The Government on Thursday launched a duty free shop at Ukonga in Dar es Salaam to help prison personnel access affordable goods to ease pressure on the armed forces in the wake of the rising cost of living.
Situated few metres from the College of Military Prison Service, the shop will not only cater for prison personnel but also their spouses and children.
Minister of Home affairs Dr Emanuel Nchimbi, speaking during the launch ceremony, said the government had seen the need to establish the shop to improve the lives of the servicemen.
“The establishment of this shop is aimed at facilitating military prison personnel to buy household commodities at cheap price as an act of motivation in fulfillment of their heavy obligations,” he noted.
He, however, cautioned the servicemen to utilise the facility wisely and not turn it into a source of corruption or fraud in an institution that has very strict code against such practices.
“…No doubt servicemen need these subsidies given their work but we need to avoid leakage that would render the project useless. Don’t abuse it through buying of commodities and selling them elsewhere.
“And investors should not use the project as means to evade taxes. Just do as you’ve done in other military institutions,’’ he stressed.
According to Nchimbi similar shops are planned for other areas in the country, starting with Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.
The Commissioner General for Prisons John Minja commended the government for extending the service to them, promising it would be utilised properly.
“Today we are honoured to witness the opening of this duty free shop… it has been a long time since the government assisted us access commodities easily. I’m glad the project has finally materialised…I encourage all servicemen to make use of the shop and not misuse it,” he cautioned.