Tanzania Accuses Its Tourist Hotels of Harbouring Drug Dealers
Published February 22, 2017
Hotels and recreational facilities that serve tourists in Tanzania’s commercial city of Dar es Salaam are accused of working with dealers of illicit drugs and narcotics.
The government of Tanzania not only accuses these facilities and their owners of being connected with barons of illicit drugs and narcotics but also of providing refuge to what it refers to as drug abusers, dealers, and pushers.
Paul Makonda, Regional Commissioner for Dar-es-Salaam, says he has information that links 67 hotels and 20 recreational clubs to illicit drugs and narcotics dealings.
Several hotels have been searched and their owners interrogated by police.
Tourist hotels are facing a hard time after the Tanzanian government restricted its use of these facilities for seminars and conferences as a cost-cutting measure while the number of tourists has been on the decline.
Hotels can hardly maintain their estimated 400000 work force. It is estimated that 3500 hotel workers across Tanzania have lost their jobs since January 2016. Things are made worse by the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on services for tourists.
While several medium-sized hotels have been converted into hostels for students, many prime tourist facilities on the beach front in the historical town of Bagamoyo, about 65 kilometres north of Dar-es-Salaam, are registering massive losses.
Soon after taking office in November 2015, Tanzanian President, Dr John Pombe Magufuli Joseph, ordered all government ministries, departments and agencies to stop using privately-owned hotels and other hospitality establishments for conferences and meetings in his cost-cutting measures.