State clears the air on hotel names change

Dar's Serena Hotel
The change in name from Movenpick to Serena Dar es Salaam Hotel has in no way affected ownership of the hotel and collection of government revenue, the National Assembly was told on Monday.

Responding to Ms Chiku Abwao (Special Seats-CHADEMA), Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Pereira Ame Silima, said despite the changes, the owner of the hotel remains Tanrus Investment Limited.

"What has changed is the name, but the owner who is responsible for paying taxes is the same. The change from Sheraton to Royal Palm and then to Movenpick and now Serena should not worry you," Mr Silima told MPs.

Ms Abwao had wanted to know whether the government got its share of revenues from the changes in names of various entities including Zain Tanzania to Airtel Tanzania.

Mr Silima explained that the acquisition of one company by another or changes in shareholders was a normal procedure in international business.
 
"In the same line, it is usual for international companies to change names as a strategy to expand their businesses and market share," he remarked.

The deputy minister also told the House that the government did not earn revenue from the sale of Zain Africa to Bharti Airtel of India but it retained its 40 per cent stake in the communication company.

In a supplementary question, Ms Leticia Nyerere (Special Seats - CHADEMA) wondered why the hotel has changed names several times and expressed suspicion in the changes.

Mr Silima assured the MPs that the government was keeping a close eye on the changes through the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

On another note, he said that plans were afoot to install a device to monitor transactions of mobile operators in a bid to collect all required taxes.

The deputy minister made the explanation in reaction to a supplementary question by Mr David Kafulila (Kigoma South, NCCR-Mageuzi), who had alleged that mobile operators were earning more than what they account for.

"In Kenya for example, they have a device which is able to monitor all their dealings and that way the government gets its fair share of taxes," charged the  MP.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by its reporter in Dodoma
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