Tanzania: President Tightens Security in Mines to Prevent Theft

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Image: Reuters Africa

President John Magufuli of Tanzania on Wednesday ordered the military to surround the tanzanite mines with walls so as to keep thieves away from the mines. He also urged the Central Bank to buy the precious stone to boost reserves.

“All tanzanite gemstones will be controlled and will pass through one gate and he (Magufuli) ordered the (central) Bank of Tanzania to take part in the tanzanite buying trade,” a statement from the presidency said.

The president accuses mining firms in Tanzania of cheating Tanzania off its share of the proceeds that come from the mine through tax dodging and smuggling.

According to the President, Tanzania only gets 5% of the mine proceeds. He has therefore decided to tighten the security around the mine and has ordered the military to build walls with security cameras and checkpoints around all tanzanite mining concessions in northern Tanzania “to control illegal mining and trading activities,”.

“Even if someone swallows some tanzanite gemstones, they will be detected at the proposed checkpoint,” Magufuli said.