Speaking with The Guardian on Sunday in Tanzania it revealed that a senior government official is involved in the trade, TTA Chairman Onorato Garavaglia said the official has always blocked growth of the sub-sector.

 He said their suspicion that the said official was behind the problems facing the tanners was confirmed by the revelations that he owns a company that exports raw hides and skins.

 “The said official has always maintained that the local tannery does not have the capacity to absorb all the local raw hides and skins, yet he was doing this to support his business”, he said, noting that it is now time to put a complete ban on the export of raw hides to help the local tanning industry. 

The TTA Chairman expressed fear that if the trend continues, the existing eight tanneries in the country will be forced to close due to unfair competition through smuggling and illegal business.

 Onorato said the smugglers and those who under-declare raw hides and skins always choose the best quality raw materials in the market, leaving the poor quality stocks for the local tanneries.