AS the public eagerly waits for a report from the second mineral concentrates probe team, which is likely to hit the last nail into the coffin of the contentious saga, the government of Tanzania has come out with guns blazing, hinting that all will not be well for officials behind bogus mining contracts, which have occasioned horrifying losses to the country.
The mining agreements which are under spotlight were signed in 1993 and 1994, during the second phase government under the leadership of Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
The report, waiting to be unveiled any time, will among others reveal legal blemishes and how officials tasked with managing the country’s resources contributed to the recently uncovered sickening thievery in the mining sector.
President John Magufuli recently formed two separate teams--the first was assigned to investigate content and amount of minerals contained in the containers which were ready for export. The second team was tasked with going through contracts and their economic implications to the country.
The first team has already presented its report to President Magufuli, revealing a number of undeclared strategic minerals and under-invoicing of the resources, among others. Winding up the Energy and Minerals budget estimates on Friday evening, Deputy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani for the ministry said relevant actions will be taken against such officials after the second team tables its report to President Magufuli.
He said that he could not declare how such leaders will be punished but he is sure the report will fully detail where they erred and probably suggest legal measures against them. Dr Kalemani was responding to the bitter concerns from a number of MPs who wanted the state to immediately prosecute all leaders behind the blunder.
Some lawmakers, including Ally Keissy (Nkasi North-CCM) pushed for death sentence to the culprits, asserting that the country has lost big time due to such bad contracts.
“These people should be hanged to death. They don’t deserve any sympathy… please take my advice, we will lose nothing by killing them, they have caused many deaths, sufferings and so on…they must pay the price,” the outspoken MP said, amid a round of applause.
Mr Keissy’s statement was seconded by Magdalena Sakaya (Kaliua-CUF) who maintained that leaders who put pen to paper leading to mismanagement of the country’s resources are all known thus should be immediately punished.
Ubungo MP on Chadema ticket, Saed Kubenea wondered if the perpetrators will be left to live large without facing the music for causing the loss to the country.
On the other hand, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage ordered immediate legal measures to all officials who cleared the 277 containers currently held at the Dar es Salaam Port following President Magufuli order.
Minister Mwijage was responding to Salome Makamba (Chadema Specials Seats) who claimed that she had information that there were officials who cleared the consignments at mining sites. The Minister instructed relevant authorities to seek evidence from the MP and straightaway take such government officials to task.
“Hon speaker, I am issuing this order now, the Prime Minister (Kassim Majaliwa) is also here, I need these officials to be booked… state organs, please collaborate with the legislator (Salome Makamba) to find these people who cleared the containers at mining sites,” Minister Mwijage said.