PM bans cashewnut transportation by road

29Feb 2016
The Guardian
PM bans cashewnut transportation by road

EFFECTIVE next season all cashew nut transportation from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam and elsewhere in the world will be carried out at Mtwara port only.

Mtwara cashews

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said any businessman who violates the decision will face the music, noting that the move is aimed at boosting revenue of Mtwara port.

“I know that there are some people at the Cashew nut Board who issue permits to businesspeople to transport the commodity by road, it’s the next big boil that needs lancing at the Cashew nut Board,” said Majaliwa.

He said the government’s plans as per Regional consultative meetings is to make sure that in future, all commodities produced in Mtwara Region are transported to Dar es Salaam and elsewhere by ships from Mtwara port.

“Madam Regional Commissioner, let’s enforce this decision by all means,” he noted while hinting that a lot of irregularities were experienced in the last season.

The Premier also warned Tanzania Ports Authority officials at Mtwara port to stop misuse of public funds through procurement and finance departments, who he put on notice, saying the government, will take on all thieving public officials wherever they are.

Majaliwa said here after visiting the port last Friday that construction of all the four berths will start this year.

“The government is also mobilising resources to build a Mtwara to Mbamba bay road and a railway line to Njombe where iron ore and coal projects are located,” Majaliwa who was on a two-day visit to Mtwara and Lindi regions said.

Mtwara Port Master Prosper Kimaro said there has been a dramatic increase of traffic at the port since 2013 because of gas extraction projects and the giant Dangote cement plant.

Kimaro said in 2013/14 the port handled over 296,000 metric tonnes of cargo.“This year, we have already handled 196,990 tonnes and our target is to do over 339,000 tons,” he noted while urging state machinery to help against numerous pirate ports between Lindi and Mtwara which are used as smuggling conduits.

He also lamented against lack of modern cargo handling equipment and small berth which cannot accommodate third and fourth generation cargo ships.

But management at TPA is doing everything to address the problem as you have seen we have a new mobile harbour crane, he noted.

Mtwara port has length of 300 metres which is enough to handle a third generation ship of not more than 290 meters.