Ngeleja ducks query on secretive entities By Rodgers Luhwago, Dodoma THE CITIZEN The puzzle surrounding the ownership of Meremeta and Tangold mining companies could not get an answer in Parliament on Wednesday evening despite MPs calling for an explanation from Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja. MPs had expected Mr Ngeleja to offer an explanation when winding up the debate on his ministry's budget estimates he had tabled on Tuesday morning. Shadow Minister for Energy and Minerals Mohammed Habib Mnyaa (CUF-Mkanyageni) wanted minister to clarify on the matter after the opposition camp rejected answers provided by Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda about two weeks ago. Mr Ngeleja told the august House that he could not give any other explanation, saying Mr Pinda had already responded to the questions. As we all might be aware, the Prime Minister talked about this subject in this House recently, and I have nothing to add to what he has said. What I can promise is I will present this matter to him again, Mr Ngeleja told legislators. Since the beginning of the 12th parliamentary session, the opposition camp has been pressing the Government to explain who owned the two companies. Information provided by the opposition on Tuesday showed that South African firm Triennex owned 50 per cent of the shares with the Treasury owning the rest. It is said that Meremeta has been an offshore firm since it was registered in the UK on August 19,1997 and was awarded a certificate of registration No.342450 before it was presented with a certificate of compliance No.32755 on October 3,1997 in Tanzania. The opposition wanted the Government to reveal the names of individuals who owned shares in the firm. Mr Pinda told Parliament a fortnight ago that it was not possible to give a detailed explanation on the subject because the operations of the company had close links with the security of the state since the firm was under the control of the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF). The need to investigate Meremeta and give an explanation has also been raised by the presidential commission on minerals chaired by Judge Mark Bomani. The commission wants the matter investigated to establish how and when Meremeta and TanGold were established. The commission wants the investigation to establish how the Tanzanian government was involved in the establishment of the companies and the legitimacy of the $132 million paid by the Bank of Tanzania to South Africa's Nedbank.