By Staff Writer Eric Kingsley
The mining giant Acacia is engaged in last ditch attempts to get the Government in Tanzania to allow the company to continue operations in the country, sources within the investors circle have confirmed, but our investigations reveals that prospects are almost nil.
|President Magufuli with Barrick Owner|
As the Barrick (Acacia’s majority owner) negotiations are drawing to a close there is only one stumbling block; the Government of Tanzania, well intentioned to make the mineral sector work for Tanzanians, won’t bulge on.
Our sources confirm that there is demand that the final deal will only be sealed upon proof that Acacia is completely out of the picture. The reason is that Acacia is unforgivable. “Available evidence on Acacia’s sinister activities in Tanzania only makes a way for their exit,” says a source in the mining sector in Tanzania.
The analysts views are corroborated; it is slowly surfacing that there are immortal sins Acacia committed, which any country hosting a multinational investor will not hesitate to severe relations with such investor at any cost and permanently, says a Nairobi based Professor of Geology.
The first immortal sin Acacia committed was to meddle in Tanzanian politics and undermine the Government. Senior Acacia officials in Tanzania are said to have openly supported the political opposition and campaigned against several Government policies. Apparently this was orchestrated from London under Acacia’s secret Toto Project, which the Government of Tanzania is now fully aware.
The second immortal sin is Acacia’s consistent undermining of the Tanzanian economy. Apart from the paltry tax revenues paid after massive tax evasions over more than fifteen years, Acacia had no meaningful participation in the Tanzanian economy.
Barrick owner Professor Thornton felt very remorseful when he was informed how greedy and insensitive Acacia had been that he pledged to revisit the mining arrangements and ensure there is a fair sharing of economic benefits with the host nation.
“While what he is pioneering what would make him a hero, he drew the wrath of Acacia. This investigation established that the Government of Tanzania has watched with consternation how Acacia persistently interfered with the negotiations in order to impose its selfish will upon Barrick,” says John Magati, a mining analyst.
The negotiations stalled for five months as Acacia tried very hard to change the bargains. To Acacia, the Government did not deserve any morsel. To the Government, Acacia was an enemy of the nation.
The third immortal sin is Acacia’s attitude of belittling the sovereignty of the host nation. Acacia directors have always used belittling language, indicating that the sovereign Government cannot do anything without their clearance. Acacia’s consent must be obtained before any policy decision is made.
“Often they have sought to bypass portfolio ministers and seek direct audience with the President. They gave the impression that Acacia’s concerns can only be addressed by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. It won’t work, they ought to have complied first,” says Magati adding:
“Deservedly, I see all the doors are closing on them, and soon they may lose audience with the various Government institutions completely. It is not surprising that the directors of Acacia have resorted to fabricating lies about what Government officials tell them. The recent announcement of the outcome of a meeting with the new Minister for Minerals is an example of such brazen fabrications.”
The fourth immortal sin is Acacia’s international campaign to bad-mouth the Government of Tanzania. A lot of articles in international media were sponsored to tell the world that Tanzania is a hostile country to investors, and it is a crumbling economy where no one should risk to go. This has been in futile. Latest investment data shows Tanzania and Kenya are leading the East African region.
Tanzania has faced and endured significant pressures from international institutions and foreign countries on account of the massive negative publicity. A peaceful country with one of Africa’s very stable economy has suddenly been portrayed as a country in turmoil and on brink of collapse.
What Acacia is clearly telling Tanzania is that either the Government restores the greedy of Acacia or the country will suffer mercilessly. The choice by the sovereign nation is crystal clear. There shall be no colonial domination of Tanzania by Acacia. It has become a matter of pride that Acacia must go. It is irreversible.
The fifth immortal sin is stealing from the country. The mineral concentrate saga is only a tip of the iceberg. There are claims against Acacia for fabricating expenditure claims. In one instance the Government discovered that Acacia had claimed deduction of expenditure in respect of exploration activities in Kenya. It was also discovered that Acacia had converted interest free loans which had already been paid, into new inflated interest bearing loans in a fraudulent base erosion scheme.
There are ongoing investigations on money laundering schemes carried out by Acacia. Apparently the Government is holding action in order to allow the negotiations with Barrick to be concluded successfully. It won’t be surprising if some Barrick officials are subsequently prosecuted or Acacia directors declared persona non grata in Tanzania. “I will not to be surprised,” adds Mageni who once worked with Barrick during its initial presence in Tanzania.
The sixth immortal sin and which is like a last straw in the plan by Acacia to sabotage the Tanzania-Barrick negotiations by the institution of arbitration proceedings against the Government. It is now becoming vivid that the real intention is to humiliate the Government of Tanzania.
The writing is on the wall. The only way the gold mining interests in Tanzania can be salvaged is by Acacia letting go.