AGAIN, the very people we had trusted with the country’s lucrative mineral sector have disappointed the nation.
A detailed analysis by the Mruma team says an “investor” in the diamond mine colluded with some felons, who passed as government employees, to dupe the country billions of shillings.
The mineral owner and his accomplices on the government’s payroll under-declared the value of the mineral, pegging it at 14.7 million US dollars (about 33bn/-) against the gemstone’s real value of 29.5 million dollars (over 66bn/-).
Fortunately, the consignment was intercepted at Julius Nyerere International Airport, few minutes before being airlifted. The tough questions that still linger on the minds of many Tanzanians are: how many times this theft has been committed; and how much the country has lost, so far?
And, the under-declaration saga aside, two parliamentary committees have just submitted their investigative reports, with sickening revelations in the Tanzanite and Diamond dealings.
The Speaker Job Ndugai formed committees’ reports have already swept a minister and deputy minister from their offices. The reports have in a way proved wrong serious accusations by majority of Tanzanians against foreign investors, especially in the mining sector.
Grievances are rife that the country receives unfair share from its mineral wealth and investors stand indiscriminately accused of their exploitative approach. But, it seems we are ourselves, Tanzanians, to blame.
It’s our fellow Tanzanians, some of them highly respected national leaders, who have spearheaded thievery of the national resources. Some insatiable Tanzanians deemed it fit to give away what is a reserve of all 50 million plus Tanzanians for a mere token, which will have little, if any, benefits to their personal and family needs.
And, that speaks volume why we genuinely support President John Magufuli’s directive to have all those implicated in swindling the country thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and their ill acquired wealth confiscated.
That way, the traitors will get two major lessons: One, thievery is a crime...it doesn’t matter whether the criminal is a politician, scholar, national leader or just a mere layman...and, it doesn’t matter when but one day, you will be caught.
Two, it pains to live poorly in an endowed country. Some villains in public offices, with all the resources to plunder, take for granted the cries by majority of citizens about destitution. Confiscation of their dirty wealth will subject them to the agonies they have for decades subjected the rest of Tanzanians.
And, yes, Speaker Job Ndugai said it all: it’s high time political parties reviewed the calibre of people they sponsor in civic elections to get rid of thieves in the political elite.