Friday, November 09, 2007

RTF: Forgotten Money Source?

It is another Friday. So let my mind wander everywhere. I promise, however, that I will stay within sanity boundaries.

I don’t want to be the person to bring bad news to you, but the most recent CCM general meeting produced nothing but a bleak picture for the future of Tanzania. Honestly, I don’t think that Makamba, Msekwa and all other members elected to the top posts have anything new to bring to the table. It is the same old CCM with no direction. I didn’t originally come up with loss-of-direction thing. Just go verify that with Mr. Butiku .

I have been reading comments on various blogs that covered the CCM meeting. Honestly, some of the comments were plain shortsighted. See, folks got happy that John Malecela was finally voted out as the party’s vice chairman because he was too old, but missed the fact that his replacement – Pius Msekwa – is virtually of the same age! So I guess it wasn’t so much about the age, but about being tired of the meaningless comments that tend to flow from Mr. Malecela’s mind.

Why I am even talking about CCM? I guess it is because they are currently running the show in Tanzania and hence whatever decisions the party makes affect the daily lives of my brothers and sisters in Bongoland.

What I really wanted to say is this: the Tanzanian government has ignored one crucial source of tax revenue. And that is revenue generated by witchdoctors.

I am not losing my mind, if you were wondering about that. I am serious about this. Really, I am. There are plenty of stories to back me up. OK, just recently, some members of the Dar Young Africans soccer club launched a witch hunting attack on the club’s leadership, trying to establish accountability over money dished out by the club’s sponsor. Just reading the story, you will realize than nearly $10,000 of the sponsorship money was spent on the “technical” stuff.

Well, we both know very well that Simba and Yanga encounters are not short of witchcraft . activities. As a matter of fact, witchcraft is rampant in the Tanzania soccer. Honestly, the voodoo craze goes beyond the soccer field. The belief in the “dark” powers is so rampant to the extent that some even made to believe that prosperity could be obtained through witchcraft. Just read this story and see how sad the situation could be.

By no means this should be construed that I am trying to condone witchcraft. I am far from doing that. I am just trying to point out the fact that as long as the there are consumers for witchcraft services, then the government should regard witchcraft service providers as businessmen and women. And with that, “doctors” should apply for a business license and pay appropriate taxes. That is due to the fact that the industry is generating a lot of money.

Just consider this, if Yanga alone spent nearly $10,000 to win a soccer game, how much do you think Simba spent? How much do you think other teams in the Vodacom Premier League are spending on “doctors”? How much do you think ordinary folks in Tanzania spend on non-soccer related aspects of life such as health, promotion at work, love, job security, prosperity, protection from evil spirits, etc? How many kids have you seen dangling charms on their necks or arms? You didn’t think the hiziris come for free, did you?

I am not in a position to come up with an exact figure of how much is generated by this industry, but you can clearly tell from just the two figures presented here. First, Yanga spending $10,000 and secondly, $115,000 swindled by a “doctor” from the unsuspecting mwananchi. That is a lot of money from my perspective.

I know that my suggestion would definitely hit a snag. If the vineyard is supplying accurate information, then some political leaders in Tanzania will not be pleased with taxation on witchcraft services. Story goes that wakubwa tend to flock Bagamoyo during elections. As such, tax on the “doctors” services is likely to hike service prices. Adding that tax burden to the cost of takrima, implementation of my idea could potentially end someone’s political career.

Seriously though, money is being made in the witchcraft industry. For some of us who are not customers, we could benefit from the industry through tax shillings. Let those who prefer the service be served, but let the entire Bongoland get good roads and electricity. Our school kids need teachers and textbooks too.

Enjoy your weekend.
Photo Credit:


Anonymous said...

Definetely TZ needs deliverance from this witchcraft thing, but in the meantime the witchdoctors need to pay taxes. Go get them TRA...

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anony 2:23PM
I couldn't agree more with you. As we wait for the spiritual deliverance, we can certainly have TRA collect taxes due for the benefit of all.

I am just waiting to see how "gharama za maisha" wails will come up due to taxation of witchdoctors!