Posts tagged as: tanzania

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.

Dar Among Top Global Fund Beneficiaries

Continue at source:  Dar Among Top Global Fund Beneficiaries

Sending Money to Tanzania From UK ‘Most Costly in East Africa’

Photo: Vice-President’s Office/The Citizen

Delegates listen to Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam — Sending money to Tanzania is the most expensive in the Eastern and Southern Africa, a London based consultancy organisation, Developing Markets Associates (DMA) June global report shows.

According to new analysis which was presented by Mobile 360 conference in the city, the average cost of sending £120 from the UK to Tanzania is 14 per cent, the highest average cost in the region.

This is when contrasted to other countries in the region like Ethiopia (13 per cent), Zambia (13 per cent), Rwanda (13 per cent), Mozambique (12 per cent), Uganda (9 per cent), and Kenya and Zimbabwe with seven per cent rate have the lowest cost.

The event, hosted by GSMA, who represent 800 mobile network operators across the world, was set to show evidence as to why Tanzania has the highest cost of sending money from the Diaspora.

“More than £44 million is sent each year by more than 38,500 Tanzanians living in the UK. But the cost of sending money is twice as much as sending to neighbouring Kenya or Zimbabwe,” reads part of the report.

The analysis shows that the average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10 per cent, compared to the global average of just over seven per cent. Yet the UN Sustainable Development Goals say that by 2030 the global average price for remittances should not exceed three per cent of face value, with even the most expensive countries not being more than five per cent.

The report urges international development donors to support a pilot project to enable UK based remittance service providers to access Southern Africa through Sadc’s integrated regional electronic settlement system, through which 95 banks serve 11 countries.

Mr Leon Isaacs, CEO of DMA, was quoted as saying that: “Sending money home is very expensive compared to the relatively low incomes of migrant workers and the small amounts they typically send.

“The real challenges contributing to higher costs of sending money from the UK to Africa are not fixable by new technologies alone. Instead, we need to be focusing on scaling existing technology, creating the regulatory environments for those technologies and on changing consumer behaviour to send money digitally from ‘end-to-end,” he argued.

“It’s more expensive to send money to Africa than elsewhere. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The way we stay in touch, do our shopping, and even find love, have all gone digital. Yet, for the vast majority of people sending money home, they are still doing it the way they have always done it: in cash,” said Juliet Munro, director of Inclusive Finance in a quoted statement at FSD Africa.

Tanzania

Airtel’s Initial Offering Pegged At U.S.$1,1 Million

Airtel Tanzania is expected to raise about Sh25 billion through its planned initial public offering (IPO), The Citizen… Read more »

Ban On Pregnant Girls in School Violates Basic Rights – Campaigners

Originally from –  Ban On Pregnant Girls in School Violates Basic Rights – Campaigners

‘Kiswahili Is Making Huge Strides Globally’

By Syriacus Buguzi

Dar es Salaam — Minister for Youth, culture and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe has commended the ongoing efforts by various stakeholders in strengthening Kiswahili language.

Dr Mwakyembe said Tuesday that Kiswahili is now being recognised globally because top leaders, including President John Magufuli have decided to use the language in high profile gatherings.

He said this in Dar es Salaam during the event to mark the 60th Anniversary of BBC Swahili.

The event, which took place in the city, was attended by veteran journalists, politicians as well as Kiswahili lecturers.

“We have recently launched a Comprehensive Kiswahili Dictionary and I think this is a step towards the right direction in making this language grow and spread across the world,” he said.

East Africa

Kenya Third Most Innovative Sub-Saharan Africa Country

Kenya has been ranked the third most innovative country in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more »

Jakaya Kikwete’s Son, Two Others Win Gold in Genius Olympiad

Photo: The Citizen

3 students from Feza Boys Secondary School won this year’s Olympiad competition in the United States.

By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam — Wearing gold medals on their necks, three students from Feza International School, Rashidi Kikwete, Abdulrazack Mkamiya and Abdallah Rubeya landed the Julius Nyerere International Airport at about round 10pm.

They were in the US for a five-day competition, Genius Olympiad Competition, held from June 13 to 17. The contest brought together about 1,200 secondary students from more than 73 countries, 22 students from Feza Schools represented Tanzania.

Rashidi Kikwete, son of former President Jakaya Kikwete and Abdulrazack Mkamiya won gold medal in arts category while Abdalah Rubeya won a short film category.

