Tanzania: Presidential Directive On Petty Traders Extolled

DEVELOPMENT stakeholders in Mwanza region have commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan's directives to relocate petty traders conducting businesses in informal places, including walkways and road reserves to other formal areas.

During the swearing-in event of the newly appointed Ministers and Attorney General in Dodoma on Monday, the President directed regional and district commissioners to take appropriate measures to relocate petty traders, 'machinga' to other designated areas without causing chaos.

Apart from obstructing walkways and road reserves, some petty traders collude with shop owners to sell goods without paying tax.

Commenting, the stakeholders said that implementation of the directives will not only expand the tax base but also the machingas will be in a good position to expand their businesses, hence shifting from small to medium and larger scale investments.

The Director for the Mwanza-based Magare Company Limited, Mr Mabula Magangila, advised that after relocating, the relevant authorities should form special desks in new markets for economic-related education so that machinga can quickly upgrade and become good taxpayers.

It is in that way medium and large investments will be increasing, a step that has immense benefits, including job creation to majority of Tanzanians, he said.

According to him, it is upgrading from one step to another that enabled Magare Company to have a total of over 300 employees, following his investment in various areas, including clothes and leather products, particularly footwear.

On his part, an expert in economic and development issues from Saint Augustine University Tanzania (SAUT), Dr Isaac Safari said that the organized machinga trading areas have numerous benefits, including promoting local markets.

The new markets can also be specific selling points for local industrial goods, thus promoting Tanzanian goods and the industrial economy.

Apart from tax issues, Mwanza residents, including Mr George Mutasingwa said that relocation of machingas has something to do with road safety because all fully occupied roads are going to be free.

He said the way machingas used to scatter their goods everywhere endangered their own lives, pedestrians and motor vehicle operators.

"You can take a look at the round-about at Nyerere Square, where drivers, especially truck operators, hardly manage to make a turn simply because machinga's goods are scattered everywhere on the road," he said.

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