Tanzania: CAG Smells Rat in E-Ticketing Deal

THE Controller and Auditor General (CAG), Charles Kichere has advised the Ministry for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports to revisit the contract it signed with Selcom Paytech PLC on electronic ticketing system at Uhuru and the National Stadium.

Handing over the 2018/19 audit report to President John Magufuli at a State House in Chamwino Dodoma, Kichere said deficiencies were noted in the contract signed between the two parties for a period of two years from 2018-2020.

"The ministry has not implemented directives of the government and entered into agreement with the company and agreed to give 4.45 per cent of the revenue generated from sports and various activities to Selcom," said Kichere.

He further cited that the ministry has no Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts capable of effectively verifying receipts collected through the system so to match the number of spectators if it tallies with the revenue collected.

Prior to the CAG report the government, last week flashed a yellow card to institutions and individuals who have been denying the football clubs, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), the government and other stakeholders of their rightful share from gate collections.

Through the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Arts, Culture and Sports, Hassan Abbasi warned gone are the days when such individuals and entities were left to indulge in such malpractices.

Abbasi, who also serves as the Chief Government Spokesperson said he had identified some entities, individuals and vehicles that were used in sneaking in spectators to watch matches after pocketing their (spectators)'s money.

He said he has started instituting some tough measures to seal loopholes of theft of gate collections starting with matches played at the National Stadium and Uhuru Stadium before rolling his plans to other stadia upcountry.

He said it was shameful to see football clubs and players complaining of lack of funds to run their activities, including paying players' salaries while some individuals and some entities were benefiting from gate collections.

The e-ticket system run by Selcom was officially launched at the 60,000-seater arena by the then Minister for Information, Culture, Art and Sports Nape Nnauye on behalf of Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa during a brief hand-over ceremony in September 2016.

In 2017, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, said Selcom's contract had expired and that the government was looking for a competent company that will be capable to sell tickets even three months prior to the game and the Minister requested other competitive companies to come forth and grab the opportunity.

Mwakyembe insisted that the company to win the tender would be required to sell tickets basing on seat numbers such that even if a person arrives late at the stadium, his or her seat will remain unoccupied.

The e-ticketing project was initially under the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPL-Board) in conjunction with CRDB Bank, who won the tender to install the system at the National Stadium in the 2013/2014 league season.

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