DAR ES SALAAM Feb 2 Tanzanian President John
Magufuli vowed on Thursday to toughen up a crackdown on tax
evasion by big businesses including mining companies as the east
African nation moves to boost domestic revenues.
Africa's fourth-largest gold producer, Tanzania also has
vast deposits of natural gas, coal, diamonds, uranium and
While addressing members of the judiciary in Tanzania's
capital Dar es Salaam, Magufuli ordered the courts to enforce
payment of tax claims worth more than 7.5 trillion Tanzanian
shillings from big firms.
Magufuli launched a crackdown on graft and tax evasion when
he took office in 2015 and has sacked dozens of senior public
officials. Some businesses, though, say they have been unfairly
hit with high tax bills.
Big firms are the main source of tax revenue for the
government because Tanzania has a large informal economy that
"It is unacceptable that an investor is extracting our
minerals but doesn't pay taxes. That investor was taken to court
and lost both the case and the appeal, yet still refuses to pay
the taxes," Magufuli said.
He said that 7.5 trillion Tanzanian shillings worth of taxes
were still unpaid by various firms even after the government won
tax claim cases against them in courts and that this was hurting
the east African nation's economy.
Magufuli asked Tanzania's judiciary to help stem corruption
in the country, saying it was denying citizens access to
"Some 28 magistrates were prosecuted (in Tanzania) last year
for various criminal offences, mostly corruption, but all 28 of
them were acquitted," said Magufuli.
"It is hard to believe that all 28 of them were absolutely
Businesses in Tanzania often cite widespread corruption as
one of the biggest obstacles to investment in the country.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Elias
Biryabarema and Hugh Lawson)