Tanzania’s new president curbs foreign travel for officials, tax exemptions

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DAR ES SALAAM-Tanzania’s new president has ordered restrictions on foreign travel by government officials and cuts in tax exemptions, signalling the potential start of fiscal belt-tightening measures by his government.

Reuters

Tanzania's President elect John Pombe Magufuli addresses members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) at the party's sub-head office on Lumumba road in Dar es Salaam, October 30, 2015.    REUTERS/Sadi Said
Tanzania’s President elect John Pombe Magufuli addresses members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) at the party’s sub-head office on Lumumba road in Dar es Salaam, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Sadi Said

John Magufuli, sworn in on Nov. 5 as Tanzania’s fifth president, has pledged to double the east African country’s monthly revenue collection to 1.8 trillion shillings ($843 million) over the next five years. He has also promised to create more jobs and accelerate economic growth.

Some public officials have a reputation for making frequent foreign trips and for flying in first or business class at taxpayers’ expense in a country that is one of the biggest per-capita aid recipients in Africa.

“The president has put a halt to all foreign trips by government officials with immediate effect,” the president’s office said in a statement.

“If there is an urgent need for foreign travel by a public official, approval must be granted by the president himself or the chief secretary (head of civil service).”

The presidency said Magufuli, 56, has instead ordered government officials to visit villages and other rural parts of Tanzania to address “grievances and problems of the people”. He is expected to appoint cabinet ministers within two weeks.

Magufuli issued the instructions over the weekend during a meeting with top civil servants.

The belt-tightening measures are aimed at raising money to finance the government’s plan of providing primary and secondary education to all Tanzanian children free of charge from January next year, the president’s office said.

“The president has also instructed the Tanzania Revenue Authority … to step up revenue collection from large tax payers and curb tax evasion without fear or favour,” the presidency said in the statement.

5 COMMENTS

  1. That’s good Mr president. Let government officials address those who voted for them. Also, let those grievances be acted upon. Weldone Mr president.

  2. free education yacho inouraya nyika kana nyika isiri kuita mari these populist policies are the root of many of our problems in Africa WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM

  3. never in Zimbabwe, they have been to many countries with entourages but nothing of significance came from these trips. things need to change in our country. people are suffering. The number of youths who are unemployed is deplorable.

  4. Can somebody in Zanny, show this article to Cde Bob – I’m sure Cde Chino is the only one with the guts to do so.

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