By Moshi Shaban
THE Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC) has terminated the contract to operate the Machinga Business Complex which entered with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) few years ago.
The modern building is located at the junction of Lindi and Kawawa area around Karume Memorial Stadium, in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam Region.
Dar es Salaam City Lord Mayor, Isaya Mwita told news conference that the decision comes after the City Council failed to pay 42bn/- as a loan to NSSF.
Mwita also said in 2010 they were told that the total value of the Machinga Complex stood at 12.7bn/- but the loan has shouted to 42bn/- this year.
The Lord Mayor has further said: “We cannot pay the said loan to NSSF and I would like to inform the public that we have terminated the contract, and they are now free to run their building.”
The Complex has completed in 2010, and has 4,500 trading spaces includes 4,206 stalls, eight storage rooms, 33 food vending spaces and 68 kiosks.
But all of the spaces have not been fully occupied over the last five years and the project is now considered a white elephant. Very few machingas complied with the government order requiring them to stop hawking on the streets.
Dar es Salaam has more than 700,000 Machingas who operate outside of the formal government system, based on an initial survey by the College of Business Education (CBE) in collaboration with the Organization of Merchants from Across Finland (FBMA).
Because there is no serious business taking place in the Machinga Complex, it is difficult for NSSF to get its money back from the project, according to business analysts.
They say the building must now be used by both machingas and big traders — who operate formalised businesses — so that his office can raise the money to pay the NSSF loan.
Government previously promised to construct similar machinga complexes in other cities such as Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya, but so far the promise has been fulfilled in Dar es Salaam alone.