BANK of Tanzania (BoT) has urged citizens to respect the country's legal tender which is one of the national symbols or risk to be fined five thousand shillings in respect of each note.
"BoT is reminding all citizens that any act of deface on notes or currencies, showing contempt or ridicule to the legal tender that belongs to the United Republic of Tanzania commits criminal offence as stipulated in Chapter 16 of the Penal Code (section 332A)," the Bank statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday said.
It states that, "Any person who, without authority, willfully defaces, tears, cuts or otherwise mutilates any bank note or currency note which is legal tender, commits a schedule offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of five thousand shillings for each note defaced or, in default, to imprisonment for a term of one year,"
The BoT statement follows reports regarding some people showing taunts and jeers on the currencies and notes belonging to the United Republic of Tanzania. At least two people are reported to be held by police for committing the offence.
"Any disrespect to the currencies and notes is contempt to the government that spends its scarce resources in printing them," the Bank said in a statement.
The Bank urged citizens to handle with care the currencies and notes as important national symbols and the economy.
Also, the statement said handling the currencies and notes with care will make them last long and reduce possibility of wear and tear, helping the government to save some printing costs.
Section 26 of the BoT Act 2006 gives the Bank the sole mandate to print notes and currencies for the United Republic of Tanzania.