Kiwira privatization scandal: THE Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) has returned the official file of TANPOWER Resources Limited, the controversial private company set up by ex-president Benjamin Mkapa and his former minister Daniel Yona, to the Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA) in Dar es Salaam, it has been learnt. According to informed sources, the governments anti-corruption watchdog sent the TANPOWER Resources file back to BRELA mid-last week, just days after the highly-controversial Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) meetings in Dodoma. The said company has long been associated with the Kiwira coal mine privatization scandal, with both Mkapa and Yona established as key figures. It is understood that PCCB has for quite some time now been studying TANPOWER Resources Ltds company registration records, including details of its high-profile shareholders and resolutions of various board meetings, all contained in the BRELA file. However, our sources did not clarify whether or not the timing of the decision to return the file to the registration and licensing authority had anything to do with what transpired during the Dodoma meetings of the ruling partys top decision-making organs. The highly-charged meeting of CCMs national executive committee (NEC), for instance, culminated with an order for ruling party members of parliament to either stop publicly accusing Mkapa in particular of corruption and abuse of office allegations, or risk expulsion from the party. The allegations against Mkapa are linked in part to his decisive role in the murky 2005 Kiwira coal mine privatization saga, from his position as president at the time. Contacted by THISDAY yesterday, BRELA Assistant Registrar Noel Shani confirmed that the TANPOWER Resources Ltd file was back in the authoritys possession after spending a considerable amount of time with the PCCB. Officials close to PCCB have in the past had occasion to assert that the Bureau had opened an official investigation into the Kiwira mine privatization deal, and that the investigation had reached an advanced stage with the growing possibility of imminent indictments of a number of people involved. According to THISDAY findings, TANPOWER Resources Ltd was established and registered by Mkapa, Yona and several of their closest relatives back in 2004, when both were president and minister responsible for energy and minerals respectively. The companys first shareholders included Mkapa himself, the then first lady Anna Mkapa, their son Nicholas and his wife Foster Mbuna, minister Yona and his son Danny Yona, Nicholas Mkapa�s father-in-law Joseph Mbuna (recently deceased), and others. According to the initial memorandum of association, a key objective of the newly-formed company was to engage in coal mining and power generation activities. In 2005, the hitherto state-owned Kiwira coal mine in Mbeya Region was sold to TANPOWER Resources, at a frighteningly cheap price and in a remarkably fast-tracked privatization deal. It was then placed under the restructured Kiwira Coal and Power Company Limited (KCPC). Under this deal, TANPOWER Resources gained 85 per cent ownership of the mine, while the government remained with a token 15 per cent stake. It was later learnt that the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), under undue pressure from top government levels, had signed a $271.8m contract with KCPC for the supply of 400 megawatts of coal-fired electricity. But this project has so far failed miserably to get off the ground. More recent developments have seen the government announce its decision to regain 100 per cent ownership of the Kiwira mine, after TANPOWER Resources Ltd reportedly agreed to relinquish its entire majority stake. Incumbent Energy and Minerals Minister William Ngeleja also declared recently that the government has secured a $400m (approx. 540bn/-) loan from China to enable the generation of 200MW of electricity from the Kiwira mine. Valued at 7bn/- in 1991 � a figure still widely regarded as being conservative � the Kiwira coal mine was sold off to TANPOWER Resources for just 700m/-. The government has also said that as part of the buyback plan, it will reimburse the families of both Mkapa and Yona for costs incurred during the four years or so that TANPOWER Resources has been running the mine. Such reimbursement plans have, however, been strongly rejected by the parliamentary energy and minerals committee, which demands instead that TANPOWER Resources return to the state some 17bn/- in misappropriated funds disbursed by the government for development of the mine.