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Tanzanian PM orders suspension of revenue authority official

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has ordered the suspension of a customs official with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) over claims of involvement in illegal trade along the Tanzania-Uganda border in Kagera region, a statement from his office said on Wednesday.

Majaliwa ordered TRA regional manager, Adam Ntogha, to suspend TRA customs official Peter Mtei, stationed at the Tanzania-Uganda border in Kyerwa district, according to the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The statement said Majaliwa ordered the suspension of the official at the end of his four-day official tour of Kagera region on Tuesday.

“It’s a shame that these illegal dealings are being operated without the customs unit taking any action. The Kyerwa district authorities should carry out self-evaluation,” he said.

On Tuesday, Tanzanian President John Magufuli ordered the immediate suspension of four senior police officers to pave way for an investigation into their alleged involvement in a cross-border criminal smuggling network.

The move came following allegations that senior police officers in Kagera Region were involved in a criminal cross-border smuggling cartel by providing police escorts to smugglers of coffee beans and other items.

Kagera, in northwestern Tanzania bordering Uganda, is among the biggest coffee-growing regions in the east African nation.

Coffee smuggling from Tanzania to neighboring Uganda has been rampant for many years, with criminal networks potentially raking in billions of shillings each year.



East African legislative assembly member urges EAC to ratify arms trade treaty

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on Sunday urged East African Community (EAC) partner states to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to control trade in illegal arms.

Pierre Celestine Rwigema, a member of the EALA, said the measure will significantly lead to reduction in proliferation of small and light weapons in the region.

“With the EAC now implementing the Common Market Protocol that enhances free movement of people, there is imminent fear of increase in cross-border crimes,” said Rwigema.

He said that free movement of people does not only involve the search for economic opportunities but it also involves free movement of criminals.

Since the EAC is positioning itself to be a significant player in global trade, it must put in place a mechanism which ensures peace and security, Rwigema added.

ATT, which entered into force in December 2014, is part of an international response to tremendous human suffering caused largely by proliferation of arms.

At the moment all the EAC partner states, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan, have signed the treaty, but none has ratified it.

The EAC states are among the 36 countries across the globe that have signed the pact, according to Dumisani Tlatla, head of ATT secretariat.

Rwijema, a legislator from Rwanda, said insecurity played a role in hindering development in the affected countries, resulting in poor economic development.



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