“It is more than a dream comes true,” says the younger Kikwete. According to him, he was happy when heard for the first time that he would be among students who would travel to USA for the competition. For his part, Rubeya says winning the gold medal in the short film category wasn’t easy, for went through an education system that doesn’t give much attention to ext-ra-curricular activities. He admits he was nervous over the whole thing but he did not give up.”It was not a simple task to accomplish, you can imagine how difficult it was to win against 1200 competitors,” he said

He believes that there is nothing is easy to achieve, saying those who didn’t win in the competition should not give up. Among the parents at the airport was the Former First Lady Salma Kikwete, who said that the win proves that Tanzanians can also do wonders if given a chance. “As a former first lady of this nation and a mother, I am proud to witness these achievements because it proves that our efforts towards provision education are not in futile,” she said.

Tanzania

EAC Warned on U.S.’s Threat Over Used Clothes Ban

Two days after the US Trade Representative announced that Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda risk losing access to the American… Read more »

World Champ Beatrice Chepkoech Shines At Police Track Finals

By Ayumba Ayodi

World Cross Country Championships mixed relays gold medallist Beatrice Chepkoech cashed in on the absence of several stars to win women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase title Wednesday at the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Fresh from posting personal best in a second place of nine minutes and 01.57 seconds at Doha’s Diamond League meeting, Chepkoech obliterated the field of five athletes in a gun-to-tape performance victory of 9:50.06.

Chepkoech, who finished fourth at the Rio Olympic Games, edged out Abigael Jelagat and Anne Gathoni to second and third places in 10:16.6 and 10:20.4 respectively.

“It was a good victory even though I am still on medication, having been admitted a while ago after I fell sick,” said Chepkoech, who failed to compete in Shanghai last Sunday after she fell sick.

“I was admitted for three days after Doha but I am well now.”

Chepkoech, who will be seeking a double in women’s 1,500m final Thursday, said she hopes to be fit for the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 in Eugene, USA, where she hopes to turn the tables on world champion Hyvin Kiyeng and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet from Bahrain.

Chepkoech lost the Doha battle to Kiyeng, who ran a world lead time of 9:00.12, as Jebet, who is also the world record holder, came third in 9:01.99.

But Kiyeng, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, lost to Jebet in Shanghai, clocking 9:06.72 against Jebet’s winning time of 9:04.78. Kiyeng failed to compete in the Police meet Wednesday as did Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Purity Kirui and the 2015 Diamond League 3,000m steeplechase series winner Virginia Nyambura.

However, Kiyeng will field in Thursday’s 5,000m final where she will take on the 2013 world 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, Africa Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo and former world junior 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder Ruth Bosibori.

Meanwhile, Eglay Nalianya, who was in Kenya’s 4x800m team at this year’s World Relay Championships in Bahamas, won her 800m semi-final in a slow time of 2:10.4.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi illuminated the men’s 800m first semi-final race with victory in 1:48.1 to storm the final.

Manangoi edged out Job Kinyor and Justus Kipchoech to second and third places in 1:48.4 and 1:48.8 respectively.

Manangoi will also face Timothy Sein and Jeremiah Mutai won the other 800m semi-finals in 1:48.9 and 1:48.8.

Kiplagat Ruto won the men’s long jump in 7.82m while Anderson Muiruri bagged the triple jump title in 2.00m. Damacline Nyakeruri won women’s javelin in 45.94m while Ruth Njoroge went for the 10km walk race in 52:06.2.

Rotich Kipsang and Rose Rakamba won men and women’s discus with throws of 44.68m and 40.91m.

Karua’s Promise to Kirinyaga People

By George Munene

Narc Kenya leader, Martha Karua and the Kirinyaga Central MP Gachoki Gitari have declared that they are ready for the gubernatorial race and pledged to jointly slay the dragon of corruption if elected.

Ms Karua, a fierce politician is the flag-bearer while Mr Gitari who is a two-term lawmaker is her running mate.

While announcing publicly that they have teamed up to capture the county’s top seat, the two leaders vowed that they will not tolerate graft in the devolved unit.

“We shall ensure that corruption is eradicated in order to spur economic growth in the region,” said Ms Karua.

Mr Gitari praised Ms Karua as an honest leader who has been on the forefront in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

WIN SUPPORT

“Ms Karua is a courageous and honest leader and together we shall win the war against corruption,” he said.

The two leaders said they were united and challenged their rivals to brace themselves for a tough political battle.

Speaking in Sagana town on Tuesday afternoon, the leaders said they will embark on aggressive campaigns saying they will be moving from door-to-door to win support.

They will fight it out with former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (Jubilee) and Macharia Karani of Maendeleo Chap Chap as well as the incumbent Joseph Ndathi and Muriithi Kagai both who will be running as independent candidates.

PROPAGANDA

The two leaders hit out at Ms Waiguru whom they accused of misleading the residents that she had been endorsed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“There is a candidate who is going round the region telling residents that she is the president’s preferred candidate. The President has not endorsed anyone for the gubernatorial seat and she must be ignored,” said Ms Karua in reference to Ms Waiguru.

Ms Karua reiterated that her party had endorsed President Kenyatta’s re-election but the head of State himself had not endorsed any candidate for any political seat.

