The Tanzanian Government has come under heavy criticism from a
Member of Parliament from the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na
Maendeleo (Chadema) party Zitto Kabwe for signing a new mining
agreement with the world's largest gold mining company - Barrick Gold
Corp. whilst the government was still reviewing all mining contracts.
during a budget session of Parliament Kabwe said the Energy and
Minerals Minister also owes the nation an explanation as to why the
agreement had to be signed in London and not Dar-es-Salaam and contrary
to President Jakaya Kikwete's assurance that the country would review
mining contracts before others are issued.
government has been holding meetings with mining companies to review
mining contracts following accusations that the contracts were
benefiting mining companies and not the country. While Tanzania has
been praised as having good mining incentives which have been making
the country attractive to mining companies, the government is accused
of doing too little to ensure that the people also benefit equally from
the mineral wealth.
Kabwe also told the House that the Kikwete
government had had a 15 percent stake in the Bulyanhulu Mine, which has
11.2 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves but later sold
the stake for a song.
"The government must explain why it sold
the shares at a low price," he said while advising government not to
allow a single company monopolise its booming mining industry.
Gold is the country's largest mining company owning four of the
country's nine major mines. In total Barrick Gold owns properties in
Tanzania with combined proven and probable reserves of about 17.4
million ounces of gold.