Tanzanians are being cheated out of the country’s mineral wealth and should take more control of their natural resources, President John Magufuli said.
Investors in Tanzania’s mining industry have “stolen” from the country by failing to distribute a fair share of the revenue they generate from gold and other minerals, Magufuli said in a speech in the central region of Singida on Tuesday.
“We are surrounded by wealth; we have to stand up and protect it,” he said. “It shouldn’t happen that we have all this wealth, sit on it, while others come and benefit from it by cheating us.”
Magufuli is overhauling the country’s mining industry as the government targets doubling its contribution to gross domestic product to 10 percent by 2025. In March, he banned mineral exports and ordered an audit that found London-based Acacia Mining Plc understated the taxes it owes Tanzania, a finding the company refuted.
The government this month approved laws that would enable the state to renegotiate contracts with mining and energy companies. The dispute between Acacia and the government escalated over the past two weeks after the authorities detained at least two of the company’s senior employees for questioning.
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