PM wants all tanzanite trade done at Mirerani

08Jul 2021
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
PM wants all tanzanite trade done at Mirerani

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday directed that no trade and transactions related to tanzanite should take place outside Mirerani mines in Simanjiro district, Manyara region.

This follows investments in facilities that allow traders to operate at the township and grow its economy and not in the city of Arusha which is dotted by dealers as is the case now.

He issued the order while addressing residents of Mirerani at the mining quarries entrance, responding to Simanjiro MP Christopher ole Sendeka, who lamented on the state of poverty gripping the people of the mining hills.

"This is the only place on earth where the valuable and extremely rare tanzanite gemstones are mined," the premier noted, underlining that the government can afford to set terms on how our minerals should be mined, handled or traded
He had inaugurated the newly built Magufuli Tanzanite Center, a one-stop administration and trading complex located inside the blue stones mining quarries’ enclosure in Mirerani township.

Built at the cost of 1.4 bn/-, the structure houses an Immigration Department office, a strong room for minerals, bank outlets, revenue offices, a police station and a gemstones evaluation laboratory, officials said

Prof Simon Msanjila, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, said the Mirerani Wall construction has helped to boost gemstones production and revenues from 4.2bn/- in 2017 to 5.84bn/- at present.

Once all of tanzanite transactions are held and closed in Mirerani, the area’s economy will improve, given that Mirerani has only one dispensary and two primary schools.

The late president John Magufuli ordered the military to build a wall around its tanzanite mines in September 2017 to curb smuggling and tax evasion.

It was completed in April 2018 and by September state authorities announced that tanzanite revenues rose to 1.28bn/- from a lowly 166m/- registered in January 2015.

A parliamentary inquiry team said in September 2018 that it had uncovered massive smuggling of the blue-violet tanzanite gemstone, which appears to have continued despite the military wall being fitted with security cameras and checkpoints around all tanzanite mining concessions to check illegal mining and trading activities.