This was revealed by Handeni District Commissioner Godwin Gondwe, who said the amount in question was in the form of collected taxes which ended up in a few corrupt officials’ pockets.
The DC said Melini market in the district was one among areas from where levies were supposed to be collected, but none was collected because the area was not recognized by the council.
The DC revealed this when addressing traders who have now been relocated to Seuta, Chanika and Chogo markets in the district.
Gondwe said the market, which had about 254 traders, was injecting about Sh18m per year into the council’s coffers, but in a period of four years the money collected was not being remitted to the council.
“You have been selling your produce at the market for four years and the total levies that you paid was Sh18m. If you add this amount in four years it is a lot of money lost,” he said.
The DC said the government will not stay quiet when a few people misused public money as the majority Tanzanians languished in poverty.
“The district director is the one responsible for administering the collection of internal revenues. Therefore, the government will not let a few people sabotage its efforts to serve its citizens,” he said.
The traders complained to the DC that there was toilet facility at the market and asked him to help them.
Responding to the request, Handeni district executive director Keneth Haule said they had already sat with the leadership of the market to see how they could improve the infrastructure including electricity and water.
“If the council constructs a toilet here it will not be free, there is some fee that you must pay. But because we have entered an agreement with the owner of the current toilet we will ensure that we do not hike the fee,” he said.