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Kiwira mine grinds to a halt: Workers growing disgruntled, investor shies away

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Apr 28, 2009
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    Kiwira coal mine grinds to a halt: Workers growing disgruntled as, suddenly, investors nowhere to be seen

    Dar es Salaam

    INVESTORS in the controversial, formerly state-owned Kiwira Coal Mine in Mbeya Region are reported to have all but abandoned the project, leaving about 500 workers without salaries or management, THISDAY has learnt.

    According to the reports, the situation has deteriorated to the extent that the workers are now on an extended go-slow, awaiting news on when they may expect to be paid salary arrears stretching back 10 months.

    Sources from within the workers community at the mine confirmed that the mine is now in a deplorable condition, all coal mining activities have stopped, and the workers are just marking time for the time being, ostensibly waiting for the investors to show up.

    ’’Even the boilers, which were once used to produce electricity when the mine was still in government hands, have started to rust, so that not even a small amount of electricity can be produced now,’’ a source told THISDAY.

    ’’The workers are still here at the mine, doing menial jobs like cutting grass, because they do not want to leave without receiving their rightful payment dues for all the years they have worked here. If one leaves, he forfeits all his dues,’’ the source said.

    The reports are the latest development in a long-running saga regarding the future of the previously state-owned mine following its dubiously-executed 2005 privatization and takeover by TANPOWER Resources Limited, a private company whose senior shareholders included and continue to include close relatives of the then president Benjamin Mkapa and then energy and minerals minister Daniel Yona.

    And when contacted for comment on the latest situation at the mine yesterday, the long-serving TANPOWER Resources Chief Executive Officer Francis Kabalo made it known that he was no longer an employee of the company.

    ’’I don’t work for that company any more. So I don’t know anything about what is going on down there (at the mine),’’ Kabalo said curtly over the phone.

    According to our sources, the mine workers are growing more and more disgruntled by the day, and are now wondering why the government is taking so long to present its official stand on the issue of the mine’s future.

    Narrated one source: ’’Sometime last year, we had a visitation to the mine from the parliamentary energy and minerals committee (chaired by William Shelukindo). They seemed to be sympathetic to our plight, especially when we told them about not being paid our salaries for so long. We thought they would go back to Dar es Salaam or wherever, and do something. But nothing ever came out of it.’’

    It is understood that the workers are even harbouring serious nostalgic thoughts of the days when the mine was still a government property.

    ’’In those days, we were paid every month, we had food, we had clothes, our children went to school without any problems,’’ the sources recalled.

    According to previous THISDAY findings, an unnamed Israeli company was at one point all set to enter into partnership with TANPOWER Resources to implement their end of a lucrative, 271m/- contract with the state-owned Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) for the supply of 200 megawatts of coal-fired electricity into the national power grid.

    Under the terms of the contract, this power was supposed to have become available in stages from last year. However, nothing has been forthcoming so far.

    It is however, understood that after initially showing interest to pump money into the project, the Israeli company has since decided that such an investment would be too risky given the cloud of controversy surrounding the project and in particular the ethical justification of its links with ex-president Mkapa.

    Following the 2005 ’fast-track’ privatization exercise apparently engineered by Mkapa and Yona in their capacities as president and minister responsible for minerals at the time, TANPOWER Resources now holds 85 per cent of shares in the Kiwira mine, with the government retaining just 15 per cent shares.
  2. S

    Silas A.K JF-Expert Member

    Apr 28, 2009
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    Jamani ni Francis Tabaro (former Mobitel employee) siyo Francis Kabalo na hilo la lon-serving employee mhh siliafiki!
  3. J

    Jamco_Za JF-Expert Member

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    Baada ya watanzania kushtuka kuwa kuna mkataba feki unakuja wa kiwira kuwazia TANESCO umeme jamaa wameamua kuingia mitini maana sasa mradi haulipi bila kuuza umeme kwa TANESCO kwa bei ghari kwa miaka 50 ijayo
  4. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    2009-06-06 07:26:00

    Ngeleja: Kiwira on track


    Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja addresses a news conference in Dr es Salaam yesterday gestures during a meeting with editors from various media houses in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
    By Ray Naluyaga

    The Government will soon make a major decision on the controversial Kiwira coalmine investment project, Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja said in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

    However, the nature of the State's intervention that will determine the future of the project, in which former President Benjamin Mkapa's name has featured, will have to be announced in Parliament, which resumes on the next few days.

    Though he would not disclose the details, Mr Ngeleja hinted at the revival of the stalled electricity generation scheme that has been plagued by a public outcry over its privatisation in 2005.

    Addressing a press conference attended by senior editors and reporters, the minister said Kiwira Coal Mine, which had been expected to generate 200MW of electricity by this year, had failed to take off due to the controversy over its ownership.
    Prospective Chinese investors, he added, had held back their $400 million expansion plans.

    He said the Government was keen to see over Sh4 billion-power generation project implemented by 2011 to boost electricity supply to the national power grid.

