Mr James Lembeli
Mr James Lembeli

The Parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment, directed the ministry to present a report next week on January 28, on the implementation of the court order.

Mr James Lembeli
Mr James Lembeli

Briefing journalists, the committee Chairperson, Mr James Lembeli, said since the court gave the order in September last year the government has not made any move to make an official announcement and start collecting the levy.

Mr Lembeli said since 2011 when the hoteliers moved to court to block the government?s intention to collect the bed levy, about 80bn/- was lost from uncollected levy, noting that after the Arusha High Court gave the go ahead, still the government has not made any move to implement the order.

?We do not understand what is going on in the ministry, the order was issued on September 12, last year and ten days later Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) wrote to the ministry on the same issue but nothing has been done so far,? he explained.

He noted that the ministry is supposed to make an official announcement before starting to collect the bed levy from the hotels but has so far not made the announcement, costing the government and public in general billions of shillings in lost revenues.

He explained that since the court directed the government to go ahead and collect the bed levy it is nearly four months, where it would have so far collected more than 1.5bn/- each month.

Mr Lembeli noted that according to explanation from the responsible ministry, officials were waiting to see the pros and cons of implementing the directive.

?I fail to understand this, why should the government consult stakeholders while when they increase the cost of room they do not consult those who use the services.

Do these government officials protect interests of investors or the public?? he queried. He explained that one room in some of these hotels are between 600 dollars and 1,000 US dollars.

?We want a report next week to see how far implementation of the directives have reached, we cannot continue to let the government lose billions of shillings,? he said.

The Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism, Mr Mahmoud Mgimwa, promised that his ministry will start working on the directives and present a progressive report next week.

BY ROSE ATHUMANI, Tanzania Daily News

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