Friday, July 11, 2014

TANZANIA CONSUMER ADVOCACY SOCIETY: SIM card monthly charge to go, at last

TANZANIA CONSUMER ADVOCACY SOCIETY: SIM card monthly charge to go, at last

TCAS is now seven years old ....

Happy birthday Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society
Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society today on 11th.July.2014 has turned SEVEN years old since its establishment on 11th.July.2007. The are a lot to be proud of, but this is the major one of recent  .......

’Court to rule in sim card case’’……….. Read more

‘’Mahakama kuu ya tanzania leo imesikiliza kwa mara ya kwanza ombi la pingamizi la tozo ya laini za simu’’ …….. Soma zaidi

’ SIM card monthly charge to go, at last’’…... Read more

 ‘’New Sim cards tax: Govt `bows` to public pressure’’ …… Read more

’Serikali yaondoa kodi ya line za simu’’……. Soma zaidi.

Many thanks go to the President Hon. Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete for being so understanding to this very humble consumers’ cry hence signed  a certificate of urgency to review sim card tax. After the President's decision and there-after parliament's approval; TCAS has no longer having a case on sim-card with the government 

Tanzania consumers and the general public will always remember your leadership amongst others ……….. ‘’Stopping sim card tax’’. 

For more information about TCAS's success stories, activities and projects one can read our blog-spots, our website and can access hundreds  of online publications on TCAS by the media; you just start by Google search engine THEN continue by selecting the stories out of the pool. 

With all Best Regards

Bernard E. Kihiyo
Executive Director
Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society
Skype; bernard.kihiyo 
Tel; +255222443122 or +255757170555

You can read more on the meaning of certificate of urgency by the President to the parliament through  parliament of Tanzania's website at this pdf document.

SIM card monthly charge to go, at last

 By Frank Kimboy, The Citizen Reporter

Posted  Friday, December 20  2013 at  00:00
Dar es Salaam. President Jakaya Kikwete has signed a certificate of emergency to amend the 2013 Finance Act, specially repealing provisions establishing SIM card tax. In the 2013/2014 National Budget, the government introduced a Sh1,000 SIM Card monthly tax as one of the measures to increase government revenue collections. Despite public outcry and concerns from MPs, the Finance Act was passed by the Parliament and later on assented to by the President.

However, according to Communication, Science and Technology deputy minister January Makamba, the President signed a certificate of emergency to have the Act amended immediately.“The President has just signed a Certificate of Emergency for amending the 2013 Finance Bill to repeal the SIM Card tax,” posted Mr Makamba in his twitter account.

“I confirm that the President has signed the Certificate of Emergency to amend the 2013/2014 Finance Act in order to scrap the SIM Card registration tax,” said the deputy minister in a telephone interview in the city yesterday.

The latest development comes just a few days after leading mobile phone companies and 37 banks suffered a big blow after the The Tax Revenue Appeals Board dismissed their appeal challenging the Sh1,000 monthly Sim Card tax and a 0.15 per cent deduction on money transfer services.

Source; The Citizen

Happy Birthday Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society (TCAS) now you are SEVEN YEARS OLD
TCAS was registered on 11th.July.2007. WHAT A SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TRA Adamant on SIM card tax collection

To read the story follow daily news link


As the reality of the proposed monthly excise SIM Card tax bites in, the telecommunications sector and Tanzanians at large are set to face a hard time in future. The Tshs 1,000 excise tax, imposed by the 2013/2014 Finance Act, was to be implemented on 1st July 2013.

To what extend will the damage hit the market? According to a statement released by Mobile Operators Association of Tanzania (MOAT) recently, Tanzania has a mobile penetration of about 48 percent, translating to approximately 22 million users.

Out of this, 40-45 percent of Tanzania telecom users will be cut off, meaning that the Tshs 1,000 excise tax on all SIM Cards will affect 8 million of the current customers in the country, whose usage on mobile communication is less than Tshs 1,000 a month, and deter them from using the service.

The statement goes on to say that the Tshs 1,000 excise tax will hamper the progress made in the mobile communication sector where we have seen services becoming increasingly affordable for all. This will further put at risk all the rural expansion initiatives, as those championed by the Universal Communications Services Access Fund (UCSAF), because the very same people who spend less than Tshs 1,000 per month, and are the beneficiaries of this fund, will not be able to afford our services in such areas.

The Tshs 1,000 charge per month will also hamper the progress made in the mobile communication sector to date, which has seen services becoming increasingly affordable for all, the statement read.
It is clear that President Jakaya Kikwete rejected this tax, and has been on the forefront to have it suspended.

Among the actions the president took was to constitute a constitutional committee to discuss this. The committee, which included the Ministry of Finance, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and representatives from telecom companies, compiled a proposal that was later submitted to the Deputy Minister for Communications, Hon. Janet Mbene. It is evident that after the submission, no steps have been taken to date.
At the same, the SIM Card Bill was not presented at the first reading of the budget, but rather was sneaked in by the budget committee led by Hon. Andrew Chenge, Chairman Parliamentary Budget Committee.
The tax man on September 12 gave telecommunications, Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel, Zantel and TTCL, companies a 14-day ultimatum to remit the tax, which was due on July 1, or face penalties.

