Kigoma North legislator Zitto Kabwe has said that since he was suspended from Parliament in 2007 for exposing the 'dubious' Buzwagi gold mine no other contract has been signed between the government and investors.
Zitto made the remarks recently when speaking to this paper in Mbeya, saying he had well represented the people of Kigoma North since he was elected in 2010.
He said he was proud for his act that led him to being suspended, saying it had caused a new mining Act to be formulated and endorsed.
He said he did not understand why those fellow MPs who attacked him at the time of his suspension were now celebrating the successes registered.
“Those who voted for me to be suspended from Parliament are the very ones now proud of the registered successes. They don't care at all that I suffered a lot at that time," said Zitto.
He explained that since the new Act was put in place, investors had stopped coming because they know that it would be difficult to cheat like the way it was before the new law.
He said the current Act demands that the government must own shares in a mine, while the previous one did not provide for this requirement.
Zitto said that the law also wants only Tanzanians to engage in gem mining, while investors wanting to do so have to cooperate with Tanzanians, and latter have to be the majority shareholders.
This paper wanted Zitto to explain whether the recently opened mine at Chunya under Shanta Gold Mine was not signed under the new Act.
He said that according to the best of his knowledge, Shanta had been granted a mining licence but were yet to sign a contract with the government so as to start production, saying he was eager to see the contract to evaluate whether the terms set in the new Act have been observed or not.
“I'm informed about Shanta mine in Chunya, there are other investors in other parts of the country as well, but these are yet to sign contracts with the government. They have only been granted licences, and if they have started production without having the valid contracts, that's another issue," said Zitto.
In 2007, Zitto was suspended from Parliament over allegations of telling a lie when he claimed that the former minister for energy and minerals, Nazir Karamagi, had signed the Buzwagi gold mine contract contrary to the laws of the country.