27 November 2017

Tanzania: JPM Bursts On Vehicle Import Scam

Photo: Daily News
President John Magufuli grills Tanzania Ports Authority and Tanzania Revenue Authority’s officials on the 53 hidden ambulances at the Dar es Salaam port during his impromptu visit to the facility, yesterday.

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday issued a seven-day ultimatum to three public institutions to clear uncertainties over the 100 ambulances and police vehicles stranded at the Dar es Salaam port since 2015.

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and the Police Force had tough time yesterday as they came under strong reproof over the rot.

During his impromptu visit to Dar es Salaam Port, the country's major sea gateway, the Head of State discovered that there were 50 ambulances and 53 police vehicles abandoned at the facility since 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In yet another shocking revelation, it was uncovered that some importers had abandoned their vehicles at the port for over ten years, impeding the port's capacity to store cargo. The situation compelled President Magufuli to demand detailed explanations behind the vehicles' overstay, which is against the law.

President Magufuli directed the authorities to embark on legal and transparent procedures to remove from the port all cars that have overstayed. "I want an immediate removal of all cars that have been here for longer time than what the law demands... if they are to be put under government ownership let them be. We can't continue keeping vehicles of unidentified owners for ten years," he directed.

Dr Magufuli said he is well informed of the dirty game going on, tasking the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate and give him the thorough report on the rot. He was vividly irked by ministers whom he accused of not performing their responsibilities, directing them to perform their duties or risk dismissal.

"And, I am not scaring you..." President Magufuli strongly warned TPA and TRA whom he said have reverted to their past 'business as usual' approach of performing works, instructing ministers to make impromptu visits to institutions under their jurisdiction.

He as well directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) Director General, Valentino Mlowola, to investigate all the stranded vehicles at the port, which were reportedly imported under the consignees of public institutions.

The probe will aim at identifying especially people behind the vehicle imports. He said the controversial vehicles were imported alongside the government vehicles, calling on investigators to reveal all the perpetrators even if they were from his own office.

In his visit, President Magufuli was accompanied by Works, Transport and Communications Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa and Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango. He reminded the ministers to closely monitor performance of the institutions under their dockets and take immediate measures against wrong doings by officials entrusted with the public offices.


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