Tanzania probes maize smuggling to Kenya

Tuesday October 4 2016

Workers loading maize onto a truck. PHOTO | FILE

Workers loading maize onto a truck. PHOTO | FILE 

By Daniel Mjema

Tanzania is investigating reports that unscrupulous traders are smuggling maize to Kenya at night.

The Citizen, a local daily newspaper, reported that residents in the border Rombo District whom it spoke to claimed that trucks loaded with tonnes of the cereal have been crossing to Kenya during the night.

The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) district commander Alex Kuhanda said they have been investigating the allegations.

Sources claim prominent businesspeople have been using porous routes to smuggle the commodity to the neighbouring country. They include Chumvini, Marangu Mtoni, Munga and unofficial roads at Usseri and Tarakea.

“Last night (Monday) not less than 30 Single and Tandam Fuso trucks crossed the border into Kenya through the Chumvini-Holili Road,” a source told The Citizen.

Some trucks are said to offload in Tarakea, where the smuggled maize is reloaded onto Kenyan trucks. Tarakea borders Loitokitok in Kenya.

Sources further claim the traders collude with the police, Tanzania Revenue Authority officials and private security.

“For a Single Fuso truck they pay between Tsh500,000 ($230) and Tsh700,000 ($320) while for a Tandam Fuso truck they give between Tsh1,000,000 ($460) and Tsh1,200,000 ($550). Private security is paid Tsh150,000 ($70) per truck,” the source said.