MPs refuse to budge on power and mining contracts THE CITIZEN By Rodgers Luhwago, Dodoma The Government yesterday yielded to pressure by MPs to have a presidential commission report on mining debated for them to have a say on the final recommendations and implementation of the proposed sweeping changes in the sector. The MPs will now discuss in Parliament in Dodoma the Judge Bomani mining sector review report, which has recommended an overhaul of the mining laws. The lawmakers, who have in the past two days severely criticised the ministry of Energy and Minerals for the controversial mining and electricity supply contracts, won the Government concession during the winding up of the ministry's budget debate. It was eventually passed last evening. The report on mining, which was recently presented to President Jakaya Kikwete by the commission�s chairman, Judge Mark Bomani, has, among other things, proposed the establishment of the Minerals Authority (MRA) to oversee all mining ventures. The minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja, had omitted the report from his budget proposals, but the MPs demanded to know how the Government plans to curb the massive losses being incurred in the two sectors. The Deputy Speaker, Ms Anna Makinda, had yesterday morning announced that the report would be distributed to the MPs for debate. This was after the member for Mtera, Mr John Malecela, called for its debate and adoption. Mr Malecela, who is a former prime minister and the CCM vice-chairman, said that due to the fact that the Bomani report had raised pertinent issues on the mining sector, it was important for Parliament to discuss and make recommendations on its implementation. Contributing to the ministry's budget debate last evening, a majority of the MPs denounced suspect mining and power contracts and called for a thorough review or cancellation on some of them to save the country the immense losses. Biharamulo MP Jenister Mhagama, also of CCM, said she would not vote for the approval of the ministry�s budget, accusing it of making false promises every year to supply electricity to her constituents. Mr Christopher Ole Sendeka (CCM-Simanjiro) also called for debate of the mineral commission report and asked the Government to immediately implement its recommendations. Masasi MP (CCM) Reynald Mrope and Busanda�s Faustine Kabuzi echoed the sentiments. Mr Ole Sendeka warned the Government against repeating mistakes committed in past by signing bogus mining and power contracts, which he blamed on corruption and the inefficiency of some government officials. It is due the same reasons that we had Richmond/Dowans, Alstom Power Rentals and Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL), Mr Ole Sendeka said. He said that as the Tanesco management had terminated the emergency power contract with Dowans, the suspect agreements with other power private companies should also be scrapped. Mr Siraju Juma Kaboyonga (CCM-Tabora Urban) said the IPTL contract should also be terminated immediately, as it had become public knowledge that owners of the firm may have taken Tanesco for a ride. IPTL came under the arrangement for emergency power supply. What kind of emergency will last for 20 years? This contract is bad, it should be scrapped. Speaking on mining, Mr Kaboyonga said the Government should stop giving excessive tax incentives to mining companies, saying that the current gold price on the world market was good.