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Tanzania: Finding Lasting Solution to Endless Disputes At Port

Friday, 19 February 2016 | 12:00

The standoff between Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and some members of the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa), precipitated by the former’s decision to restrict some clearing and forwarding agents from operating at inland container depots (ICDs), container freight stations and at the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services, pending payments of wharfage, is most unfortunate.

Listening to Taffa’s president Steven Ngatunga and his deputy Edward Urio, one might conclude that TPA is criminalising the private sector to cover its own failures, apparently because its employees are currently a subject of wide-ranging investigations.

But this view will change if you listen to a TPA official, for you will come to the realisation that some Taffa members are downright crooks bent on reaping what they didn’t sow!

While clearing agents are producing receipts to prove that they had been paying their dues, TPA seems to have evidence that most of them (the receipts) are fake.

These arguments and counter arguments are a clear indication that the two parties have been colluding to defraud their clients and the government in certain transactions. They simply reveal a network of corrupt individuals that exists from clearing agents to some TPA officials and to some employees of certain commercial banks.

This is why we believe an independent probe team, which the ministry of Transport and Communication has just commissioned, is the best way to go.

The presence of faces from the office of the Inspector General of Police and that of the Tanzania Intelligence and Security Services, gives hope that the team will work independently and establish what has been happening in the sector.

As things stand, irrespective of who is saying what, these arguments are tainting the image of Tanzania’s ports and must be dealt with once and for all.
Source: The Citizen

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