But on Friday last week, the companies separately moved to court and lodged injunctions with the Tax Revenue Appeals Boards, a move that aimed at stopping TRA from collecting the Tshs 1,000 excise duty charge.  Should they agree to pay the tax, the citizens will be charged Tshs 3,000 for the three months that have so far lapsed.

“It should be noted that penalizing the companies means penalizing the customers. Failure to pay the tax is a criminal offense. But will the government file criminal charges against the citizens who are unable to pay the tax every month? Companies will also not be able to rollout network services since our target customers will be disconnected,” MOAT said in a statement.

 Source; Corporate Digest

Serikali yapata pigo la kwanza kodi ya simu

10th October 2013
Wanasheria Fatma Karume (kulia) na Beatus Malima wanaowakilisha Chama cha Walaji nchini wakijadiliana na mawakili wa Serikali, Alesia Mbuya (wa pili kushoto) baada ya Mahakama Kuu Kanda ya DSM
Mahakama Kuu ya Tanzania, Kanda ya Dar es Salaam, imekubali kampuni za simu nchini kujiunga pamoja na Chama cha Kutetea Walaji kwenye kesi ya kupinga tozo ya kadi ya simu ya Sh. 1,000 kwa kila laini na mtumiaji kwa kila mwezi dhidi ya Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Serikali na Wizara ya Fedha baada ya kutupilia mbali pingamizi la awali la upande wa walalamikiwa.

Uamuzi huo ulitolewa jana na jopo la majaji watatu wakiongozwa na Mwenyekiti, Jaji  Aloysius Mujuluzi, akisaidiana na Lawrence Kaduri na Salvatory Bongole.

Jaji Mujuluzi alisema baada ya kupitia hoja zilizotolewa na pande zote mbili kuhusu pingamizi hilo, mahakama imeona upande wa walalamikiwa hauna sababu za msingi za kupinga kampuni za simu kujiunga kwenye kesi hiyo na kwamba inazitupilia mbali.

Aidha, baada ya uamuzi huo mahakama iliziamuru pande zote mbili kubadilishana nyaraka za majibishano ya kisheria kwa njia ya maandishi na kesi ya msingi itasikilizwa Oktoba 21, mwaka.

Kampuni zilizojiunga kwenye kesi hiyo ni, Vodacom, Airtel, Mic Tanzania Ltd, TTCL na Zantel Tanzania. Jumatatu iliyopita, upande wa walalamikiwa ukiongozwa na Naibu Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Serikali, George Masaju, akisaidiana na Wakili wa Serikali Mkuu, Edson Mweyunge, Alisia Mbuya na Sara Mwaipopo, walipinga ombi la mawakili wa kampuni za simu la kutaka kujiunga kwenye kesi hiyo kwa kuwa hati ya kiapo ilikosewa kisheria.

Mweyunge alidai kuwa hati ya kiapo iliyowasilishwa mahakamani  imeonyesha kutolewa na Tumaini Shija ambaye anawawakilisha walalamikiwa wengine zikiwamo makampuni za simu.

Hata hivyo, wakili wa kampuni  za simu, Fatuma Karume, alidai kuwa pingamizi la jamhuri halina sababu za msingi kwa sababu siyo kila mlalamikaji anatakiwa kuwasilisha kiapo chake  katika kesi moja kwamba mahakama itupilie mbali pingamizi la jamhuri halina msingi kisheria.

Katika kesi ya msingi Chama cha Kutetea Walaji kimewaburuza mahakamani Mwanasheria Mkuu wa Serikali na Wizara ya Fedha kikitaka wapewe amri ya kusimamisha tozo ya kadi ya simu ya Sh. 1,000 kwa kila laini kwa watumiaji wa simu kila mwezi, baada ya kupitishwa na Bunge miezi michache iliyopita.

Dar telcos join consumers in lawsuit over SIM card tax

By Rosina John, The Citizen
Posted  Thursday, October 10  2013 at  00:00
The Tanzanian High Court (Dar es Salaam HQ pictured) has allowed mobile carriers to join as claimants a consumer lawsuit against the dreaded SIM card tax. The tariff should have taken effect in July, but at this point its future seems uncertain. 
Dar es Salaam. The High Court yesterday agreed to an application by mobile phone companies to be joined in a petition lodged by the Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society opposing the Sh 1,000 SIM card tax.

The court reached the decision yesterday after overruling a preliminary objection by the government, which was opposing the application by phone companies asking to be joined in the case against SIM card tax.
Giving the ruling, Judge Aloyisius Mujuluzi who led a panel of three judges said the reason for preliminary objection raised by the government did not have a legal basis because the law did not require each applicant to file an affidavit.

