WITH the mineral dust still to settle, the committee formed by the speaker of Parliament, Job Ndugai, to probe contracts, operations and export of Tanzanite, a unique gemstone that is only found in this country, recently hit the ball rolling.
This is part of the mine sector clean up that was initiated by President John Magufuli when he set two committees to probe operations behind mineral sand.
The two committees revealed massive deception and thievery that had hogged the sector for a long time, causing the government to lose trillions of shillings in revenue. This saw efforts to clean up the sector being taken and resulted in several laws governing the sector being reviewed for the benefit of the country.
On the other hand, the Speaker formed a committee to probe Tanzanite.
The nine-man team, led by Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Energy and Minerals, Mr Doto Biteko started its tour of duty by meeting with local government leaders and artisanal miners at Mirerani town hall, where it heard their presentations, complaints as well as recommendations for the way forward.
The team also took time to move out of the hall to meet a mushrooming group of small-scale miners who had gathered outside chanting and holding posters that relayed different messages, centering on the need to amend the laws in favour of artisanal miners.
The move by the committee to go to the grass roots and dig out information is a positive move in fixing this puzzle.
Despite Tanzania being the sole extractor of the gemstone, other countries are benefiting to such an extent that nothing much is left for the country and its people to be proud of.
All the problems rocking the sector should be unearthed while at the same time all thievery and shoddy deals in the sector should be exposed for another clean up exercise. The country cannot continue to watch while a few people benefit from natural resources that could have benefited many if not the whole nation.
It is high time, therefore, that cooperation be given to the committee for it to come up with the right findings, solutions and recommendations.
Everyone, who will be approached by the committee should cooperate and play his or her part for the betterment of the country. Let’s rally behind the team because its success will always be beneficial to the nation and its people