Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: 'Gold Rush' Could Be Big Scam

Arusha — AUTHORITIES in Ngorongoro District say the so-called 'gold' discoveries in Sonjo plains, are not confirmed.

"All we can say at the moment is that, residents of Mgongo Village in Samunge Ward have been scooping mineral deposits on the bank of the Mugongo seasonal river, which at the moment is flowing due to ongoing rains," stated the Ngorongoro District Commissioner, Mr Elias Wawa-Lali.

For the past two weeks or so, there have been unconfirmed reports of gold discoveries in Samunge Ward, an area which in the past used to be famous for the 'Babu wa Loliondo' magic brew.

Mr Wawa-Lali said his office in conjunction with district security organs have already dispatched a team of mineral experts to the location to determine if what is being dug there is indeed gold as claimed or is possibly any other type of mineral that could be of commercial value.

The team is expected to release finding this weekend.

Meanwhile the regional authorities here are advising people to treat the speculations with caution, lest they get themselves involved in some wild goose chase.

The DC, on the other hand, refuted reports by local tabloids that have been speculating that there is mad rush of people from all over the country scrambling for the alleged newly discovered 'pieces of eight,' pointing out that so far it is only residents of Samunge who are digging for the so-called 'gold.'

"There are around 500 people in the area, out of these 80 per cent are residents of Mgongo village itself while 10 per cent are from within Samunge Ward, the other 5 per cent are from Sale Division of Ngorongoro and only 5 per cent are from outside the district," revealed Wawa-Lali.

He admitted that some of the rumours are being speculated by some culprits who have started to charge newcomers illegal fees of 10,000/- as village charges and believe that if they can create the mad rush similar to the 'Babu wa Loliondo' magic saga of 2011, so that they can reap more revenue from the scheme.

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