Dar es Salaam. Prime Minister Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa made yet another impromptu tour of the Dar es Salaam port yesterday after being informed that about 2,431 containers were released without taxes being paid.
The PM who inspected a system of receiving and releasing cargo and the payment system has directed the port’s acting manager, Mr Hebel Mhanga, to send the names of all staff involved in the tax evasion to his office by 17:00pm yesterday.
The Prime Minister said, according to the port’s inspection report starting from March to September 2014, the containers were released without taxes through four inland container depots namely JEFAG, DICD, PMM and AZAM.
According to the report, only 10 employees have been suspended as a result of the anomaly.
“You have decided to suspend ordinary workers and leave bosses to continue working. We cannot continue denying the government revenue in such a way,” the PM said.
He has also given Mr Mhanga one week to ensure that the authority changes the mode of payment system from the paper-billing system to an e-payment system.
The PM inspected various departments at the port, where he viewed how the inspection of cargo was done using scanners.
While in one of the scanner rooms, the PM came across a manifest detailing a container was full of diapers while the screen of the scanner computer showed that the same container had an assortment of electrical goods. According to the acting Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) manager (Dar es Salaam Port) Ben Usaje, who is also head of the scanner department, once such a controversial report is revealed, it is supposed to be sent to those with inland container depots (ICDs) so that a container of such kind could be opened and inspected to ensure the property inside is the one written in the manifest. In another development, PM Majaliwa made another impromptu visit to the offices of the Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL), where he also inspected compartments and talked to some workers at the station where he reportedly discovered dubious salary payments and deductions from the workers’ contributions. Speaking to TRL Director General Elias Mshana, the Prime Minister said that he went there to check how the company spent Sh13.5 billion it was given by the government. “The main goal of you being given that money was for the improvement of projects so that you could run your firm commercially, but you decided to spend it on your salaries,” Prime Minister Majaliwa told the workers.