They also claim that the fines were being collected at gunpoint, with some of them being arrested and taken to police stations where after paying the fine, they are given receipts written “fine for wrong parking.”
Speaking to The Guardian at different times, a trader from Mlalakuwa area, Gasto Temba said he was arrested at around 11:30pm as he was at his hop after two vehicles with cops came and asked for a liquor licence.
He told them the shop was new as he was only provided with TIN number two days ago and he was following up for his licence from the municipal offices.
“They told me they didn’t want many words; I should board their vehicle and proceed to Mabatini police station. They went to another place and arrested another and that was what it was; they went around arresting other people, and when we reached the Police Station they told me to decide – whether to sleep at the police station or pay a fine.
“I elected to pay the fine but the receipt which I was handed with did not reflect the nature of the offence committed,” he said.
“They asked me to pay 200,000/- because I had no licence and if I was taken to the police station I would have to pay 400,000/-. I elected to pay 200,000/- and the receipt given showed 20,000/- fine for wrong parking.”
Temba said the following day while at his shop with fellow traders, they realised that every one of them was treated the same but there were others who were fined 100,000/-.
“I do not understand. I am told that the fine for unlicenced liquor dealers is 100,000/- but I was fined 200,000/-. I went to complain at nearby local government offices,” he said.
Commenting, the Mlalakuwa street chairman Suleiman Masare confirmed to have received the complaints two weeks ago.
“The way these traders were arrested was not clear, as many of them were taken to the police station and placed in custody while others were called to only pay the fine at different rates. But in the end they were given receipts for parking offences showing 20,000/- paid while they had paid between 100,000/- and 200,000/-,” he said.
Kinondoni municipality mayor Songoro Mnyonge confirmed receiving many complaints, saying that he would work on them after receiving the full report, as the operation was ordered by the municipal executive director.