Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Mramba Denies Role in Gold Audit Deals

FORMER Finance Minister Basil Mramba said he never approved nor signed extension of a contract with Alex Stewart Assayers to audit the country's gold production.

Mramba referred to the letter which was allowing Alex Stewart Company to extend their contract signed by the Chief Executive of the Company, Dr Enrique Segura and the then Governor of Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Dr Daudi Balali.

"The letter which was written on 10th March, 2005, aimed to extend time to Stewart Company in auditing gold production after their good work previously," he stated at the Kisutu Resident Magistrates' Court in Dar es Salaam, during the case in which he is accused of abuse of office and occasioning 11.7bn/- loss to the government.

Led by his advocate Mr Elisa Msuya, he submitted various documents to prove that he was not involved in the approval or extension of the disputed contract. The documents which were given include the tender bill which requested Alex Stewart Company to submit a proposal to BoT for them to have permission for mining auditing.

Mramba also read a letter which was showing that the accused person number two who was the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Daniel Yona, advised the former BoT governor that the contract with the foreign company could not cause any harm to the country.

"The term of contracts with Alex Stewart Assayers must be fair to the country, that means the country must not incur loss from it," he said. During the case, prosecutors tried to raise objections on the documents tendered by the accused were not relevant. However, the objections were dismissed. The case has been adjourned to November 28, this year.

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