2 April 2017

Tanzania: JPM Leads Off Mineral Sand Team

Photo: Daily News
President John Magufuli speaking to eight-member committee of experts.

President John Magufuli has ordered security machineries in the country to make sure that nobody blocks the newly formed committee of experts from conducting its investigations in examining mineral sand, in order to establish the amount of copper concentrates contained.

The Head of State issued the order yesterday after swearing-in an eight-member committee at State House in Dar es Salaam, a function that was attended by different leaders including the Attorney General (AG) George Masaju, Chief Secretary (CS) Ambassador John Kijazi, Ethics Secretariat Commissioner, Judge Harold Nsekela and top officials of the defence and security forces.

Four days ago, Dr Magufuli formed a committee of experts in the mining sector led by Prof Abdulkarim Mruma to examine mineral sand in various containers to establish the amount of minerals contained.

The probe team was given 20 days to accomplish its task and submit a report to President Magufuli. Apart from the committee chairman, others who were sworn- in yesterday are Prof Justianian Rwezaura Ikingula, Prof Joseph Bushweshaiga, Dr Yusuf Ngenya, Dr Joseph Yoweza Philip, Dr Ambrose Itika, Mohamed Zengo Makongoro and Hery Issa Gombela.

Speaking after swearing-in the committee members, Dr Magufuli said he decided to form a team of experienced scientists so that they can represent over 50 million Tanzanians who are eager to know the truth on their natural resource.

"Currently, the world is in the fight for a stronger economy, which among others include the mining sector, therefore, you need to fight for over 50 million people to establish the real truth," he said, advising the team to remain firm.

President Magufuli asked the team to observe sobriety, wisdom, expertise, love and patriotism for the nation by considering majority of Tanzanians who are still poor. Dr Magufuli gave the team an assurance that the government would offer them any support so that they can accomplish their task, urging them to use all the available equipment including various laboratories found in various government and other institutions.

"Go wherever you want, open all the containers wherever they are, take samples of sand so that you can know the amount of minerals contained in the sand and I am directing the security officials to make sure that no one is interfering into your job," he added.

According to him, after this committee, he also intends to form another committee comprising of economists and lawyers that will make a thorough assessment on the policy and Mining Act in order to gather more information on the mineral business in the country.

Earlier this month, President Magufuli banned investors from exporting mineral sand, directing the Energy and Mineral Minister, Professor Sospeter Muhongo to fully enforce the sanction. The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) said last week that it had discovered 262 containers of mineral sand pending exportation against Dr Magufuli's recent ban on the exportation of such.

Meanwhile, President Magufuli yesterday met the leader of the BAPS Hindu Community, Swaminarayan Sanstha, His Haines Mahant Swami Maharaj who is in the country for a seven- day official visit.

Dr Magufuli assured the Hindu leader that his government will continue strengthening cooperation with the latter's community and invited investors under the community to come and invest in the country in industries, agriculture and other areas of trade and investment.

"I have been impressed by your visit, as a country we have been collaborating with the Hindu community for a long time and I will be happy if you will complement government's efforts for industrialisation, therefore, I welcome you to come and put up industries and the government will offer you any support that you will require," he said.

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