President Samia Suluhu’s Commitment to Overcoming the Sugar Crisis.

President Samia Suluhu’s Commitment to Overcoming the Sugar Crisis.

The rising cost of living is a global issue that can threaten the security of any nation, potentially leading to unrest and loss of peace. Many countries, such as Nigeria, South Africa, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe, have experienced long-term protests and strikes due to escalating living costs.

In contrast, Tanzania, from its independence to the current administration of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, has not witnessed significant protests or strikes related to the cost of living. The Sixth Phase Government under President Samia is diligently working within the framework of the country’s laws and regulations to preserve the cherished peace and stability inherited from previous administrations.

Earlier this year, between March and April, during the holy month of Ramadan, the government faced the challenge of rising sugar prices. It was claimed that the country had not experienced such a severe sugar shortage since the 1980s. The scarcity in Dar es Salaam forced people to buy sugar in rationed amounts and queue for the product, a situation created by a few individuals for their selfish interests.

The root of this crisis lies in the fact that only five individuals have permits to import sugar for over sixty million people. The two biggest players among them are Mohamed Enterprises and Super Doll, who are protected by the law under the guise of owning factories in the country. However, these tycoons exploit their privileges, creating artificial shortages to inflate prices, as seen during Ramadan when sugar prices soared to Tsh. 6,000 per kilo in Dar es Salaam.

In response, President Samia’s government took emergency measures by issuing permits to other traders to import sugar, which resulted in the price dropping from Tsh. 6,000 to Tsh. 3,000, and even Tsh. 2,800 in some areas within a month. The government also proposed changes in the 2024/25 budget to amend the Sugar Act, enabling the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to manage the sugar gap in the country.

Furthermore, the government aims to amend NFRA regulations to include sugar as an essential food security product, granting the NFRA the legal authority to import sugar. This move will end the monopoly of the five tycoons controlling the market.

The resistance from figures like Luaga Mpina stems from the fear of these tycoons losing their grip on the market. They are using leaders like Mpina to undermine the government’s efforts. There is suspicion that Mpina might be bribed by these tycoons to advocate for their interests.

However, President Samia’s commitment to economic reform and stability is unwavering. She has repeatedly stated, “Any change comes with challenges, but they never hinder the change itself.” Under her leadership, Tanzania will not be held hostage to the greed of a few. President Samia Suluhu remains dedicated to serving with loyalty and patriotism, ensuring a lasting solution to the sugar crisis and safeguarding the well-being of Tanzanians.