“Anyone seeking to be elected as a governor must sweat,” she said.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

IMF Leader Touts for More Stable Tax Regime

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang has hailed Tanzania for managing to boost tax collection to finance infrastructure development but cautioned the country needs a more stable tax regime to remain an attractive investment destination.

The visiting IMF leader said it was vital to mobilise more private and public resources by strengthening tax collection but unpredictability of tax regime remained a challenge as the country strive to develop an industrial economy as envisaged in the second Five-Year Development Plan.

“So it is crucial to mobilise more private and public resources within Tanzania, especially by strengthening tax collection under a fair and predictable tax regime. This is an area where Tanzania has fallen behind its neighbours,” he said at a public lecture he gave in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

He described Tanzania as a strong performer in terms of economic growth and macroeconomic stability but argued the country needed to strengthen the role of private sector to sustain its impressive growth which has remained strong for over two decades.

He said the second Five-Year Development Plan would succeed if Tanzania would make optimal use of its comparative advantages, particularly the potential from agricultural and mining and possibilities of becoming a trading and logistic hub for East Africa.

Tanzania should also strengthen the business climate for local and foreign firms to attract investments, he said. The business community have been complaining of an unpredictable and complex taxation system which make doing business in Tanzania much harder and as a result discourage investment.

The government has restated its commitment to work on complaints from investors and business people of nuisance taxes ensure the country’s tax system does not stifle the private sector.

Touring industrial exhibitions at Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) grounds in December last year, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango had urged investors and the business community to forward to his ministry their tax recommendations so that they can be evaluated and incorporated into next year’s financial budget plans.

And speaking at a meeting with members of the private sector under the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) at State House in Dar es Salaam early this month, President John Magufuli said his government was ready to work with the private sector which he described as the engine of the economy.

The meeting washeld in the wake of reports of weakening investor confidence due to concerns about the economy, policy unpredictability and tax crackdown targeting big companies.

Magufuli dispelled sentiments that his government was “anti-business,” saying he was pro-business, but his administration would not tolerate tax dodging, which was rampant in Tanzania in previous years.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

Remembering MV Bukoba Disaster 21 Years On

analysisBy Marycelina Masha

MV Bukoba moments before she disappeared from the surface of Lake Victoria on May 21st, 1996

ON the morning of May, 21, 1996, a ship christened MV Bukoba, carrying more than 1,000 passengers and cargo, overturned and sank in Lake Victoria, just half an hour before docking at Mwanza Port.

According to a report issued by the government’s probe commission, over 700 people perished while 114 others were lucky to survive the accident.

The government was overwhelmed by the crisis and sought assistance from Neighbouring Kenya and South Africa for concerted efforts to remove the bodies of those trapped in the sunken ship.

A tower of memories was built at Igoma on the outskirts of Mwanza town where victims were buried in a mass grave. Nyaisa Simango was one of the survivors of the worst marine transport accident in Tanzania.

Inspired by a burning desire to tell the world what happened before and after the ship capsized, Simango who now works with the Bank of Tanzania wrote a book titled Sitasahau MV Bukoba, in which he chronicles the horror as it unfolded during that fateful morning.

This is a true heartbreaking story, a depiction of how negligence, complacency, greed and corruption on the part of the establishment, could cost the nation very dearly. The book is available in bookshops across the country.

For the sake of preserving history and the love for our nation, this review recommends it as one of Tanzania’s Best Sellers. Title of the book: Sitasahau MV Bukoba. Author: Nyaisa Simango. Publisher: E&D Vision Publishers ISBN No: 978-9987-521-43-2 Preface: Professor Haroub Othman Genre: Nonfiction, tragedy Style: Narrative Reviewer: Marycelina Masha

The plot

Nyaisa Simango, then a prison warder at Ukonga Maximum Prison, leaves Dar es Salaam for Mwanza by train in the company of a colleague Sergeant Nico.

They are escorting a prisoner who they are scheduled to hand over to the authorities in Bukoba. On arrival in Mwanza, the trio proceed to the port and board an overly crowded MV Bukoba, after jostling and shoving their way through the crowds to get some room in the restaurant cabin.

Tickets were available through the backdoor, even if you came late. As night falls, Nyaisa is shocked to see that the vessel almost overturns when an irresponsible crew member messes up with the ship’s wheel.

He narrates: “All hell broke loose when the ship swayed violently as we were sipping our soft drinks. The refrigerators dropped on the floor with a loud bang! Bottles of beer and soda broke into pieces and littered the floor. I feared for my life… .” The ship anchors in Bukoba though, the end of the first leg of Nyaisa’s journey.

Chaos reigns at Bukoba Port on the following day of May 20th May, when Nyaisa prepares for boarding for a cruise back to Mwanza. A cargo of bunches of bananas, cars, suitcases and all sorts of luggage, flood the basement of the ship.

