Trouble brewing in mining review team?


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007
Trouble brewing in mining review team?

-Judge Bomani denies reports of internal disagreements over final proposals

Dar es Salaam

AT least one member of the presidential-appointed mining sector review committee is reported to be at loggerheads with some of the recommendations contained in the final report due to be formally submitted to President Jakaya Kikwete in a matter of days from now.

According to informed sources, the non-conforming committee members have even declined to sign their names on the report poised to be presented to the president, citing 'serious disagreements' with some recommendations.

The much-anticipated report is expected to make crucial recommendations to the government for major reforms in areas like mining sector legislation and tax revenue structure.

Among other things, it is believed the report will offer a sufficiently candid analysis of several controversial mining deals in the country, including the privatisation of the Kiwira Coal Mine and the Buzwagi mineral development agreement.

Similarly dubious mining projects involving the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), in particular the mysterious Meremeta/TANGOLD and Mwananchi Gold affairs are also expected to be critically reviewed in the report.

However, when contacted for comment, committee chairman Judge (rtd) Mark Bomani dismissed the reports of members of his team not seeing eye to eye on the recommendations.

''We have concluded our work very nicely and are already seeking an audience with the president, so we can formally submit our report. No one has any problems with our report findings,'' Bomani told THISDAY yesterday.

Asked to confirm if all the committee members had signed the final report document, he said: ''I certainly don't have any problem and other members of the committee are also okay with our work�we are just waiting to be called to present our report to the president.''

Government officials say the Bomani committee was earlier scheduled to formally submit its report to President Kikwete at State House in Dar es Salaam last Sunday morning, but the event was later postponed.

There have been various reports in recent weeks that apparent delays in presenting the report to President Kikwete could be caused by disagreements between some of the committee members on the final list of recommendations.

According to the reports, members of the committee drawn from the political opposition camp were not so keen about some of the recommendations, preferring tougher wording to be adopted in the final document.

When contacted by THISDAY, Kigoma North Member of Parliament Zitto Kabwe (CHADEMA) - who is a member of the committee - said he fully supported the report findings as they stood.

''I cannot betray other committee members with whom we've worked so hard to compile this report. I would urge you to please be patient until the report is formally presented to the president, and then made public,'' Zitto told THISDAY.

Other members of the presidential mining sector review committee drawn from the National Assembly are Bariadi East legislator John Cheyo (UDP), Dr Harrison Mwakyembe (Kyela-CCM), and Ezekiel Maige (Msalala-CCM).

Also in the team are Ms Maria Kejo from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Edward Kihundwa from the Ministry of Land, Housing and Human Settlement, Mugisha Kamugisha from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, and Ms Salome Makange from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

Peter Machunde from the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE), Pricewaterhouse Coopers� tax administration expert David Tarimo, and former industries and trade minister Iddi Simba are other notable members of the committee.

The Minister for Finance, Mustafa Mkulo, has already hinted that the government is likely to make a major announcement in its 2008/09 budget proposals next month on various revisions to the country's tax structure for mining companies.

According to Mkulo, the government could earn up to 10 times more than the revenue it is currently collecting from the sector, if all the major mining firms paid taxes as required.

The Bomani committee's report is expected to provide much input for the budget presentation scheduled for mid-next month.
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