Tanzanian President Pombe Magufuli inaugurated a 24km wall that was built around the country’s tanzanite mines to prevent the smuggling of the precious stones. Magufuli who came into presidency on the wings of change has stuck true to his moniker, The Bulldozer.
Last year, the Tanzanian government confiscated diamonds worth $15 million. The Tanzanian government claimed that the real value of the diamonds was $29.5 million. Since President Magufuli came into power, he has sought to secure the ownership of mines across the country.
The latest tactic by Magufuli in keeping the precious stones of Tanzania secure was the building of a 24 km wall. The wall is meant to prevent smuggling of one of Tanzania’s most rare and beautiful precious stones known as tanzanite. The purple/blue stone is found only in Tanzania.
Tanzania is not the only African country that loses a lot of millions of dollars due to smuggling or exploitation by foreign companies. Following an enquiry set up by Magufuli on the mines, an approximate of $90bn had been lost to tax evasion from mining operations since 1998.
At the commissioning of the wall, Magufuli said “Before the construction of this wall, there was a lot of tanzanite being lost, about 40% of all production.” The Tanzanian government, in 2005 had leased its mines to large operators for $40 million.
However, the Tanzanian government has undertaken some steps to own back its mines including introducing a law in 2010 that stipulated that large operating mining companies had to cede 50% ownership of their mining license to the state.
The Mirerani wall only has a single entrance that’s manned by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF). The wall was built by the army and costs $2.9million. Magufuli’s push against corruption in the country has not waned since he became president.