Petty traders accuse municipal council of harassment
by Staff Reporter
Petty traders who operate at the Central Market in the Arusha municipality have lashed out at the Municipal Council accusing it of harassment, extortion and discrimination.
These complaints were presented before the Arusha District Commissioner (DC), Fulgence Saria, by the Chairman of the newly founded, Central Market Traders Association (CMTA) during the association’s official launching meeting last weekend.
The Chairman, Simbo Munisi told the DC that the Council had employed revenue collecting agents at the market whose main duties seem to be going around threatening the traders and coming up with myriad of taxing channels targeted to a selected group of people.
"Surprisingly, some taxes are only charged from a few traders but don’t seem to apply to others", said Munisi as hundreds of local traders who attended the meeting
The association which is also known by its Swahili abbreviation of CHAWASOKU, was being launched during an open air meeting held at the market grounds in the town centre.
The traders appealed to the District Commissioner to intervene in the issue since the situation at the Central Market was getting worse and likely to cause a breach of peace.
The Central Market traders, through their CHAWASOKU association have also appealed to the Arusha regional authorities to start a special training programme for local traders and the entire business community in the region, so as to enlighten them on the approved taxes, revenues and methods plus official processes through which, these taxes and revenues could be paid.
The DC said he had received the traders complaints promising to deal with the matter as soon as possible.
The Central Market traders association is the second such organization to be formed by people who work at the Arusha’s central market, the other one being the Central Market Taxi Operators Association.