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{UAH} Allan/Gook/Pojim: Tanzania to reclaim dormant factories in two weeks

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Tanzania has issued a two-week ultimatum to investors who have failed to develop privatised factories to hand them back to government.

Factory owners have up to August 15 to present plans to revive their dormant plants or they will be reclaimed.

"The government sold these industries to private investors with an agreement to develop them. We are not going to tolerate those who have failed to heed to the agreement," said the Industries, Trade and Investment minister Charles Mwijage.

According to Mr Elli Pallangyo, an assistant director at the ministry, of the 156 factories privatised between 1992 and 2004, 54 are dormant.

On Thursday, President John Magufuli ordered his party member, Morogoro Urban MP Mohammed Abood, to immediately return factories he acquired from the government for failing to keep them running.

"I am aware that there is one MP here who belongs to the ruling party who acquired a number of industries under privatisation but he has failed to develop them… they are being used to keep goats. He should return them immediately because that is not our intention," said President Magufuli addressing area residents in the eastern city of Tanzania.

"Development has no party… whether you are in CCM, Chadema or CUF, you need development," he stressed.

Last month, the president directed Mr Mwijage to repossess factories that had closed down, saying the government erred in selling the plants to individuals "who are not bothered". He threatened arrest of investors who would resist the directive.

Under a five-year development plan 2016-2020, the Magufuli administration has set a target for speeding up industrialisation to make each of Tanzania's 26 regions attract manufacturing industries and agro-processing factories.

Mr Mwijage said the government is wooing foreign investors and exports markets in Vietnam, India, China and Turkey as it seeks to revive its factories.

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Thu Jun 22 15:21:10 EAT 2017

Investors who have abandoned the plants risk jail.

Tanzania to reclaim dormant factories in two weeks - The East African

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