    Mr Ngeleja also announced that the much-awaited Bill to enact new mining laws would be tabled in Parliament in Dodoma during the Budget session beginning on Tuesday, quelling fears that preparations for it had been delayed. The Government appears keen fast track the Bill in preparation for new mining tax measures expected to be announced by Finance minister Mustafa Mkulo, when he delivers the 2009/10 Budget.

    Should Mr Ngeleja finally issue the Government's statement on Kiwira in Parliament, as promised yesterday, it will be in response to pressure from the public, especially Opposition politicians, who have in the past questioned the manner in which it was privatized, alleging corruption.

    The Kiwira debate has largely targeted former President Mkapa and Mr Daniel Yona, who served as the Energy and Minerals minister in his administration. The two are accused of unprocedurally acquiring the mine.

    Some MPs have called for the prosecution of Mr Mkapa and Mr Yona over the sale of the mine to Tanpower Resources Company Limited, which has been linked d to them. The MPs petitioned the Government to state its official stand on the sale.

    Reports say that while the coalmine and its vast infrastructure were constructed at an estimated cost of Sh4.29 billion in the 1980s, Tanpower Resources Company bought it for only Sh700 million in 2005.

    Kiwira Coal Mine was one of the projects that Tanzanian Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) had hoped would generate 200MW this year to cushion the national grid, which faces a shortfall of over 100MW.

    Yesterday, Minister Ngeleja who called the press conference to outline his ministry�s successes and plans ahead of next week�s Budget, said the Kiwira sale controversy had scared away potential investors.

    The country has been badly affected by this and employees' remuneration claims amounting to Sh1billion, as of now. I will be presenting the full report Parliament during the Budget session, said Mr Ngeleja.

    The minister said lack of investment in electricity generating infrastructure was to blame for the unstable power supply.

    Since 1990, when Tanesco was placed under PSRC for privatisation, no new investment was made. Net Group Solution, a company contracted to manage the firm, was doing nothing but collecting money. Today, Tanesco sets aside 15 per cent of its monthly revenue for investment in infrastructure, he said.

    The minister said Tanesco was now losing 23 per cent of its electricity in transmission and distribution, which was high considering the accepted global average of 10 per cent.

    The Government, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), was implementing $206.5 million power projects to ease the electricity shortage.

    The Government, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB), is also implementing Sh60 billion eelectricity projects in Magu, Bariadi, Bukombe, Namanga, Longido, Kinondoni North and South, Ilala and Temeke, as well as rehabilitating substations in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

    Other electricity projects include the $111.5 million Tanzania Energy Development and Access Project (TEDAP) which aims at improving and strengthening the National Grid, availability and distribution of electricity, as well as encouraging alternative energy uses.

    On the mining sector, Mr Ngeleja said the country had received corporate tax payments from one of the largest investors in the sector, Geita Gold Mine.

    He praised prudent inspection by Tanzania Revenue Authority and his ministry�s officials for the achievement.

    The company was projected to start paying Corporate Tax in 2006, after breaking even six years since its inception. The Government is now imposing Corporate Tax going back to 2005, said Mr Ngeleja.

    He said the company had paid Sh2.8 billion in taxes for 2005. Until 2008, it had paid royalties amounting to $52 million and $43 million in other taxes
  5. M

    Magezi JF-Expert Member

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    Kwa hiyo mkataba ulivunjwa au?
  6. Waberoya

    Waberoya JF-Expert Member

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    Serikali kutokuwa makini kushughulikia matatizo ya ufisadi na mikataba mibovu inawatesa sana raia.
  7. Ndahani

    Ndahani JF-Expert Member

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    Kuna wakati katika maisha ni rahisi kukikimbia kivuli chako mwenyewe, hasa pale unapokutana na simba mwenye njaa akakukimbiza. Hata kama ulimuacha mbali, kukiona kivuli chako unaweza kudhani yule simba bado anakukumbuka.
  8. M

    Mtanzania JF-Expert Member

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    Kadri wanavyochelewesha hili suala ndivyo watakavyokuta huo mgodi uko chakavu ile mbaya. Kibaya zaidi Wafanyakazi wana hali ngumu na imefika wakati wanachukua kila kitu wanachokiona kina thamani.

    Huu mgodi umewashinda akina Mkapa baada ya investors kuukimbia shauri ya ufisadi. Itakuwa jambo la maana kama serikali itautaifisha na kuweka pesa upya kwa faida ya nchi na hao wafanyakazi ambao wanautegemea huo mgodi.

    Wakati akina Yona na Mkapa bado wanafaidi pesa zao, hao wafanyakazi kule Kiwira wana hali mbaya sana.

    Kama tamko la Ngeleja ni sahihi basi utakuwa ukombozi mkubwa sana kwa hao wafanyakazi. Muhimu itakuwa serikali kutaifisha kwanza maana vinginevyo akina Mkapa na Yona wataishia kufaidika zaidi.