charge of guidance and monitoring Mr Richard Enyomu, Public Service advertised for the jobs and received more than 10,000 applicants and that to cut down the number, they had to take the candidates through an aptitude test.

“We have had two groups sitting for aptitude tests here. The first group had 5,050 candidates and the second one has had 4,050 candidates and in total we have had 9,100 candidates appearing for the aptitude test,” said Mr Enyomu.

The chairman Public Service Commission Mr Ralph Ochan said after the aptitude test, they will select about 162 candidates who would then later appear for oral interviews for the 124 vacancies.

“We are targeting a ratio of jobs to candidates of 1:6 because we need to have the numbers reduced down wards for easy management,” he said.

Latest reports show that nearly 80 per cent of the youth in Uganda are unemployed.

Uganda

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