28th February 2018
AFTER the works to build a concrete wall measuring 24.5km around the Mirerani mining quarries–the only area we can find tanzanite gems in the whole wide world–is complete, a new capping project to install electrified wiring around the entire distance will start.
Indeed, the idea itself came from a ‘presidential directive’ as if the rest of us were accomplices in the theft of the gemstones by all manner of ‘rat-routes’ to foreign countries, including a neighbouring country (unfortunately) and the Asian sub-continent.
The Head of State was very emphatic: The 3.2m wall isn’t enough to keep off the ‘rats’ of intruders…the fort needs to be reinforced with electric fencing as well as surveillance cameras and other security related electronics.
The Chief of the Armed Forces, General Venance Mabeyo, agrees. At his recent visit to the area, the general said the ‘Great Wall of Mirerani’ now stands as ‘flood-proof’ because all the waterways which caused havoc during the rains have since been sealed off – providing just a single entrance and exit gate to ensure that security is maintained.
At the event, the CDF met heads of security at the nowfamous Great Wall of Mirerani, built specifically to protect the tanzanite gemstones, rare across the globe. This was a rare incidence for an equally unique reason.
All sorts of ‘thieving’ seems to be going around our mining sites. Indeed, we’ve had occasion to point out that many countries in Africa are as generous as we’ve been with some of our so-called investors in the mining sector – which is why we should all support the President in his efforts to safeguard our economy in this sector.
Yet building a wall around the Mirerani, or any other mining area, for that matter, isn’t the ultimate solution. We should deal with the ‘thieves’ much more decisively than hitherto.
Mirerani isn’t that big; so any foreigners coming into it, and the locals who facilitate illicit trade in gemstones, are also easy to spot. Laissez-faire, the French would say. But that’s past tense, we should say, given current government efforts to rein in the crooks.
In the same vein, we should also urge for more efforts to preserve this country’s natural resources elsewhere in our collective development effort; again, we should stress that we’re just too generous when it comes to dealing with ‘investors’ who come with virtually empty pockets and leave ‘loaded’ with wealth.
We aren’t advocating protectionism, just stewardship.