Namanga. Kenyan truckers are protesting a new Tanzanian law subjecting their trucks passing through Namanga border post to five per cent per tonne domestic tax. It will be charged on trucks entering Kenya.
Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association Chairman Daniel Wainaina said the move is oppressive and discriminatory to Kenyan transporters.
Mr Wainaina said the association has presented their concerns to Tanzania authorities.
"Introduction of the domestic tax on trucks is not in the spirit of the East African free trade. This is an unfair trade barrier meant to kick out Kenyan vehicles from Tanzania transport industry. Let the Kenyan Government intervene," said Wainaina.
The law subjecting all lorries with foreign registration plates through the post was effected on Monday this week.
The Namanga border post is mainly used by Kenyan trucks.
Mr Wainaina said that 30-tonne Kenyan trucks, which are considered wide load in Tanzania, attract more charges compared to the same capacity Tanzanian trucks entering Kenyan territory.
Domestic tax certificate
According to a circular by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) seen by the Nation, all foreign vehicles ferrying cargo into Tanzanian territory must have a domestic tax certificate before authorisation to cross the border.
A spot check yesterday at Namanga One Stop border point revealed that Kenyan drivers and truck owners opposed to the new charges were held at the Tanzanian side.
Truck owners importing goods into Kenya bitterly protested prompting a snarl up at the border point. Operations were halted temporarily with a few truck owners who adhered to the new rule were allowed to proceed.
A 10 tonne truck ferrying perishable goods was slapped with Sh69,000 domestic tax under the new rule.
"The law is oppressive to Kenyan trucks. We are slowly being edged from Tanzania transport business. Traders will be preferring Tanzania trucks which will be significantly cheap," said John Lumelo, a truck owner.