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Confirmed: A dissenting voice in mining review team

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2008
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    Confirmed: A dissenting voice in mining review team

    -It was David Tarimo from Price WaterhouseCoopers

    Dar es Salaam

    AT least one member of the presidential mining sector review committee did not appendage his signature to the final report presented to President Jakaya Kikwete at State House in Dar es Salaam last week, it has been confirmed.

    THISDAY has also confirmed that the dissenting committee member is David Tarimo, a tax expert from PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the city, who it is understood opted to distance himself from the report’s recommendations for various sweeping tax and royalty reforms in the mining sector.

    Contacted for comment yesterday, Committee Chairman Judge (rtd) Mark Bomani, conceded for the first time that it was true one of the committee members did not sign the final report, but declined to name him.

    Judge Bomani also asserted that the committee member’s failure to sign was because he (committee member) was out of the country during the finalization and presentation of the report to President Kikwete.

    Still, investigations by THISDAY have established that Tarimo in fact refused to endorse the report because he did have a big beef with regard to what it spelled out on the subject of mining tax reforms.

    It has also been strongly hinted that the position taken by the PriceWaterhouse Coopers representative was based on his allegiance to foreign mining companies operating in the country, that often seek advice from him and the company he works for.

    Informed sources say Tarimo was indeed abroad when the final report was being prepared, hence he did not subscribe to a proposal for a dramatic increase in tax that could draw protests from the mining companies in question.

    And according to Judge Bomani: ’’Even though this one member was not in the country when the report and its recommendations were being finalized, his absence makes no difference. The other 11 committee members all signed and endorsed the document.’’

    Without naming names, the mining review committee chairman said he considers ’’the member’’ (Tarimo) to have also endorsed the report since he had ample time and opportunity to submit any counter-suggestions for inclusion in the final report.

    ’’It’s clear that there was no alternative view because if he had any recommendations which were contrary to what the majority of the members agreed, he could have submitted them before the deadline we were given,’’ Judge Bomani asserted.

    ’’All the same, it is our belief that everything still went smoothly enough,’’ he added.

    Other committee members who endorsed the report were parliamentary legislators Dr Harrison Mwakyembe (Kyela-CCM), Ezekiel Maige (Msalala-CCM), Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-CHADEMA) and John Cheyo (Bariadi East-UDP).

    Also government officials Maria Kejo (Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Edward Kihundwa (Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development), Mugisha Kamugisha (Ministry of Finance) and Salome Makange (Ministry of Energy and Minerals).

    And rounding up the team were Peter Machunde from the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, former cabinet minister Idd Simba and Judge Bomani himself.

    According to THISDAY investigations, Tarimo � after being absent from the committee’s activities for about one and a half months - officially wrote a letter to Bomani dated May 9, this year, voicing his opposition to many of the proposals made by other members, especially on tax adjustments.

    In the letter, Tarimo is understood to have proposed that an independent expert be brought in to assist with the final report work, especially in the area of tax recommendations.

    However, the committee decided against this idea since there was hardly a week left before the deadline to submit the report to President Kikwete was due.

    The president appointed the committee in November last year, giving it a timeline of about six months to complete its review and report back to him.

    His decision to form the committee was made on the back of a growing public outcry over what are widely-perceived as poor benefits for the country from its own mineral resources, against windfall profits reaped by the foreign mining companies.

    The Minister for Finance, Mustafa Mkulo, has already strongly hinted that the upcoming 2008/09 budget will target the mining companies as most existing tax holidays are up for abolition while various tax and royalty rates are set to be raised.