Dodoma — Minister for Minerals, Dr Doto Biteko has urged brokers in the sector to register their associations so that they can work together for the common goal.
He made the appeal in Dodoma on Saturday during a meeting with leaders of the Minerals Brokers Association (CHAMATA), which is yet to register its organisation.
Dr Biteko commended the decision to form brokers association in Tanzania, saying that the ministry has been working with other groups for a long time, including women, miners, and dealers through their associations, but brokers lacked one.
He said it was crucial for Tanzanian mineral brokers to join forces and form an association before filing complaints and requests for fee reductions and other issues.
“Have a well-made structure and stand up for yourself,” he advised. “If you don’t, you’ll be complaining without getting proper solutions to the challenges you encounter in day-to-day operations,” he said.
“Brokers have poor reputation, but being a middleman is not bad at all, so we only need honest brokers. It is quite rare to find dealers implicated in smuggling instances; most commonly, brokers are the ones caught in such instances,” he said.
“The sector has many players in research, mining, and refining, but as you move down the value chain, you’ll notice that just a few people are involved, meaning the minerals end up in the hands of a few people,” Dr Biteko said.
According to the minister, mineral markets have been established to eliminate bureaucracy, and President Samia Suluhu Hassan has ordered that individuals be permitted to transport minerals to the market without being harassed so that everyone can gain from the market.
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“President Samia wants to see artisan and small-scale miners benefit from the mineral resources that the country is blessed with by empowering them economically,” said Dr Biteko.
In controlling smuggling and maintaining mineral markets, the government has started 44 mineral markets and 70 sales centres countrywide, so that they can trade transparently and fairly.
Dr Biteko stated that since introducing the mineral markets, the problem of smuggling minerals into the country has decreased. Previously, they would catch 300 kilogrammes of minerals, but now most of the minerals confiscated are less than two kilogrammes.
He further said that the brokers association in the country would make mineral smuggling a thing of the past, as some of them were involved in the crime.
CHAMATA Chairperson Jeremiah Kituyo thanked the government for abolishing the 5 per cent withholding tax.
“Before we had markets and mining centres we were having problems and harassment by the police,” he said.
Mr Kituyo said being close to the government, stopping doing business on the streets arbitrarily, and the market having connected them with stakeholders and earned their trust are all advantages of having mineral markets.
Source : AllAfrica