A FAVOURITE STATION FOR EXPATRIATES

Under large headline ‘Forex (Foreign Exctange) Scandal Unfolds’ the ,Sunday News (July 10, 1988) wrote that ‘With four domestic servants (US$ 40 per month), lunch for four people at US$ 20, a fully furnished four bedroom bungalow at US$500 per month and a combined water and power bill of US$ 10, Tanzania has become a paradise for expatriates and diplomats.

The country is also a favourite station for airline crews who act as couriers of smuggled trophies and precious minerals .. , .. at least five embassies also do so as an unofficial, institutionalised practice … these missions also deal in gold, diamonds, rubies, trophies, drugs and hard currency.

The diplomats change their currency using street corner, hotel bar hangers-on or even innocent looking cigarette vendors ….

An official of the Foreign Branch of the National Bank of Commerce said that withdrawal of money from foreign accounts had dwindled over the past few years and he wondered how foreign clients were meeting their expenses.

This is the sad story of all our developing countries and the culprits are from the left and the right, said one African diplomat with the UN Office in Dar ES Salaam’.

On July 17th, again on the front page, the Sunday News headlined ‘More … and More Revealed in Forex Scandal’. “The US dollar is fast becoming the unofficial medium of exchange within Tanzania. … the exercise has turned a sizeable number of sharp- minded’ Tanzanians into millionaires literally overnight … some people have as many as five houses – all in low density areas and rented out for dollars …

The high crime rate in Dar es Salaam has made dog keeping a necessity for many foreigners. Some ‘sharp minded’ people have therefore started selling puppies in dollars….”

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