DAR ES SALAAM, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Tanzanian President John Magufuli has ordered a review of a Petra Diamonds Ltd contract and asked senior public officials to resign over the outcome of an investigation into the mining sector, he said on Thursday.
One minister quit his post as requested, state-run television reported. The moves are the latest attempt by Magufuli to tighten control over the mining industry to boost government revenues and stamp out alleged corruption. “I have endorsed all the recommendations of the parliamentary probe committees for the review of the Williamson diamond mine contract,” Magufuli said in a televised broadcast.
London-listed Petra has a 75 percent stake in the mine, while the government owns the rest. The company’s shares fell as much as 3.5 percent, but had trimmed losses to trade down 1 percent at 90 pence by 1516 GMT.
Petra said in a statement that its business was conducted in a transparent manner and that it had complied with all legislation in Tanzania. The mine accounted for 18 percent of Petra’s revenue last year.
A parliamentary committee said there were “gross irregularities” in the manner in which the Tanzanian government diluted its shareholding in Williamson from an initial 50 percent to the current 25 percent.