Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda has threatened buyers of his 20 containers which are being auctioned at the Dar es Salaam Port, saying their families will be cursed.
The 20 containers containing tables, chairs and blackboards valued TSh2 billion (Sh89 million) meant for schools failed to be auctioned on Saturday after bidders failed to reach the bidding prices.
The containers were put under auction after Mr Makonda failed to pay import taxes and other duties.
Speaking with The Citizen via telephone from Ngara District, Mr Makonda said he will make sure that all containers are not sold because he has asked God to block anyone attempting to buy them as the facilities were meant to be distributed to Dar es Salaam schools.
The Citizen called Mr Makonda to confirm whether he knows about the consignments which were put under auction by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
“I am attending the Sunday service at an Anglican church in Ngara, Kagera Region, I will hold special prayers to ensure that those containers will never be sold to anyone because I imported them for poor teachers in our region,” he said.
He said the consignment was imported through his own initiative with a view to improving teaching environment in various Dar es Salaam schools to support President John Magufuli’s free education programme.
‘Our President understands the importance of education, so we as his representatives, can’t sit and do nothing when we know that our school teaching environments are unfriendly,” he said.
“After seeing the Dr Magufuli’s efforts in improving education, I thought it was my duty as well to support the initiative of our leader.”
Mr Makonda said the tables, blackboards and chairs were donated by Tanzanians living in US to help improve the education sector.
“As Mr Makonda, I have done my part and I offer a chance to anyone who can help to push these things forward,” he said.
The containers, which were being kept at Malawi Cargo Dry Port, were first auctioned on Saturday, but unfortunately all bids were below the valuation of the auctioneers.
On May 12, this year, TRA gave 90 days for owners of 800 containers, including the 20 belonging to Mr Makonda, to pay taxes or otherwise they would be auctioned.
TRA taxpayer’s education director Richard Kayombo said the owners of containers were given 30 days to clear the taxes, but failed to do so that is why the taxman decided to auction them.