Five applicants, MIC Tanzania Limited, Vodacom, Airtel, Zanzibar Telecom Limited and the Tanzania Telecommunications Company (TTCL) are each seeking to be joined as petitioners.
Their application were submitted to the court on Monday through an affidavit sworn by Tumaini Shija, representing MIC Tanzania.

But the government, through deputy Attorney General George Masaju and Principal State Attorney Edson Mweyunge, alleged that the application by mobile phone firms was improper because the applicant did not ask the court leave to represent other parties.

According to Mr Mweyunge, a person wishing to represent several parties is required to ask the court leave to do so or each applicant should file an affidavit.However, the judge said the circumstances of the case were different and did not require the applicant to ask for court leave.

The deputy AG and Mweyuge who are representing the ministry of Finance and the Attorney General are respondents in the case.

In the main case, the Tanzania Consumers Advocacy Society allege that some sections in 2013 Finance Act that give legal duty to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to collect a Sh1,000 tax on each SIM card is unconstitutional.

According to them, their clients who are normal Tanzania cannot afford Sh100 reduction there for will reprieve their right to communication.Mobile phone companies are representing by advocate Fatuma Karume and Beatus Malima.

SOURCE The Citizen

Mobile phone companies join Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society’s petition against simcard tax

By Waryoba Yankami;10th October 2013

Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society lawyers Fatma Karume (R) and Beatus Malima (C) in discussion at the High Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday with state attorney Alesia Mbuya.
The High Court, Dar es Salaam Zone yesterday allowed mobile phone companies to join the Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society (TCAS) in a petition lodged against the 1,000 simcard tax imposed by the government.

The mobile phone companies are MIC Tanzania Limited, Vodacom, Airtel, Zanzibar Telecom Limited and Tanzania Telecommunications Company (TTCL).

The companies requested to be part of petitioners in the case through an affidavit avowed by advocate Tumaini Shija which the court said it would allow on condition that it is submitted by October 15, next week.

Judge Mujuluzi maintained that the state has no good reasons to object the mobile phone companies’ request to join the petition filed by TCAS noting that the preliminary objection will now be amended so as to recognize them as a part of petitioners.

He made it clear that he wants both sides to find an amicable solution acknowledging on one hand that the government needs revenue but on the other hand ‘consumers’ rights must be observed.’

“After the mobile phone companies complete and submit their affidavits, the High Court will meet on October 21, this year to rule whether the 1,000 simcard tax should stay or not,’ Judge Mujuluzi ruled.

In filing the case, TCAS asked the court to nullify the legislation passed by the parliament requiring every mobile user to be deducted 1000/- monthly as simcard tax, claiming that the majority of simcard users in the country cannot afford the expense.

According to the petition, the legislation goes against the country’s mother law especially on right to information.

Furthermore, the petitioners requested the court to order the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs through the Tanzania Revenue Authorities (TRA) not to implement the law until the ruling of the petition.

Deputy Attorney General George Masaju and Principal State Attorney Edson Mweyunge objected to the application which was submitted on Monday by Advocate Fatuma Karume and Beatus Malima who represent the companies.

According to Advocate Mweyunge, the application is before the court but the applicant did not ask for leave of court to represent other parties.

“According to the law, an applicant who wishes to represent many parties is to ask for leave of court first,” established Advocate Mweyunge.

The Deputy Attorney General and Mweyuge are the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs while the Attorney General is the respondent in the case.

Source; The Guardian

A study by the Food Packaging Forum found 175 chemicals linked to cancer and fertility problems

Published: 07:58 GMT, 8 July 2014 | Updated: 14:22 GMT, 8 July 2014

Warning over 175 dangerous chemicals found in food packaging: Substances are linked to cancer, fertility and birth defects
  • Food Packaging Forum discovered 175 dangerous chemicals in packaging
  • Toxic substances linked to cancer, sperm production, genital malformations as well as disrupting hormone production in the body
  • Warned chemicals could end up in the food the packaging contains
  • Experts call for tighter regulation of food packaging to ban substances
  • Chemicals found in foil, cans and some containers and wrappers
  • But Food Standards Agency said all food packaging falls within EU rules
  • Said chemicals are of 'no concern if used within prescribed limits'
They warned the toxic substances, which were found to cause cancer and inflict changes on genes, could end up in the food they contain. But the Food Standards Agency moved to reassure consumers, explaining all food packaging falls within European standards and the presence of the chemicals are of no concern if they are used within the 'limits or restrictions' set for their use.

The study, published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants, discovered around 175 chemicals with varying affects. They found the substances interfered with sperm production, caused genital malformations and disrupted hormone production in the body.

Doctor Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packaging Forum, which conducted the study, said: 'From a consumer perspective, it is certainly undesirable and also unexpected to find chemicals of concern being intentionally used in food contact materials.'

The list of chemicals found in the packaging, includes those that accumulate in the environment and the human body can be viewed are the following . . ………. Read more or Follow Dailmail at: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook