Tanzanians will from July 1 pay more to access telecommunication services, following the government's decision to impose 14.5 per cent excise duty on the services.
A statement issued by the Mobile Operators Association of Tanzania (MOAT) in Dar es Salaam said the imposition of higher duty "would work against all other ongoing initiatives seeking to transform Tanzania into a knowledge-based society."
Tanzania, according to MOAT, has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in Africa at only 10 per cent compared to neighbouring Kenya's over 40 per cent. MOAT noted in the statement that the 14.5 per cent tax increase on the service will neither boost the internet penetration level nor attract new customers to use the internet.
"It is our belief that any tax increase on this service will widen the digital divide with other countries on the continent and deter non users from trying the service," said MOAT, arguing that mobile communication was not a luxury but a necessity in today's life.
MOAT said at 35 per cent, the communication sector was already heavily taxed, with no room to absorb any further increases.