DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 8 — Tanzanian parliamentary investigative committee on diamonds and tanzanite mining said on Wednesday the industry was marred with corruption, secrecy, cheating, tax evasion and negligence by government officials causing losses of millions of U.S. dollars to the east African nation.
A parliamentary committee tasked to investigate diamonds mining in the central region of Shinyanga revealed that weak mining contracts entered by corrupt government officials with mining companies was a thorn in the flesh to the country. Submitting its findings to the National Assembly in the political capital Dodoma, the chairman of the committee, Mussa Hassan Zungu, said there were conflicting data on the actual amount of diamond transported outside the country among various government institutions. At one point, said Zungu, one government official he declined to mention was given a diamond gift worth millions of dollars. “The diamond gift was given to the senior government official during one of his tours to the site in Shinyanga region some years ago,” Zungu told the august House.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai, presented the report to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa who will also present it to President John Magufuli. On July 5 the National Assembly formed a nine-man investigative team to assess how Tanzania was benefiting from diamond mining. The investigative team looked at regulation, ownership and diamond mining, said Speaker Ndugai. He said the team drawing Members of Parliament from the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi and the opposition camp worked for 30 days before submitting its report. In June, Tanzanian President Magufuli suspended issuance of new mining licenses to investors until after the government reorganizes itself.He said minerals, including gold, that were being mined in the country were natural resources that belonged to Tanzanians and that his administration would never tolerate seeing a few individuals benefiting from the country’s natural resources, leaving majority of Tanzanians swimming in poverty. – XINHUA