President John Magufuli of Tanzania has warned that mining companies that default on tax payments will be forced to cease operations in the country.
On Friday the 14th of July, Magufuli revealed that mining companies in Tanzania are owing the government billions of dollars in taxes.
“After we discovered that trillions of shillings (in the local currency) were stolen, we called them for negotiations and they agreed, but if they will continue delaying, I will close all mines and give them to Tanzanians,” he said.
President Magufuli said his government’s would seriously consider giving the mines to Tanzanians if the foreign investors do not comply.
Dispelling fears that he was on a massive drive to indiscriminately grab foreign assets, Magufuli said he was only doing what was good for Tanzania.
“God will protect me and Tanzanians will keep praying for me because I am doing this for all Tanzanians.
“I know what I am saying. It’s trillions of shillings which have been stolen,” he pointed out.
President Magufuli’s war on tax evasion has caused panic in the country’s mining sector, which is mainly dominated by foreign-docimiled companies.
Thus far, under his tenure, Tanzania has passed new laws to increase mining taxes, to re-negotiate contracts with companies, and to allow the state to own up to 50 percent of shares in mining companies.