THE Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, has given a seven days ultimatum to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) to establish whether the jerseys of four teams are counterfeit or not.
“I give TBS seven days to conclude this matter, to establish A to Z if the jerseys are counterfeit,” Dr Kijaji said at the weekend adding:
“They should also confirm whether they inspected these jerseys when they entered the country and, if so, what actions they took if they found that these jerseys did not meet the required standards.”
The jerseys which were impounded last week at a godown in Temeke, Dar es Salaam were for Young African Sports Club, Simba Sports Club, Azam Football Club and Taifa Stars and are alleged to be fake.
Dr Kijaji issued the ultimatum over the weekend during her visit to the godown where the jersey consignments were impounded.
Dr Kijaji’s seven-day ultimatum has started last Saturday and aimed at protecting legitimate businesses and consumers and clubs as a whole.
The Trade and Industry Minister also tasked TBS to evaluate themselves if they inspected the jerseys in the first place before clearing at the Dar es Salaam port.
Dr Kijaji explained that over a week ago they received complaints from the owners of the jerseys, which included Yanga, Taifa Stars, Simba, and Azam that some fake jerseys entered the market.
“The owner of the jerseys expressed concerns about the origin of these jerseys. We took initial steps to prevent these jerseys from reaching the market to avoid harming legitimate business owners,” she explained.
Dr Kijaji emphasised that they began working with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) since the taxmen are responsible for assessing all goods entering the country to determine the appropriate tax amounts to be paid by the cargo owner and so forth.
Once the tax is paid, TRA would hand over the goods to the Ministry of Trade and Industry through its Fair Competition Commission to handle complaints from business owners.
“We are waiting for TRA to complete the tax assessment process. When the cargo owner comes forward to pay the tax, we will take over and proceed with legal action against counterfeit goods. We need full cooperation from the complainants,” she added.
Kijaji further stated, “If TRA confirms that they do not recognize these jerseys 100 per cent, our first task will be to burn them, as we don’t want counterfeit goods to enter the country.”
She further insisted that the ministry would take stern measures only that they need cooperation from the owners of the consignment.
“We are assuring you that we will take serious action against what happened to protect the interest of the legitimate businesspersons, Sandalend and GSM,” she assured.
The owners of Simba and Taifa Stars jerseys, Sandalend, expressed gratitude to the government for their continued support of business owners and their commitment to safeguarding their businesses.
The Public Relations Officer of Yanga, Mr Ali Kamwe, pledged to collaborate with the government in exposing sellers, manufacturers, and distributors of counterfeit jerseys to protect the interests of both business owners and the nation as a whole.