THE government’s recent move to tighten the noose on Tanzanite mining and trade in the country has started paying off, with the production of the gemstone increasing more than 30 times in the country.
President John Magufuli noted yesterday that the success was a result of measures taken to control the Tanzanite mining in the past few days, including tasking the armed forces to strengthen security.
The measures also include erection of a fence, to cost 6bn/-, surrounding the Tanza nite mine in Mirerani, Dr Magufuli said when officially opening the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT).
President Magufuli told the participants that just after strengthening control of the mining activities and trade, there was a day when the production reached over 18 kilogrammes. “This has never happened since the start of Tanzanite mining in the country,” he stated.
With deep concern, the President said such gemstones were plundered from the country, noting that Tanzania does not feature in the first and second countries leading in selling the mineral.
“Out of all revenues collected from selling Tanzanite in the globe, Tanzania pocketed only five per cent; the rest was taken by other countries. So, with this situation you want me to remain silent? Why shouldn’t I speak it openly if I have been selected to lead this country …who should I fear to speak the truth? … It’s better I die and be buried than not to speak the truth,” he vowed.
The President went on to explain that the country has embarked on an economic war considering that it has abundant natural resources, such as forestry, marine resources, minerals and so on. Moreover, the country is second when it comes to having many tourist attractions.
Despite having all these resources, Tanzanians still do not benefit from them. “Following this situation, we have started taking measures to protect our resources; there is no country that celebrates when its resources are stolen,’ he stressed. In line with this, the President formed commissions to probe minerals businesses in the country.
“You know what the committees discovered … a lot of strange things were going on in the mining industry. People are carrying numerous types of minerals and declare only two. They have collected trillions of shillings from such lucrative business through deceitful deals.
“We are lucky because God blessed the country with abundant minerals, otherwise it would have run bankrupt, and when they steal some Tanzanians are celebrating and collude with foreigners to steal,” he said.