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Tanzania: PM Orders RCs to Probe Cement Crisis

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PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Monday began his second term in office by ordering Regional Commissioners to probe the reported nationwide shortage of cement which has led to increased prices.

He gave the four-day ultimatum after he was sworn-in by President John Magufuli at the Chamwino State House at a ceremony attended by Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi and other high-ranking government officials and Members of Parliament.

Thanking the president for his re-appointment, Mr Majaliwa said cases of hiking cement prices emerged during the 62-day general election campaigns before polling day on October 28.

He directed Regional Commissioners to come up with a comprehensive report by Friday, November 20 at 10am.

According to Mr Majaliwa, the retail price of cement has increased by between 3,000/- and 4,000/- per 50 kg bag.

The premier wondered why there was an increase of the price of cement taking into account that the government had improved the transport infrastructure and business environment.

He said, for example, that the government has revived railway routes such as Dar es Salaam-Tanga-Arusha, saying that such improvements were designed to ease business operations.

Similarly, he said, the government had neither imposed new taxes nor limited raw materials, but, producers have decided to hike the price of the commodity badly needed in the construction industry.

“Since all Regional Commissioners are here… I order them to conduct a thorough assessment in all manufacturing plants and dealers regarding the situation. They must produce detailed reports before November 20,” he directed.