8 September 2017

Tanzania: Mruma Declared Hero in Battle for Minerals

Photo: The Citizen
The Minister of State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) George Simbachawene

WHEN two Parliamentary committees on Wednesday unveiled their investigative reports on Tanzanite and Diamond mining and trade in the country, anxiety started to pile up over those implicated, including Professor Abdulkarim Mruma.

To most people it might have appeared as disappointment considering that he had already gained special reputation as far as the country's fighting for fair share in the minerals was concerned.

It was him who heeded the Presidential committee to investigate and establish the amount of minerals and its val ue, contained in mineral sand exported abroad. His committee, which handed over its report to President John Magufuli in May this year, uncovered sickening thievery done by mining firms.

But, when Parliamentary committees on Tanzanite and Diamond submitted their reports to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday before he handed them over to President Magufuli yesterday, speculations had started to spread among the public that Prof Mruma is not going to be spared if the Head of State would take actions on those implicated.

The report on Diamond mentioned Prof Mruma because he was Board Member of Williamson Diamonds Limited, Diamond Mine at Mwadui which is accused of involving in diamond fraud.

But, it was against what many had expected when President Magufuli yesterday disclosed that it was Prof Mruma who was behind success of obtaining all confidential information from the mining firms, enabling the compilation of the probe reports.

For Mruma's case, Dr Magufuli started explaining over military techniques used during a war as he associated the ongoing fighting for fair share in minerals to a 'real war'. "Since this is a war... we are trying to use war techniques," he began as he narrated that during the war the army uses technique of sending some of its soldiers to become part of the enemies.

Those soldiers work with the enemies against their army only to collect the information for the benefit of their army. "These soldiers are risking their lives... they either live or die ... because there is huge possibility for them being killed when identified," he stated, adding, "these soldiers may be killed by enemies or by their army when attacking the rival army."

"Now let me tell you that in this process, there are Tanzanians whom we have sent as soldiers... they settle and work with the mining firms as part of them... for instance, the issue of diamond... the people who do this job, it may surprise you, one of them is Professor Mruma who discovered these wrongdoings," he disclosed.

"He was the one who was giving us information which led us to know that our minerals were stolen... it is the same story of a soldier sent to the rival army," he concluded.

President Magufuli pointed out that it was through patriotic Tanzanians that the government has managed to access all sensitive information from the mining companies operating in the country, including how they communicated through email and plotted to steal the minerals.

"When you look at what are being done it's like we are not yet independent... the true independence is economic freedom," he insisted. He went on saying the spies managed to capture sensitive information from the computers of gold mining companies over their operations and deals they have done, a move which has forced the companies seeking audience with the government.

He said the talks with those companies are still ongoing but the government has never disclosed its officials who engage in talks with the companies for security reasons.

He further wondered some of the mining companies threatening to retrench some workers due to ongoing ban on mineral concentrates, saying he could be happy if the companies surrender the mines so that the government allows the Tanzanians to own the mines.

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