Govt, Kariakoo traders seek amicable solutions

DAR ES SALAAM: KARIAKOO traders have resorted to calling off their planned strike after the government met their representatives and agreed to discuss their grievances for amicable solutions.

Initially, the traders issued a notice to stage a non-stop strike until their challenges were addressed.

The notice informed that the strike would start today at the Kariakoo area, then tomorrow in Mbeya, Iringa, Ruvuma, Rukwa, Mwanza and Arusha Regions and thereby by Wednesday, June 26, 2024 spread countrywide.

In the intervention, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Albert Chalamila had called all the Dar es Salaam Region traders to refrain from such strikes and instead seek to sit down and rethink about it.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Chalamila said the issue of demonstration should not be considered as collective matter, but all sides to sit and arrive at a decision.

“Anyone who deploys dictatorship instead of being diplomatic should realise that even the government too can use force…something President Samia Suluhu Hassan does not want in her philosophy,” Mr Chalamila pointed out.

“Let’s all unite to build Dar es Salaam, strikes are not a solution at all and we should not support them, because the strikes will also affect innocent people,” said Mr Chalamila.

Elaborating, chairman of Kariakoo traders, Mr Martine Mbwana, said their grievances were mainly related to Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.

“Our complaints are many, but the main one is about tax estimations by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA). The tax estimation creates loopholes for corruption and it also hurts the business people,” Mr Mbwana noted.

Also read: Kariakoo traders assured of protection

However, Mr Mbwana urged traders to continue doing business because the government was listening to their concerns.

He said in the course of addressing them, they consulted the Minister for Finance, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba and Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji in Dodoma, and they showed cooperation and agreed to hold a meeting today.

Dr Nchemba said their grievances were administrative and not legal, that’s why he ordered to meet with them today to listen to them.

“We have been to Dodoma and the government received us and they have agreed to sit together with us so that we all look at the challenges for solutions,” said Mr Mbwana.

“Since there is a room for talks, it is wise to listen to wait. We want the TRA to stop using force when collecting taxes because the use of force is neither friendly nor healthy, there must be a consensus,” he insisted.

Commenting, one of businesswomen at the market, Ms Restituta Moria, said they needed their complaints to be addressed so that their activities resume as expected.

Last year, the traders at Kariakoo shops held strike for two days until the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa met them in Dar es Salaam and resolved their grievances.

In the course, Mr Majaliwa formed a Special Committee to probe and draw solutions to tackle the traders’ grievances.

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