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Tanzania’s Magufuli Fires Trade Minister, Tax Chief

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Tanzanian president John Magufuli has fired Trade Minister Joseph Kakunda and Commissioner General, Tanzania Revenue Authority, Charles Kichere.

Kichere, who had served for only two years, will now serve as Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary – a move many see as a demotion.

The Tanzanian presidency said in a statement on Saturday that Kakunda will be replaced with Innocent Bashungwa while Edwin Mhede will take over from Kichere.

Bashungwa was the Deputy Minister of Agriculture while Mhede served as Permanent Secretary, Trade Ministry.

Kakunda is the third trade minister to be fired in two years.

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But the development came after President Magufuli held a televised meeting between the business community and the revenue authorities.

During the meeting, traders accused TRA of putting in place complicated tax administrative procedures, discouraging tax compliance

Punitive penalties and interest for non-compliance remain a sticky issue as well as an aggressive tax authority.

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Obtaining tax refunds for businesses can as well be challenging. It also emerged that some local authorities were instituting new taxes in their communities without consultations.

Magufuli told traders drawn from different parts of Tanzania he would crack the whip to address the bureaucracy that has poisoned the investment climate and undermined economic growth.

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