Roadblocks dog cross-border trade

Stakeholders have expressed concern over numerous roadblocks in some parts of the country which leads to higher costs of doing business.

Exporters have asked the government to reduce the number of unnecessary barriers to ease the movement of goods in the East African region and improve security on the highways. 

For example, the number of roadblocks has been reduced to almost 14 from 54 on the highway from Dar es Salaam to Rusumo in Kagera Region, covering a distance of more than 1,200 kms.

However, between Mutukula and Bukoba municipality, a distance of 80 kms, there are nine roadblocks. 

Speaking during the recent visits to Mutukula border post, the Tanzania Exporters Association (TANEXA) Executive Director, Mr Mtemi Laurence, said they have been receiving complaints from business people due to harassment from government officials in the roadblocks.

He said the presence of the barriers from Mutukula to Bukoba was encouraging corrupt practices for business people get allowed to pass in the roadblocks. 

“From Mutukula and Bukoba, there are nine roadblocks while from the border to Kampala, Uganda there is only one barrier,” he stated.

The Chairman of Tanzania Bus Owners Association (TABOA) Bukoba District, Mr Mwesigwa Kazaula, said some officials of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) at Mutukula and Kyaka border posts have been causing unnecessary disturbances to transporters of cargo and passengers.

He said some TRA officials have been imposing unspecified taxes and sometimes illegally fined people. TRA Kagera Regional Manager, Mr Leonard Shija, said officials at the two border posts of Mutukula and Kyaka were operating professionally. 

 However, he said if such complaints are proved, disciplinary measures will be imposed against such officials.
Source: The Daily News, www.dailynews.co.tz, reported from Daily News
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