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Tanzania Charges Mobile Transactions

A new so-called “patriotism levy” imposed on mobile money transfers in Tanzania has come into effect amid criticism. The tax, which was approved last month by the country’s parliament, will impose additional charges every time payments are sent or received via phones. Tanzania’s telecommunication companies are running adverts in the local press displaying their new charges to transfer money through mobile phones. Some firms indicate that the patriotism levy has caused transaction fees to double. Tanzania’s finance ministry has defended the tax, saying the money raised will be used to fund development projects, such as providing running water in schools. But the new fees have been widely criticised as unfairly targeting the East African nation’s poor citizens.