Biteko orders arrest, confiscation of investor’s assets

MINERALS Deputy Minister Dotto Biteko has ordered an arrest and asset confiscation of Magambazi Gold Mine investor, CANACO, over breach of mining licence conditions.

The Deputy Minister directed the Handeni District’s Defence and Security Committee to immediately make the arrest as the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) conduct thorough investigations on allegations of carbon theft.

The Magambazi investor stand accused of facilitating theft of activated carbon, which was sent to Mwanza-based mineral processing company, JEMA AFRICA LTD.

Mr Biteko issued the directives during his one-day tour of the mining site in Handeni District, this week.

He explained that earlier this year the investor went to the ministry to seek permit for transpor-tation of 2.23 tonnes of carbon from the mine to Mwanza for processing but the application was rejected due to various reasons.

However, the investor changed tactics and visited Dodoma Mineral Office with forged documents to get the permit.

“Initially, these people came into our office to seek permit to transport 2.23 tonnes of activated carbon to Mwanza for processing but we rejected their application…to make the matter worse, they forged the documents and obtained the permit from Dodoma mineral office that enabled them to transport 1.5 tonnes in midnight,” charged the deputy minister.

He queried, “Where was the district defence and security committee when this investor was doing all these…we cannot let few people play around with Tanzanians’ resources.

I want immediate arrest, the Officer Commanding District and PCCB, work together over this matter.” Besides the directives, Mr Biteko told Commissioner of Minerals Dr Athanas Macheyeki to issue a default notice to the investor within two days for failure to fulfill his obligations and give him time to work on the shortfalls as required by the Mining Act or the government will revoke the licence.

According to the Mining Act, the investor with licence to conduct the mining activities is not allowed to do other businesses like exploration and processing.

Handeni District Commissioner Godwin Gondwe assured the Deputy Minister that all his directives will be implemented.

He said as chairman of district defence and security committee, had informed relevant authorities that have already started working on the illegal transportation of the activated carbon.

Author: CHEJI BAKARI in Handeni

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