Amid a wide-spread looming scarcity of sugar in the country, the Tanzanian Government has impounded 28.5 tonnes of Malawi sugar that was reportedly smuggled into that country last year.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Adam Malima, told the Tanzania National Assembly in Dodoma, ==23 tonnes of sugar were impounded at Mbeya, four tonnes at Rungwe and the rest at Kasumulu and Kyela.
The deputy minister’s revelation, according to allafrica.com came after a Member of Parliament for Rungwe West, Prof David Mwakyusa, wanted to know as to why government was not supply the impounded sugar to Rungwe.
Malima said Malawi sugar was on high demand and was normally being sold to Tanzania government institutions such as schools, hospitals and prisons.
According to the news report, it was not clear what the Tanzania government would do with the confiscated sugar but previously, it distributed for free in some public schools, hospitals and prisons where it is also on high demand.
Huge consignments of Malawi sugar are reportedly smuggled through Lake Malawi which has also of late been used by Somali and Ethiopian illegal immigrants who illegally enter Malawi to stay while other proceed to Mozambique and South Africa in search of greener pastures.
A study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reveled that about 20 percent of Malawi sugar is smuggled out to neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania through undocumented or informal trade.
Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited Public Relations Officer Irene Phalula complained recently that the illegal exportation of sugar to neighbouring markets was impacting heavily on the domestic supply where it sells 60 percent of its output.
Illovo produces about 300 000 tonnes of sugar per season out of which 60 percent is sold domestically with the remainder exported to various markets in Europe, USA and other African nations.