Magufuli sacks corrupt energy minister

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PRESIDENT JOHN MAGUFULI (LEFT) AND ENERGY AND MINERALS MINISTER PROF SOSPETER MUHONGO

Tanzanian President John Magufuli wants Energy and Mineral minister Prof Sospeter Muhongo to reconsider his position after he was implicated in an audit report looking into whether mineral exporters had under-paid taxes to the State.

Mr Magufuli said he made the decision based on recommendations made to him by a special committee he formed to look into the matter of under-declaration of gold and copper concentrate at the port of Dar es Salaam.

“The minister is my friend but I want him to reconsider his position…I am advising him to step down,” said the Tanzanian leader on Wednesday.

The president also fired the head of the Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency (TMAA) – Prof Justin Ntalikwa – as well as dissolving the agency’s board of directors.

Mr Magufuli revealed he sacked the CEO for lying to parliament over the amount of gold and copper concentrate in mineral sands that was declared before export.

The move widens the rift between government and miners, with the former accusing sector players of dodging tax which culminated in Magufuli’s administration halting export of gold and copper ore in March this year.

Gold producer Acacia Mining has already said it is reviewing its Tanzanian operations following the ban.

Source: Business Daily