By Azania Post Reporter
Tanzania President Dr. John Magufuli has said that most of the companies operating within Mererani area in Manyara region stole a huge amount of tanzanite before construction of the wall.
Speaking during the inauguration of the 24 km square wall in Mererani area on Friday, President Magufuli said Tanzanite One had stolen a lot of tanzanites.
“They have stolen a lot of tanzanite stones but we have already established negotiations to ensure mining of gemstone in the country is conducted in such a way that benefit Tanzania and its people”, he said
President Magufuli said apart from theft, most registered companies operating in the area did not pay taxes to the government for a number of years.
He revealed that out of 1,700 registered companies, only 25 have been paying tax to the state coffers.
“This is not acceptable, construction of this wall will help to curb all theft and increase income to the government hence livelihood of people,” he said.
Dr. Magufuli thanked the Tanzania Peoples’ Defense Forces (TPDF) and National Service through corporation sole, Suma for constructing the wall.
He instructed the defense forces to continue protecting the wall and make sure that no one steals the tanzanite stone.
However, negotiation between Tanzanite One company management and government which is led by Minister for legal and constitutional affairs Palagamamba Kabudi have started in January this year.
The two sides are now going through all challenges associated with Tanzanite business and implementation of laws and regulations governing the business with a view to ensuring that ultimately, a consensus is reached on how Tanzania can benefit effectively from its natural resources.
Early this year, the company issued a statement expressing the firm’s commitment to support President Magufuli’s initiative to ensure that tanzanite gems and other natural resources benefit the nation and were thus ready to negotiate with the State to this effect.
“We at Tanzanite-One, are fully behind the initiative of our President and the local investors of the company firmly believe that by virtue of them being Tanzanians and in the name of patriotism, they owe it to their nation in ensuring that the vision of the Head of State, Dr. Magufuli, becomes a reality,” reads part of the release from the Company Secretary, Kisaka Mnzava.
Mnzava says that as they await the proposed discussions and negotiations with the state, “the management of Tanzanite-One would like to assure the President and Tanzanians as whole that they will cooperate fully with the government and together ensure positive conclusion that will be of great value to the nation.”
On 7th September last year, Dr. Magufuli received a special parliamentary committee report on investigations into tanzanite mining and shortly thereafter, the Head of State visited Mirerani Mining Hills on September 21, and issued specific directives relating to the reviewing of the Joint Venture Agreement between Tanzanite-One Limited and the State Mining Corporation (STAMICO).