TANZANITE traders have been cautioned to get prepared psychologically in legal trade of the minerals as the government vows to stop shoddy deals that shrouded the business.
The Deputy Minister for Minerals, Mr Stanslaus Nyongo said here that many people were used to black-market business which he said its days were over and legal action will ensue once procedures are complete. The newly appointed minister was speaking on his first tour of the area where tanzanite is mined.
He was there to see the development of the fence that is being constructed on the order of President John Magufuli as well as set up the international auction of the mineral.
Mr Nyongo said people who used to get money from shoddy deals in Tanzanite and other minerals should prepare themselves to do other economic activities so that life does not turn difficult for them as all illegal loopholes will be blocked by the government.
The deputy minister said the action being taken by the Fifth Phase Government is geared towards ensuring that all Tanzanians benefit from the mines bestowed to the country, as opposed to what was used to be, where few people and even other countries benefited from the mineral that is only mined in Tanzania.
“For a long time the minerals have been taken from the country through dubious means, but now I want to tell all those who got involved in such business that the end has come, so they should be lined up to trade legally or get out of the business,” said the deputy minister.
He said the government has discovered some avenues that are used to deny it its revenue from taxes, calling for all traders to stop doing business as usual as times have changed and all have to change with it.
The minister called upon other government institutions to cooperate so that construction of the wall around the area that tanzanite is mined is completed effectively.
He warned those who have been awarded tenders to supply construction materials not to hike the price, saying the work was basically volunteering in nature by the National Service and it was not a commercial project.
Simanjiro District Commissioner, Mr Stephen Chaula told the deputy minister that there were some challenges in the work as some vehicles were seized for different traffic offences, but the district authorities were in talks with respective bodies to avert such challenges by putting special stickers on vehicles in the project.
The Chief Operations Officer in the construction of the wall, Colonel Charles Mbuge said that the work progress is good and that the 24.5 kilometer wall is expected to be completed in the coming six months or before that time.
“The work is going on well, we have already laid foundation for 20 kilometer wall, the remaining four are on a hard rock so we have already brought experts to break the same.
Generally we are fine at work,” said Colonel Mbuge. The deputy minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Professor Simon Msanjila. In September this year, President Magufuli ordered the construction of the fence so as to control mining and sale of Tanzanite.