PROMINENT local investor, Mr Harold Elisamehe, has appealed to the government, in particular, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, to intervene in the closure of his Victoria Service Station situated along Morocco-Mwenge section of New Bagamoyo Road in Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam.
Mr Elisamehe, who is the Managing Director of Victoria Service Station Limited, made the call at a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, saying the current construction of the road in question has led to the closure of the petrol station and no business was going on at the moment.
“The road from Morocco to Mwenge is being constructed, which is a good thing because it is pure development.
“But they have closed my fuel station. As a result, I have laid off about 36 staff because I cannot pay them. We are not doing any business, as the cars cannot come in or go out,” he said.
Mr Elisamehe commended the government for the construction, but noted that those undertaking the construction works cut off a section of their plot to become part of the road and they did not demand anything because they saw it as a development for all.
“But our problem is that we ask her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the government as a whole to intervene because they have closed down our Victoria Service Station. The contractors have blocked the entrance and exit and we have completely failed to do business,” he said.
Worse still, Mr Elisamehe said, there was no basic reason given to that effect because it was only Victoria Service Station that had been deprived of conducting business all along the road from Morocco to Mwenge.
According to him, they had about 36 employees, all of them have been suspended and they were waiting for the government to intervene and to release them so that they could reinstate the workers and return them to work.
He boasted that Victoria Service Station Limited had all the permits and they were paying high taxes to the government but he was worried that jobs, taxes and investments are all in danger of vanishing.
“We think this is sabotage and maybe there are people who are being used without knowing to lock us up deliberately so that others can do business. We therefore call on the government to intervene to save our investment, jobs and taxes. We have full confidence that our president does not like bias,” he said.
The project, which is being undertaken by Nippo - Dai JV Construction Company, will see upon completion the 4.3 km road section widened into four lanes to cater for the heavy traffic between the city and its northern suburbs leading to Bagamoyo.
Such construction works came after the government of Tanzania signed an agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The construction works are closely supervised by the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) as part of the government's initiatives to address traffic jams in the city.
JICA Executive Senior Vice President, Mr. Kazuhiko Koshikawa, is quoted as saying that the widening of the New Bagamoyo Road was a vital trunk road connecting Dar es Salaam and northern parts of the country and would ease traffic congestion along the road and finally accelerate developments.
Japan government through JICA has been supporting various government initiatives for improving road infrastructures, especially in Dar es Salaam Region, including expansion of Morogoro Road, expansion of Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, construction of Mfugale Flyover and expansion of Mwenge to Tegeta Road.