20 September 2017

Tanzania: JPM Directs Fencing of Mirerani Tanzanite Mine

Photo: The Citizen
President John Magufuli

Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli has directed the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) to build a wall perimeter around the Mirerani Tanzanite Mine in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region.

The fence will cover blocks A, B, C and D at the 81.99km square of the Mererani mining site.

Dr Magufuli made the directive Wednesday September 20 as he was launching the newly constructed 26km tarmac road from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to Mirerani.

He said the decision aimed to control irregularities and smuggling of tanzanite.

"I want the wall to be built immediately to reassure safety of our unique resource. It will have only one gate and detailed security equipment that will have a capacity of detecting whatever cheating that may be made," he said.

The move, according to the head of state, will also help to add value to and the price of Tanzania's unique gemstone at the world market.

"I was so saddened by the findings of the reports from a Parliamentary probe team formed by Speaker Job Ndugai. It shows how much the resource did benefit the few. I don't want this to happen again," he added.

In his speech, President Magufuli commended the Simanjiro MP, Mr James ole Millya (Chadema), for being concerned with the challenges facing his people, urging him to keep his spirit.

According to the President, the opposition law-maker can be taken as a role model as he has kept aside the political differences with the ruling party for the betterment of the people.

"Mr Ole Millya is doing a great job as he was groomed in the ruling party's youth wing --UVCCM. So, we have made a big contribution towards making him who he is today," he said.

"He might be in the opposition physically, but with the CCM blood," added Dr Magufuli.

Earlier, Mr Ole Millya appealed to President Magufuli to intervene in land conflicts in Simanjiro as the issue had been a public outcry for a long time.

Without mentioning names, the lawmaker said one of the CCM chairpersons in the region had illegally grabbed a big chunks of land for personal use.

"The plot was being used by the public for their economic activities. We ask for your immediate intervention in order that our people can continue with their activities as they are stuck," said the law maker.

The Manyara Regional Commissioner, Dr Joel Bendera, apart from thanking President Magufuli for his tour, asked him to facilitate the construction of water projects in the district as the problem has persisted for a long time.

Responding to the concerns, the president pledged to work on water challenge, saying the government was eyeing the big project from River Ruvu.

"I know there is a water project worth Sh45 billion. So, the government is concerned too about the challenge," he explained.

He also directed regional and district leaders to be close to their people in order to make them be in a better position of addressing the challenges that are within their capacities.

Earlier, on his welcoming remarks, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the road would ease the transportation of goods and commodities in the northern regions, and open other development opportunities.

"Moreover, it provides a quick link to the people of Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions," he said, adding that the project was funded by the government by 100 per cent at a cost of Sh32.5 billion

President Magufuli is in a three-day official visit to Manyara and Arusha regions.

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