Multitudes jam the dock with their belongings as if fleeing a war zone. Those who fail to board hurriedly hire taxis in order to catch up with the vessel at Kemondo Bay.

It was a frightening scenario, but no authority, not even the Tanzania Railways Authority which operated the vessel, came forward to quell this manmade storm.

Throughout the voyage, Nyaisa, who has never travelled on a ship is a very worried man, often looking for a lifebuoy or consulting with a passenger about it, though none is keen to listen.

This weakness makes him naïve and nervous. Had the ship arrived in Mwanza safely, we would accuse him of being a nuisance to other passengers. Suddenly, the vessel sways to the left then right… left then right.

He writes: “My mind veered off from the swaying ship and reached my home village. I saw my younger sib lings screaming and wailing after my body is brought home from the accident scene… . I wanted to throw up and release the beer I had just sipped, so I went to the bathroom, but I couldn’t… ” In the middle of the night Nyaisa gets tired of the ship’s swaying and rocking.

He squeezes himself to a corner where a woman is sleeping with his children and falls asleep, only to be awakened by screaming voices. He is lying in a pool of water, alone.

Other passengers are assembled in the upper part of the ship. Some are praying but many are screaming. The ship sways again, left, then right, left, right, left… “Oh my goodness! The vessel has gone adrift… some passengers have been tossed overboard!” Someone yells.

The swaying stops and Nyaisa goes to take a shower, soon the ship will dock at Mwanza Port. This must be due to heavy weather, though no authority speaks. It is 7.00 am. and the sky is clear enough to see the view of Mwanza town.

While he is brushing his shoes, the impossible happens. The ship tilts to the left, then right and then makes about turn! She has overturned! Nyaisa writes: “Impossible! No ship overturns.

No! ships sink… Good God! My life is over… ! I’m dead!” This episode could be the climax of the story as it revolves around fear and agony but with a desire to live. Nyaisa finds himself in a new but frightening world. He sees people dying, many of them.

The ship now lies upside down and water penetrates through the walls. There is darkness and the door has closed from the outside, the floor is submerged! When three courageous men appear from nowhere, he joins them to drill an escape hole.

This particular trick works after a great deal of laboring and Nyaisa hauls himself into the lake! He can’t swim, he has never done so. He seizes an object, while waggling in the water. It’s a human being’s leg. He holds it firm, until he manages to grab a lifebuoy.

Finally he climbs onto the sinking ship’s hull where he, together with a few other victims, are rescued by fishing boats, four hours after the ship overturned! Prior to the post script, E&D Vision Publishers added some colour to the book by including a piece showing how Tanzania’s press reported MV Bukoba accident, plus an interview with some of those who lost their loved ones in the accident.

Premonition

Nyaisa unwittingly predicts the occurrence of a disaster well before he leaves Dar es Saalam. While chatting with his cousin about the journey, he asks him where he would get a life jacket in case of an accident.

Three more times he talks to himself about a looming accident. At a certain moment, he unchains the prisoner’s handcuffs and says “I don’t want to be blamed for the prisoner’s death if the ship sinks…”

On the journey back to Mwanza, and after taking three bottles of beer, he whispers to a fellow pas senger and asks him whether he could get a life jacket.

The author’s tone

After reading the book several times about manmade tragic episodes, depicting negligence, greed, inefficiency and corruption, I expected no mercy on those responsible for this calamity.

However, much as Nyaisa clearly punches holes on the performance of the authorities, he does so with a sober mind. Sometimes he even adds humour when he says:” Someone grabbed my underpants as we hassled for the lifebuoy. I felt somehow relieved because when you are under the water, your clothes are nothing but a heavy burden.”

He continues: “I was completely naked. The only thing I was wearing was my watch… When the rescue boats arrived, we were given clothes, BUT some of us rejected them… It did not matter, men and women sat together, all naked… “

Moral lesson

The Preface by Profes sor Haroub Othman, tells it all. Prof Othman criticizes the then Ministry of Communication and Transport’s inability to rein in corruption, negligence and inefficiency in the TRC.

In particular, he questions the country’s ability to deal with disasters and the whole issue of safety in the transportation sector. If everyone executed their duties diligently, the accident would not happen.

On 21, May, (this coming Sunday) someone will be commemorating the 21st anniversary of the sinking of MV Bukoba, in remembrance of those who perished with it.

It is a historical event which must not be allowed to die. It must be told again and again for everyone to get to know their role and responsibility towards protecting lives whenever they are on the steering wheel.

Sad to say, this anniversary comes at a time when hearts are still bleeding for 33 children, two teachers and their driver who died in the Karatu school bus tragedy. May God rest their souls in eternal peace.

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