Dar es Salaam: The government has given Chinese businessmen operating in the busy Kariakoo suburb a 30-day ultimatum to leave the area. The deputy minister for Industry, Commerce and Marketing, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, said the Chinese, who are in the country in the pretext of being investors are not supposed to operate as petty traders as they were currently doing. Speaking at Kariakoo area yesterday, Mr Nyalandu said that after 30 days the government would employ force to kick out the defiant businessmen from the area.
'The government will not tolerate people who came to the country from abroad as investors only to end up as vendors or shoe-shiners, undertakings which can be carried out by locals,' he warned.
The Ilala mayor, Mr Jerry Slaa, supported the minister’s move and promised to work closely with the central government to make sure that foreigners who conduct petty businesses at the area were removed if they couldn’t leave willingly.
'We will soon start inspecting business licences to see if all businessmen are doing what is prescribed in their licences,' he said, noting that after the exercise they would hand the report to the deputy minister for action. Mr Nyalandu also said the government was aware of fake products from China and the government in collaboration with Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) would continue to control importation of substandard and fake products to ensure that the country is not turned into a dumping site.
He was visiting Kariakoo market to evaluate business progress and the challenges facing businessmen and women in the area. According to him, the number of traders at the market exceeds 250,000. He promised the market management that he would assist them improve the facility which is the main market for residents of Dar es Salaam and the neighbouring areas.
Mr Nyalandu said that apart from receiving products from upcountry, the market also received goods from other countries such as Dubai before they are re-exported to neighbouring countries like Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi. When visiting the underground market, the traders used the opportunity to air their problems to him, one of them came forward and presented their statement.
Among problems that they aired include poor infrastructure such as a disfunctional ventilation system and unreliable power. However, most traders named poor performance of the market as the major concern.
According to them, Kariakoo was a wholesale market but it has been turned into a retail outlet just like Ilala, Temeke and many other markets within the city. 'Sometimes people bring certain goods from suburban markets to retail them here. This is contrary to what this market was designed for,' said Ahmad Uliza, a fish vendor at Kariakoo Shimoni.
After noting how poor the ventilation system was during his visit to the underground market, Mr Nyalandu ordered the Ilala Mayor and the Kariakoo Markets Corporation (KMC) management to replace 21 fans which were not in working condition. There are a total of 75 fans in the underground market.
Some traders argued that Kariakoo would regain its fame if the authorities banned wholesale trade in food products at other markets in Dar es Salaam.
Currently, KMC collects about Sh90 million a month from tax at the market because most of the products end up in suburban markets, said the KMC General Manager, Mr Florens Seiya.