Dar port fraud: Kikwetes list of shame out soon The Dar es Salaam port terminal: The government blames local importers for turning the facility into a storage base, causing massive congestion. Photo/LEONARD MAGOMBA By WILFRED EDWIN THE EAST AFRICAN Posted Friday, March 13 2009 The government will soon release the names of senior officials of Dar es Salaam port and Tanzania Revenue Authority who colluded to evade tax through a document forgery racket. The government has ordered TRA to act against all officials concerned. Some workers of inspection firm Tiscan are said to have collaborated with importers to forge documents to avoid scanning of selected containers at the port. Besides denying the government revenue, the action caused massive congestion at the port. President Jakaya Kikwete, who was the first to reveal that the government had the names of individuals involved in the racket, said the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) should be more efficient. He added that more equipment needed to be in working condition. He also called for greater use of information communication technology to ease access of important data. The president said TPA lacked accurate information on the duration that imported goods had been stored at the port and at the inland container depots. He said some containers had valuable goods, including luxury cars, while the documents showed them to be used clothes or other low-cost goods. Forgery and other rackets are reportedly executed in cahoots with customs officials. Ephrem Mgawe, Director General of TPA, said the management had formed a committee to implement the presidents instructions. Mr Mgawe said TPA wants to reduce the time that vessels wait at the berth from the current six days to one or two. He said seven cargo vessels were waiting to berth when implementation of Mr Kikwetes proposals started. By early last week, all the vessels had been offloaded. There were four oil cargo vessels, of which only one had not been offloaded by early last week. There were 12 container cargo vessels at the berth, increasing to 14 last week due to a faulty crane. This has now been fixed. About 10,000 containers will be moved from the terminal to inland depots. In 2007, TPAs market share for Tanzanias traffic was 94 per cent; Burundi 84 per cent; Uganda three per cent; Rwanda 28 per cent, Zambia 40 per cent, Malawi 20 per cent and DRC 63 per cent. These countries had a combined GDP of $39.1 billion that year. The government recently blamed local importers for turning the port into a storage base. There are 7,796 containers at the port currently, most of which belong to local importers. There are 1,249 cars in the yard. The government said property that has been at the port for over 21 days will be auctioned. The property will not be shifted to the internal container depot, as this is an extension of the port. The president promised to visit the port again before the end of April. TPA and Tanzania International Container Terminal have acquired five new cargo handling cranes each to strengthen the ports capacity. Last month, TPA imported four mobile cranes from Germany at a total cost of $13 million.