QUESTIONS are lingering among some campaigners of the country mineral resources over sudden reversal by their companions who have abruptly sided with the country exploiters.
The shock was expressed by Richard Mgamba, a journalist was interviewed on Dr Mumbi Show, one of Africa’s highly rated online TV talk shows, over the weekend.
The interviewee, who had in the past published some investigative stories uncovering rots in the mining sector, wondered why people who, for the past 20 years, had been criticising the industry, particularly over minimal share going to the government have abruptly changed their stance and are currently defending the multinational mining companies.
As one of campaigners, Mr Mgamba won the CNN award, through his article on the mining industry, challenging one of Acacia owned gold mines,showing how the investors were stealing from Tanzania.
“Sometimes I have been vindicated when I see President John Magufuli saying he will stand and renegotiate.
We may differ on how things were done but the fact is that you can bring these guys on the table, the negotiation can take two or three years but in history something has been recorded,” he said.
He told the talk show host, Dr Mumbi Seraki that everything the campaigners had said 20 years ago is what the current regime is working on.
“The only thing that shocked me is seeing one of my allies defending those who have been accused…this guy for 20 years has been criticising the industry, what is happening, I don’t know, I no longer practice journalism but I think the reversal is itself a story to investigate,” he argued.
He added: “If you are John Githongo of Kenya, fighting corruption, we know you are respected and then when Uhuru is going after the corrupt, you, the same Githongo start defending the corrupt, there have to be many questions that will be asked about you.”
For 20 years, the opposition and critics had been challenging the CCM government, accusing it of going to bed with investors, and doing nothing to make the country benefit from the mineral resources.
The ‘Daily News’ can authoritatively report that Singida East MP Tundu Lissu was one of the key opposition figures who for years had been fighting for the country’s good share from the mining sector.
His works include a publication titled, ‘A Golden Opportunity: How Tanzania is failing to benefit from gold mining’ which he co-authored with Mark Curtis, an independent author, journalist and consultant.
In the book, the legislator and his co-author claimed that ordinary Tanzanians were not benefiting from minerals because the government implemented tax laws that were overly favourable to multinational mining companies and because of malpractices of these companies. They argued that Tanzania was being looted of its natural resources and wealth.
“Finally, somebody came from the same CCM (President Magufuli) and said enough is enough, he campaigned in 2015, was challenged by the voters, and has to make decisions over what the country is getting,” said Mgamba.
However, Mr Lissu was reported criticising President Magufuli for his bold decisions to ensure that the country’s precious stones are not plundered.
At some point, Mr Lissu criticised the President for his decision to ban exports of gold concentrates for smelting, saying the president was acting against the contracts with investors and laws governing mineral activities in the country.