Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, May 15, 2023.
How an 8-hour strike by Kariakoo traders led to a political shake-up
Dar es Salaam came to a standstill within eight hours after news of a strike in Kariakoo, Tanzania’s largest market with over 30,000 traders.
Traders called the strike in protest of three issues: bureaucracy at the port, confiscation of goods by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), and a new requirement that traders register monthly stock movements with TRA.
When The Chanzo visited Kariakoo early in the day, shops were closed, and only small-scale retail trading was taking place. “We are tormented by TRA,” said Emmanuel Male, a trader. “They act as if we are refugees in this country and have no rights. They have made Kariakoo a place to harvest, using hefty fines which are unbearable to traders.”
Traders also complained of bureaucracy and corruption at the Tanzania port, where rates and processes lack uniformity, leading to differing product costs and price allocation.
The Dar es Salaam regional commissioner attempted to call off the strike in the morning, but it continued until 4:00 pm, when Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa intervened.
“TRA have made Kariakoo a training ground, today they will ask for a delivery note, tomorrow’s receipt value, and the day after to check stock,” complained Martin Bwana, Kariakoo trader’s chairperson as he was speaking to the Prime Minister, Mr. Bwana also cited never-ending corruption and oppressive tendencies by TRA as the cause for the strike.
In a 45-minute speech, Mr Majaliwa urged the traders to return to business and promised a town hall meeting on May 17, 2023, as well as halting all ongoing TRA operations. Responding to Majaliwa’s speech, Mr Martin Bwana, Chairperson of the traders ask the traders to resume their businesses.
At the end of the day, the State House announced the transfer of Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Amos Makala to Mwanza. He will be replaced by Albert John Chalamila, the Regional Commissioner of Kagera.
On the other hand, Adam Kigoma Malima, the Regional Commissioner of Mwanza, was transferred to Morogoro, and Fatma Abubakar Mwasa, the Regional Commissioner of Morogoro, was transferred to Kagera.
Parliament passed sh. 1.23 trillion health budget
The National Assembly has approved a budget of Tshs. 1,235,316,516,000.00 for the Ministry of Health for the 2023/24 fiscal year. This budget represents about 2.78 percent of the total budget for 2023/24, which amounts to sh. 44,388,066,719,000.
Of the total budget, sh. 732 billion has been allocated to the development budget, which represents 59 percent of the total budget.
One of the main objectives of this budget is to ensure that medicine and medical equipment are available in various hospitals. To this end, approximately 232 billion of the budgets has been allocated to address the challenge of equipment and medicine availability.
In concluding the budget proposals one of the issues that was raised by members of the parliament is an increasing cost of treatment versus growing demand and the inability of Tanzanians to settle their medical bills. The debate went on with the Ministry proposing that solution is health insurance.
The Ministry of Health has been grappling with the issue of providing health insurance to Tanzanians, which remains a major challenge.
The Ministry maintains that the Universal Health Insurance bill is the solution to this problem, but it is yet to gain popular support due to the mismanagement of the current National Health Insurance Fund, causing many to be cautious.
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