Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

17 August 2012

Tanzania: 'Inflated Food Prices Hurt Fasting Muslims'

Arusha — AS the 2012 Fasting Season comes to an end, members of the Islam faith in Arusha Region are pleading with traders to be considerate to the faithful during the same month next year.

Arusha Region's Sheikh, Shaaban Juma Abdallah stated here that when Muslims in Tanzania join counterparts worldwide to observe one of the religion's five important pillars, they do it in good faith and it was thus unfair for traders to hike prices of food.

"Muslims use this Ramadan occasion to repent and pray, not only for themselves but also for their neighbours and the country as a whole. "Thish means their fasting is beneficial to all and thus even the government, private sectors and other citizens whether Muslims or not should bear some responsibility in ensuring that the occasion goes well," pointed Sheikh Abdallah.

The Regional Muslim Sheikh was speaking during a Special Iftar organized for members of the Islam faith from Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions by the Azania Bank.

"Azania Bank organizes annual Iftar dinners to its customers. Last year we did it in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam cities and in this year we have decided to have a communal Iftar with our customers in Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions," said Mr Benard Haule, the Director of Human Resources and Administration for the Azania Bank.

Mr Haule maintained that his bank's 'faith' support extend to the establishment of the special 'Islam Banking,' which is an 'Interest Free,' financial service offering to people of the followers of Islam which dislikes any form of monetary extortion.

Meanwhile, traders in Arusha City have said that this year's Ramadhan fasting did not experience much price hiking of foodstuffs because the season was endowed with sufficient farm harvests.

"There are times when the fasting season falls within a bad harvest year and commodity pricing goes up," explained Mr Daudi Misana who trades at Kilombero Market. He added that during Ramadhan many traders cease to import more food consignments, prompting the little available to be sold at higher value.

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