Magufuli tells investors to invest domestically in smelting plants.
President John Magufuli yesterday banned investors from exporting mineral sands, directing the Energy and Mineral Minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, to fully enforce the sanction.
Dr Magufuli earlier outlawed the export of mineral sands in July last year during his tour of Kahama District. But, it seems, the order was not fully executed, prompting the head of state to reissue the directive afresh.
“I believe this event is beamed live and the minister (of energy and minerals) is following it closely… no more exports of sand from the country is allowed because these people have stolen from us for many years,’’ the President said here on his first day of a working tour of three regions — Coast, Lindi and Mtwara — that kicked off at Mkuranga-based Goodwill Tanzania Ceramic Company Limited.
He was invited to lay the foundation stone for the ongoing construction of the tile production factory. The President said it was high time the country owned its own mineral processing industries right here in the country to purify the mineral sands.
“It’s surprising to see that the country has huge unpaid debts, yet we are endowed with natu ral resources, including minerals that are exported to Europe for processing, leaving our people languishing in poverty,’’ he said, adding: ‘‘That is why I’m opposed to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which if signed, will favour Europeans and kill our industries and jobs for our people.”
At a joint press conference with visiting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the State House last week, Dr Magufuli disapproved EPA, which aims at creating a free trade area between EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, describing the agreement as not only bad for the country but another form of colonialism.
The country’s top office occupant underscored the need for total independence in the country, saying Tanzania targets establishment of many industries.
The transportation of mineral sands from various mines for smelting outside the country, according to Dr Magufuli, was robbing the nation of its rightful earnings due to weak monitoring on the amount and value of minerals recovered from the sands. Sand