Local businessmen have threatened to give up importing goods through Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port and switch to Kenya’s Mombasa, because of the persistent loss of goods in transit.
Several local importers, who spoke to The New Times claim to have lost goods worth millions at the port and have not been compensated.
“I can not continue losing my goods and incurring losses like that, I have actually already shifted to Mombasa port,” said Charles Gasana the General Manager of Simba Supermarket.
“I have lost goods at that particular port three times; first I lost a Toyota Hilux car, the second time it was a container and in July this year I lost another container,” he lamented.
The businessman said the latest container was full of textile products worth $ 40,000 (Approx Rwf22m) while the other container that he lost last year also had textiles worth $38,000 (approx. 20m).
“I believe the port has the obligation to ensure security of our goods and has insurance that must cover all goods in their custody in case of fire, burglary or any other accidents before they get into our hands,” Gasana said.
He claims to have lost goods totalling to about Rwf 67m saying that he will soon seek legal redress to claim compensation for his merchandise.
Sources say that the businessman is also seeking diplomatic intervention and has sought a meeting with the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, though he could not confirm this development during the interview.
When contacted, Bosco Rusagara, the chairman of the association that brings together clearing and forwarding firms, echoed similar mishaps on the Dar route saying the Tanzanian government should be responsible for the safety of all goods until they reach the border of the country of destination.
Efforts to speak to Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA)’s management were fruitless.
The port is the gateway for the country’s imports and exports as well as those of the neighbouring countries of Rwanda; Uganda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.