The New Times (Kigali)

25 August 2012

East Africa: Tanzania to Fight Pilferage at Dar es Salaam Port

The Tanzanian government has formed a task force to investigate pilferage at Dar es Salaam port which is said to have affected business between Tanzania and its neighbouring countries, Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe said Thursday.

Mwakyembe however declined to name the team members so as to allow the investigation to be conducted thoroughly for the welfare of country's economy.

Giving the warning in Dar es Salaam, the minister mentioned some countries, such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda, have absconded Dar es Salaam port in favor of other regional ports. He said Dar es Salaam port is important to Tanzania's economic development and that of the neighbors, adding that the squalid practice is about to make the country lose its golden opportunity of being close to one of the greatest sea in the world - the Indian Ocean.

Some businessmen in the neighboring countries lack confidence in using the port because of the nasty incidents made by the staff of Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS), he said.

According to the minister, half of Congolese businessmen do not use Dar es Salaam port any more to pass their cargo following the recent loss of containers carrying khanga and vitenge wear.

MwakyeOut of the 5,000 priority standards to be aligned with EAC standards, only 1,500 have been aligned, a challenge that is hampering trade within the region.mbe said since the businessmen have been losing their goods, some of them have opted to use Mombasa port in Kenya and Durban in South Africa although they are more far away.

"We are not ready to continue losing our customers because of the negligence being made by some few dishonest people," he said.

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