Govt firm to improve minerals business

THE government has expressed its stance in controlling mining activities and mineral business, but pledged to collaborate with miners in ensuring everybody’s interest is safeguarded in accordance with the law of the land.

The Minister for Minerals, Mr Doto Biteko and Manyara Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Alexander Mnyeti, warned here that they would do all in their power to ensure mining activities are conducted with diligence and government gets its fair share in taxes.

Minister Biteko said that after construction of Mirerani Mines Perimeter and establishment of more than 37 mining centres countrywide to control haphazard mine business.

Now the government has moved to ensure that mining activities are done by those who hold valid permits and operate in the area only assigned to them.

He said that as it is in the interest of every law abiding citizen to see that tanzanite and other minerals and gemstones are mined and traded justifiably.

The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), is investigating some anomalies in the sector, specifically to officials who issued mining permits in contravention of the law and necessary action will be taken.

Mr Biteko said the government was getting a lot of revenue from big investors such as Tanzanite One that is owned by local investors in collaboration with the state owned–State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), but will be treating even the small miners well so that they may make ends meet and improve their lives.

“The mine at block C is owned by Tanzanite One and STAMICO, so the government looks at it with a third eye as opposed to what some people think of it. That is why we formed the committee to see that conflicts come to an end as soon as practicable,” said Mr Biteko.

He said the mine is being safeguarded by security organs and RC as chairman of the committee is responsible for whatever is happening. He said the RC should cooperate with all miners and companies to ensure conducive investment climate in the sector.

After receiving a report with recommendations on how to deal with miners who trespass two blocks that are not their own, Minister Biteko promised to work on them with his technical team and act accordingly.

He warned that there have been so many skirmishes at Mirerani and a lot of animosities, warning owners and miners to end them with immediate effect.

The committee was formed by the ministry and it was formed by 36 people, including members of Manyara Defence and Security Committee, from the ministry and among small miners.

He said he does not like to see anybody treated unfairly that is why he does not give decisions without first consulting other officials in the ministry and region.

This is the ninth committee formed in Mirerani over the antagonisms. Chairman of the Committee, Eng. Hamisi Kamando said there are licenses that were issued illegally, with some investors being allocated too large area for mining while others were denied.

Mr Mnyeti said he will be giving priority to major investors, singling out Tanzanite One/STAMICO as they pay more tax, employ more than 700 people and offer social services.

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Author: DEUS NGOWI in Arusha

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