Last week, the overtone in Parliament was about corruption, embezzlement and rooting out those responsible.
This week, another verse of the same song continues: Tanzania is losing out on billions of Shillings in uncollected tax revenue due to the inaction of ministries.
Members of Parliament, many of which have had development projects in their constituencies halted by a lack of funding, are directing their ire at Ministers who’ve let taxpayer’s cash slip through their fingers.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development failed to properly record issued title deeds, says Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe.
Kabwe pointed out that over the past two years 263,000 title deeds were issued but only 22,000 were recorded.
“The ministry has missed 103 billion Shillings which would have been collected if all these title deeds were recorded,” says Kabwe.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism was not spared: Chairman of the Land, Natural Resources and Environment Parliamentary Committee James Lembeli pointed out that they were missing out on 2 billion Shillings each month over a failure to gazette a September, 2014 court ruling on taxation in National Parks.
“Amazingly, since this ruling was issued, the ministry has not gazetted the new taxation system as required by law,” says Lembeli.
While the committee urged that the new taxation system be gazetted by months end, Kabwe went so far as to suggest the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources prepare his resignation letter, just in case.