4 December 2018

Tanzania: President Magufuli Wins Rare Accolade in Arusha

Arusha — President John Pombe Magufuli won a rare applauds in Arusha, the opposition stronghold, on Sunday over his warning against unfair taxation on businesses.

Members of the business community said they were happy with the remarks made by the head of state because they felt at times they have been unfairly taxed.

"We support the president on this", remarked by the chairman of the regional chapter of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Walter Maeda.

He said members of the chamber and other business people have often complained against "unfair' assessment by officers from the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

When laying a foundation stone to a $223 million (approximately Sh520 billion) water project in Arusha, President Magufuli expressed his dismay over unfair taxation of businesses.

"We need tax but not through fraud. From my administration will have no room for TRA workers who condone this", he warned.

The president also lashed at TRA officials used the police and other law enforcers to force the business people to pay tax, saying this was not acceptable.

"Do not use the police. There should be a fair play in tax collection", he said, adding coercive methods and threats were other ways of soliciting bribes.

He called on the TRA officers to be fair in tax assessments and that they should not milk dry the traders people as this scuttle their businesses.

Complaints over higher estimation of tax and intimidation by the revenue authority have been rife in recent months across the country.

For Arusha those in the hospitality sector appear to be the most hit and have often raised their concerns over the over unfair tax assessments.

However, the head of state urged businesses to ensure they used the electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) so that TRA tax assessors can be fair to them.

"Corruption is a menace that we should eliminate", he told a large crowd at Namnyaki village on the outskirts of Arusha, adding; "I have a minister over 20 years and has seen many tricks used in squandering of the public funds. We want the funds to reach and benefit the people instead."

President Magufuli added that in order to ensure that the farmers get a better deal; the government has scrapped over 80 'nuisance' crop levies.

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