THE Talk of the Town has been the mobile money transactions levy, which began to bite on July 15th; and the slur, by one of the top Cabinet Ministers, that those who are unhappy with the levy should emigrate, to Burundi.
But, here we are. We are not moving, and the whole levy saga is being re-examined, after a public outcry expressed mainly through the social media.
This can be gauged from a news item appearing on page 3 of the Good Citizen of 22 July, titled: “Review of Mobile Money Levies to start after Government forms team”. The Finance Minister is quoted as saying the following earlier during the week: “The public outcry ‘due’ to the levy had ‘caught’ President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s attention”. I would re-write the above quotation into: “The public outcry ‘over’ the levy had ‘drawn’ President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s attention”.
Further on taxation, a columnist who penned his piece under the title: “Isn’t it time to ‘unpack’ our thinking on taxation and development?” (p. 7) argues against: “ballooning the government budget every financial year with ‘an absolute no knowledge’ of how to ‘pay for it’”.
Do you pay for the “Budget”, ballooned or not? Most likely, you finance it. And, by the way, what does “an absolute no knowledge” mean? It may be appropriate to alter the above argument into something like: “ballooning the government budget every financial year with ‘absolutely no knowledge’ of how to finance it”.
The columnist ends up by making a strong argument: “We must get focused – we can’t ‘do jack of all trades’ with no clear financing options in sight, stampeding everything on the way”.
It is possible that the writer was arguing that we cannot do everything, and therefore we cannot “be (not ‘do’) a jack of all trades”. Anyway, the government is not just taxing. It is also planning to improve economic activities, as we can gauge from this news item on page 2, titled: “How government plans to reboost cashew nut production”.
It is noted in the article that there is a close link between farmers’ accessibility to inputs and a rise in production. To back this observation, data is given: “For instance, production ‘rose to a pick’ of 313,826 tonnes during the 2017/18 season”.
However, the following three seasons saw production falling because the government changed the law so that the Cashew Export Levy, which financed inputs for farmers, was “directed ‘in’ the consolidated fund”.
Now, what does the writer mean by saying: “production rose to a pick” of so many thousands of tonnes that season? It is possible that he had cashew picking circling in his mind, but we are sure the correct word to use in the above sentence was not “pick”, but “peak”. So, the sentence should read as follows: “For instance, production ‘rose to a peak’ of 313,826 tonnes during the 2017/18 season”.
Production in the following three seasons tumbled because the Cashew Nut Export Levy was: “directed ‘to’, (not ‘in’) the Consolidated Fund”.
Meanwhile, in view of the impeding construction of the oil pipeline from Tanga to Hoima in Uganda, the affected communities are being prepared, as is detailed in this news item on page 4, titled: “Key training on EA Oil Pipeline chances issued”. In it, we cull two sentences relevant to this column: One is: “Local communities indicated high expectations on the Project including ‘employments’ in the different fields and infrastructure development”. We hasten to point out that the noun “employment” is uncountable.
You just use it appropriately as “employment” not “employments”, even if you realise that there are many jobs that could be available. The second sentence is where the writer notes that: “There are ‘numeral’ opportunities that could be explored by the local communities to optimise their engagement and improve livelihood”.
“Numeral opportunities?” No. There are ‘numerous’ opportunities to be grabbed. All the best, cashew nut growers, all the best, communities along the EA oil pipeline.
Rest in peace, Professor Mayunga Nkunya! email@example.com