Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tanzania government slaps travel ban on minerals suspects

THE State has slapped a travel ban on all former government officials mentioned in the second report on export of copper concentrates presented to President John Magufuli on Monday. The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, wrote on his instagram page on Monday evening saying: “There is no patriotism that exceeds protection of national resources. . . Congratulations honourable President for displaying high level of patriotism by protecting national resources with actions. ” The Minister added: “I order all officials mentioned (in the report) not to travel outside the borders of the country, except under special government permit. I order all security apparatus to implement the President’s directive with utmost attention and high level of professionalism.” The Minister confirmed issuing the order yesterday when contacted for comments by the media. “Yes, I have issued the order as the message reads on my instagram page. They will not be allowed to travel until State apparatuses complete the task,” Nchemba responded in short. The Police Force, on its part, has vowed to reach every former government official mentioned in the second report. Police Spokesperson Advera Bulimba said no stone will be left unturned until all officials mentioned in the report are summoned for questioning on their involvement in the rot. “When the directives are issued, it becomes our responsibility to implement them. The implementation of the directives is now going full throttle as we speak,” she said. Asked further about the duty, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) replied: “We cannot divulge details about this operation. We don’t want to spoil our moves or disturb our strategies.” Presenting the report to President Magufuli on Monday, the Chairman of the probe team, Prof Nehemiah Osoro, recommended summoning and questioning of officials involved in the shoddy mining agreements, through which the nation incurred huge losses amounting to between 68.6tri/- and 108tri/- in revenue from exporting mineral concentrates from 1998 to 2017. Some of the individuals featuring in the report include former ministers for energy and minerals -- Daniel Yona, the late Dr Abdallah Kigoda, Nazir Karamagi, Wiliam Ngeleja and Professor Sospeter Muhongo. Others are former commissioners of minerals -‑ Paulo Masanja and Dr Dalaly Kafumu, as well as Acting Commissioner of Minerals Ally Samaje. Featured too are former AGs (by virtual of which they were chief state legal advisors) Andrew Chenge and Johnson Mwanyika. The list also includes former deputy AGs, Felix Mrema and Sazi Salula as well as the heads of the contracts department, Maria Kejo and Julius Malaba. The report proposed legal measures against workers and owners of mining companies for violating the country’s laws. The team that presented the second report on Monday consisted of economists and legal experts. It was formed by President Magufuli to establish the amount and value of copper concentrates exported since 1998 to 2017 for smelting. Having received the report, the President upheld the ban he imposed on exportation of copper concentrates. The report recommended for review of all Mineral Development Agreements (MDAs) by Bunge, initiating the process to have a smelter in the country and payment of all outstanding taxes and royalties. Meanwhile, Acacia shares have tumbled by over 40 per cent since the gold concentrate saga rocked the nation in the last one month. The shares went down to 7,800/- yesterday from 13,260/- on May 12 as investors see a bleak profitability future in the days ahead.

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