THE latest Tanzanian billionaire, Mr Kurian Saniniu Laizer, is certain of completing his investment diversification plans after mining the world's largest tanzanite stones and has one man to thank; President John Magufuli.
The artisanal miner, who acquired the wealth after unearthing and selling the biggest tanzanite stones in the history of the world, attributed his success to President Magufuli's security plans.
The artisanal miner who sold two stones weighing about 15 kilogrammes at a record 7,744,152,703.82/-said if it were not for the perimeter wall and beefed up security by the Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF), soldiers, he might not have emerged an overnight billionaire in such style.
“Unearthing the stones was one thing, but getting it safe until the point of sale is quite another. I attribute the successful sale to the security that is an innovation of President Magufuli,” said Mr Laizer, who is now back constructing a shopping mall.
Mr Laizer said there were people who were laughing off the idea of constructing the 24-kilometre perimeter wall, mostly those outside the mines, but as for him and other miners, found it to be an important step towards their security and to ensure what they get remains theirs until when they sell.
“I and my fellow miners are proud of President Magufuli and his decision to construct the wall around the mines. We are now sure of our safety and security. Whatever size of gems we get, we are sure that nobody can take away from us because soldiers are guarding us,” he said.
He revealed that before construction of the wall and beefing-up of security by deploying soldiers, it was common for miners who got even small tanzanite stones to be forced by armed people to lay down, get searched and everything get impounded.
“Now it is different; You get your tanzanite stones, you are happy and sure of going through all points, preserve it safely until you sell it and get your proceeds, while the government gets its taxes. People no longer export the precious stones illegally. We are so happy,” said Mr Laizer jovially.
He could not hide his joy, saying he was moved by Dr Magufuli's leadership style and innovations, insisting Tanzania had never had such a leader, but criminals are not happy with the head of the state because they cannot attain their evil targets.
The miner said Dr Magufuli will go down the world history books, and will be talked about and remembered for his great strides and epic gains for a long time after the current generation is gone. With over a 7.7bn/-fortune, the new tycoon in the country is drawing up his diversification plans.
I got the money that I have been looking for ardently as my diversification plans had stalled. Mr Laizer said construction of the three-storey mall in Simanjiro District had stalled since 2017 as he attempted to get finances from different banks in vain. He said that initially he got a 500m/-credit facility but would not be enough for the entire project.
Each floor has 12,000 square metres, with car parking to a capacity of 50 vehicles underground and 50 cars outside the mall.
“The project had stalled; You go to a bank and are told to go back after some days; When you go back it is the same story. Now I have the money to complete the project,” says Mr Laizer.
He has also initiated a plan to construct a school so that many children get enrolled and study to become experts in different fields.
He said his own children are at school and by enrolling them is a way to ensure that his projects do not perish after he passes on. Though a standard seven leaver, Mr Laizer gets advice from experts about his investment plans. He does not plan to marry another wife, saying the four he has are enough.