Tanzania Opposition Punch Holes in ‘Magufuli plan’ to Switch off Substandard Mobile Phones


DAR ES SALAAM Officials from Tanzania opposition Civic United Front (CUF) Party said the move by President John Magufuli administration to switch off fake mobile phones is an inconsiderate decision aiming majority poor Tanzanians.

The communication regulator, Tanzania Communication and Regulatory Authority (TCRA) set a June 16, 2016 deadline in December last year to freeze mobile network connections from substandard telephone handsets.

CUF said if government is to implement the plan, it must then consider compensating gadget users because it has over the years been tapping billions in Value Added Taxes from buyers and dealers. Officials also tasked government to explain the presence of fake phones on the market.

“The government is to blame for the whole issue of fake phones. It should tell us how these fake devices found their way into the country” said CUF youth league leader Mahmoud Muhinda during a presser in Dar es Salaam.

TCRA head of communication Innocent Mungy told the media in Dar es Salaam that the authority will not revise the decision since it’s aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the users as a matter of utmost urgency.

“The government is not only banning fake phones but all substandard products that could harm people” Mungy said.

Mungy further said the government had embarked on nation wide consumer education against fake imported products and the program has helped to reduce the consumption of especially fake mobile phones from 30 to 13 percent.