By Felix Andrew
TANZANIA has been asked to discuss with the government of Democratic Republic of Congo to allow free visa entry for both countries in order to increase economic development of the two countries, the Parliament has told.
This was said by Special Seats Legislator Halima Bulembo, (CCM) when asking the government plans to introduce visa free entry for both citizens.
“There is a huge untapped market in DR Congo and the country is landlocked why do not we have a free visa entry for the peoples of the two countries in order to tap the market in Congo and our Country,” she asked.
Responding, the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Yusuf Masauni, said it not true that East Africans have to pay visa before entering Congo.
Under the SADC agreement it was agreed that people from member states should enter the country without paying for entry visa.
Masauni said due to ongoing crisis in the said country, that issue has not been fully implemented hence traders and other people still pay for the visa.
Last year, DRC government announced the reduction of Visa fee for Tanzanians and Ugandans by half from 100 -US dollar to 50- US dollar.
According to the statement released by DRC's Directorate of Immigration the move was part of Visa harmonisation process for Central Corridor Member Countries, in which Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are involved.
Already Burundi, DRC and Rwanda enjoy Visa free movement among themselves under the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) arrangement.
Harmonisation of Visa was also one of the agreed issues during the 7th Ordinary Meeting of the Inter-State Council of Ministers of the TTFA held in Dar es Salaam August last year.