The committee tasked the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) to speed up investigations into the multimillion scam and submit the report before June 20, this year.

Shivacom has come under fire for allegedly printing duplicate airtime vouchers of 500/- and 2,000/- worth millions of shillings, when it was contracted by the telephone company to print and distribute the coupons between 2007 and 2012.

Committee Chairman Luhaga Mpina, presenting the parliamentary committee report on activities conducted by the Ministry of Finance in the current fiscal year and budget estimates for the 2015/2016 financial year during the ongoing sessions of the National Assembly here, asked the two state agencies to hasten the forensic investigations.

Mr Mpina noted with concerns that the two companies have been hesitant to provide information to the government regarding the matter.

?If it is proved that Shivacom printed the duplicate vouchers, it should be subjected to criminal charges since the act is a fraud. It should as well be compelled to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) for the vouchers it sold to the market.

?Vodacom on its part, if proved that it evaded taxes during the period, it should be obliged to pay the due taxes during the period it conducted business with Shivacom,? Mr Mpina said.

He went on to note that since Vodacom has produced credit notes and some of the duplicated vouchers with a value of 74m/-, it was evident that there were traces of fraud in the multimillion contract.

?Between 2008 and 2012, Vodacom paid taxes amounting to 118bn/- and yet the value of the 500/- and 2,000/- vouchers was 925bn/-; meaning that the mobile operator should have paid 166bn/- in VAT on these two categories of vouchers alone. ?It seems Vodacom does not want to cooperate with the government to pin Shivacom since by doing so might unravel other cases of tax evasion,? Mr Mpina charged. During the five-year contract spanning the year 2007 and 2012, reports have it that the mobile operator incurred a loss of 675b/-, while the government was denied of taxes to the tune of 121bn/- from the 500/- and 2,000/- vouchers. Subscribers were on the other hand cheated of their money as they bought vouchers which were duplicated and thus unable to use them. Vodacom terminated the contract with Shivacom in July 2012, but it has never come out in public to apologise to its subscribers.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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