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Outdated law denies Tanzania billions of shillings annually

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Feb 7, 2010
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    Outdated law denies Tanzania billions of shillings annually

    By Polycarp Machira

    7th February 2010

    Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation minister, Bernard Membe

    While countries in the East Africa region receive billions of shillings from their citizens living and working abroad, the government has admitted that a prevailing lack of organised system has led to low remittance from Tanzanian Diaspora community.

    "Bank of Tanzania doesn't have such records, may be the commercial banks can know how much money gets into the country from citizens outside the country," the Central Bank Communication Director, John Kimaro, told the The Guardian on Sunday on Thursday.

    Although the central bank admits it has no records of such contributions by Tanzanians in Diaspora, Kenyans abroad sent home $609 million last year, down from a record $611 million in 2008 but higher in local currency terms, the neighbouring country's central bank said.

    Most of the diaspora remittances are used to support investment especially in real estate-construction and investment in equities in the stock market.
    For Tanzania, such remittances could be a significant source of foreign exchange in addition to tourism, mining, horticulture, tea and coffee. Day-to-day fluctuations in the local currency market in most countries are often driven by remittance flows.

    Kimaro said the bank was processing to get such records and that exact data could be available in the near future.
    On his part Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation minister, Bernard Membe said on Thursday this week that the government had no records of how Tanzanian Diaspora community contributed to the nation's development.

    Speaking during a live telecast programme, "Tuambie", on the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), he said the public should engage in a positive discussion that could see the Diaspora community included in the development of the country.

    According to Membe it would be improper to urge the diaspora community to contribute in the country's development while they have been denied citizenship. He said several Tanzanians had to denounce their citizenship to acquire jobs and other benefits abroad.
    "We are only discussing Diaspora and not specific clauses of law governing citizenship," Membe told a TV panel of four people who were unanimous that the matter should be pursued according to the law.

    The minister went on: " There will be more benefits for the country and the individuals if we adopt the law to enable fellow Tanzanians living abroad to market our country as well."

    Membe also said it was high time for the government and the Diaspora communities abroad to build effective links so that the latter can be part and parcel of the engine for socio-economic development.

    He noted further that the need to engage the Diaspora communities is enshrined in the section 117 of the CCM party manifesto, which stipulates the resolve for the party and government not only to recognise the Diaspora, but engage them to rip benefits from host countries and invest it in their country of birth.

    On the debate of dual-citizenship, the minister noted that there were fundamental questions that need addressing, before finally determining whether to embrace the dual-nationalities or proceeding with the current framework.

    He said the government currently urges Tanzanians in Diaspora to participate in development of the country, but on the other hand it scraps off birth right after acquiring nationalities of other countries.
    "This is contradiction, and fundamental questions need to be addressed if we are to effectively engage Tanzanians in Diaspora," he added. Recently, Tanzanian community in Kenya called for an arrangement for eligible Tanzanians in the Diasporas to exercise their constitutional right through voting by proxy, beginning with the general elections in October 2010.

    They brought the proposal to the attention of the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, at a discussion with them in Nairobi during his two-day visit to Kenya.

    Before winding up the visit, Pinda took part in open discussions and responded to various questions and proposals pertaining to national welfare.

    Comprising traders, employees and students, they requested the PM to help work out modalities to allow participation of Tanzanians living abroad in the voting process.

  2. S

    S. S. Phares JF-Expert Member

    Feb 7, 2010
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    Lol...if this Bill pass in the Parliament, it will my first evidence of JK achievement.!!
  3. Ruge Opinion

    Ruge Opinion JF-Expert Member

    Feb 8, 2010
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    What has dual citizenship got to do with remittances? People do not send money home because of citizenship. They do so because of the relatives they left back home or because there are good investment opportunities, period. Those who are linking these two issues have their secret agendas, including Membe. Could it be because their children are squatting in America and Europe? How can he claim that people do not send money home or participate in national development when he does not have any data? HAS ANYBODY EVER BEEN BARRED FROM BRINGING MONEY TO THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE HE HAD DENOUNCED HIS TANZANIAN CITIZENSHIP? I DON'T THINK SO.
  4. N

    Nanu JF-Expert Member

    Feb 8, 2010
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    Even Kenya do not have dual citizenship system for the time being. May be it wasn't been tracked or most Tanzanian in the Diaspora do not support their brothers & sisters back home economically. If you are in a diaspora and a Tanzanian, just think how much have you helped your relatives back home or how much have you invested for yourself backhome!
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