By TZ Business News Staff.
(Editor’s Note: The website apologized for numerous typos in this story which have now been corrected).
The Tanzania Government has warned cheats in the minerals sector who include thieves and smugglers times have changed; anyone planning to steal minerals from Tanzania is choosing a jail term or getting bankrupted, the Government has warned.
The Tanzania Minerals Minister, Doto Biteko, issued the warning in Dar es Salaam on June 29, 2019 during a minerals handover ceremony at which the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Biswalo Mganga handed over to the Ministry of Finance and Planning all the minerals and foreign currency confiscated from cheats between 2017 and 2019.
“The Government led by President John Pombe Magufuli is determined to guard mineral resources,” Biteko told the gathering called to witness handover of the nationalized minerals and foreign currency–a gathering which included journalists.
“Let me request everyone involved in mining; if you have a looting spirit, find other work to do,” the Minister warned. “Stealing from the minerals sector is now a thing of the past. If you steal you will be looking for only two things. You will be looking for a jail sentence and you will be looking for poverty. We do not want to see a person getting bankrupted because of this matter.”
The minister said Tanzania’s image had been seriously tarnished by cheats in this sector. There are con artists who send photographs to Dubai claiming they have gold to sell then they ask for money when they do not have gold. There is also another group outside the country selling fake gold.
“People are bringing complaints at our office they are being conned by Tanzanians. We are going to fight to get rid of this national shame in which we look like a nation of cheats who live by conning people.
“Let me ask Tanzanians of this– let us change; times have changed. We must become a nation of trustworthy people,” Biteko said. “The tax payable is only 7%. If you have minerals worth one billion [Tshillings] 7% is 70 million; this means 930 million is all yours. Why risk losing 930 million because of 70 million?”
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the DPP said the government had nationalized a total of 343.354 kilos of gold as a result of winning economic sabotage court cases. The Government had also nationalized over 75 tons of the rhodolite colored stones, a gemstone, and an assortment of confiscated foreign currencies equivalent to Tshillings 1,023,608,515/20
All the nationalized minerals and cash are linked to economic sabotage court cases in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.
The DPP said it is required by law that all nationalized minerals and money be handed over to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning because that is the custodian of such property.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Doto James said the money will be used for development projects such as roads, schools, medical facilities.