Judegment Day At The High Court London

Judegment Day At The High Court London
Mengi v Hermitage: Libel Claim Successfully Defended

Friday, 4 April 2014

UK couple forced off Tanzanian farm faults Cameron trade talks with the country’s president

 

Kent couple lose hundreds of thousands of pounds after Tanzanian businessman’s “corrupt campaign” to take back their 500-acre farm

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, outside 10 Downing Street

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, outside 10 Downing Street Photo: AFP

A British couple chased off their farm in Tanzania by powerful local businessmen has criticised David Cameron’s warm reception of the East African country’s president in London this week.

Jakaya Kikwete this week met the Prime Minister for a series of meetings at Downing Street that focused on winning multi-billion pound deals for British energy companies in Tanzania.

But Sarah Hermitage and Stewart Middleton have so far fought for 10 years for compensation for what they say is the theft of their farm near the northern Tanzanian town of Moshi, into which they had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The couple is “very frustrated, to say the least” to see Mr Cameron stand alongside Mr Kikwete as he talked of eradicating corruption in business deals, Mrs Hermitage told The Telegraph.

“The Prime Minister seems happy to stand there and hear Mr Kikwete portray Tanzania as a safe place for British investment, to which I would say that could not be further from the truth,” she said.

 

“The legal system is corrupt, the police are corrupt, and it is very, very difficult to get anyone to help you as an investor if you run into trouble with powerful people there.

“Somebody, in the High Commission in Dar es Salaam, in London, someone somewhere needs to recognise the pain we’ve been through.”

Mrs Hermitage and Mr Middleton have faced death threats, armed invasions of their farm, repeated arrest and imprisonment on trumped up charges, and vilification in Tanzanian newspapers over their purchase of the land.

The seller, a Moshi businessman whose brother Reginald Mengi owns one of East Africa’s largest media companies and is close to Mr Kikwete, sold the couple the lease to Silverdale Farm in 2004 then a year later demanded it back.

The couple refused, prompting a “campaign of harassment” that forced them to “flee for their lives”, according to a British High Court judge who threw out libel charges Mr Mengi brought against Mrs Hermitage.

In his Nov 2012 ruling, Mr Justice Bean agreed with Mrs Hermitage that Mr Mengi’s newspapers carried out “journalistic terrorism” on the British couple, to support his brother’s “corrupt campaign to grab the farm”.

Mr Mengi did not challenge the couple’s allegations in court, the ruling said.

“What I really want to emphasise is that Britain is in bed with the Tanzanian government because it wants major gas companies to win contracts there,” Mrs Hermitage said.

“This stuff about promising to look after smaller investors, to protect us, it’s just rhetoric.”

Mrs Hermitage and Mr Middleton are living near Canterbury while they continue their legal fight for compensation for the loss of their investment.

A Downing Street spokesman said that during their discussions on Monday, Mr Cameron and Mr Kikwete “agreed that combating corruption and promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law were essential for development”.

Monday, 31 March 2014

President Kikwete tells business “keep away from corruption” standing next to corrupt businessman Reginald Mengi.

 

Addressing members of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) at the prize giving of the 2013 President’s Manufacturer Awards President Kikwete of Tanzania identified corruption and tax evasion as among major obstacles to the country’s economic development and called for compliance among business people and companies.

One of the most prominent business people in Tanzania is Reginald Mengi. Owner of IPP Media a huge media empire and listed on Forbes as being wealthy in excess of $500 mil. He is also corrupt. Further, his corruption relates to the destruction of foreign direct investment in Tanzania which impacts on the investment environment in Tanzania and is an issue which is close to Kikwete’s heart.

In 2012 Reginald Mengi sued British investor in Tanzania Sarah Hermitage in respect of five postings on her Silverdale Farm blog and two emails she had sent, which Mr Mengi claimed to be false and defamatory of him.

During the trial, the Court heard unchallenged evidence from Sarah Hermitage and her husband, Stewart Middleton, as to how they were by threats, intimidation and corruption driven from Tanzania and forced to abandon the investment they had made in their farm, Silverdale, of which Reginald Mengi’s younger brother, Benjamin, then took possession.

The Court was told that a major factor in the ordeal they suffered was the hostile and defamatory coverage their case received from the IPP-owned English language Guardian and the Swahili Nipashe newspapers. Reginald Mengi, in the course of his evidence, repeatedly stated that he “was not responsible, not accountable and not answerable” for the editorial content of IPP publications.

In giving Judgment, Mr Justice Bean ruled:

“I find that the campaign in the Guardian and Nipashe facilitated Benjamin’s corruption of local officials and intimidation of the Middletons and thus helped Benjamin to destroy their investments and grab their properties; and that Mr [Reginald] Mengi, since he either encouraged or knowingly permitted the campaign, was in that sense complicit in Benjamin’s corruption and intimidation. The allegation is thus substantially true, and justified at common law.”

It was extraordinary therefore that Kikwete made his remarks standing side by side with Reginald Mengi. What is even more extraordinary is that he did not turn to Mengi and say “Mr Mengi you are corrupt and I will not stand on the same stage as you”.

The below photograph and article was published in the part State owned media the Daily News. The article specifically highlights the fact that Reginald Mengi shares the stage with Kikwete. Other publications did not do this.

http://in2eastafrica.net/business-firms-warned-against-corruption-tax-evasion/

Kikwete insisted that industries should keep away from any form of corruption. IPP Media is perhaps one of the largest media industries in Tanzania yet it does not seem to worry Kikwete that the London High Court found that it had engaged in a campaign of journalistic terrorism and operated a  campaign of journalism in favour of himself. 

The Daily News

Business firms warned against corruption and tax evasion

President Jakaya Kikwete hands over a trophy to the Chief Executive Officer of Jambo Plastics Ltd, Ms Rupa Suchak, after emerging the overall winner of the President’s Manufacturer Awards of the Year (PMAYA) 2013 in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Looking on is the former Chairman of CTI, Mr Reginald Mengi. (Photo by Frank Kimaro)

President Jakaya Kikwete hands over a trophy to the Chief Executive Officer of Jambo Plastics Ltd, Ms Rupa Suchak, after emerging the overall winner of the President’s Manufacturer Awards of the Year (PMAYA) 2013 in Dar es Salaam on Friday. Looking on is the former Chairman of CTI, Mr Reginald Mengi

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has identified corruption and tax evasion as among major obstacles to the country’s economic development and called for compliance among business people and companies.

President Kikwete made the remarks when addressing members of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), at the occasion to give prizes to winners of this year’s President’s Manufacturer Awards (PMAYA) for 2013.

The event was held in Dar es Salaam on Friday night and Jambo Plastics Limited emerged the overall winner. Mr Kikwete said serious investment would lead to economic growth that the country is in need of for people’s development.

However, he insisted that industries should keep away from any form of corruption, especially tax evasion as the practice undermined revenue collection. “Tax evasion is a serious flaw which should not be entertained at any production unit.

Giving or receiving bribes is a serious offence and should be reported to appropriate authorities for proper action,” President Kikwete said.

He also underscored the need for industrial owners (employers) to improve the working conditions for their employees by providing the necessary work facilities, insisting that both sides need each other to sustain production.

“Without workers there is no production and production comes from industries which offer job opportunities. It is important that working environments are improved accordingly in terms of security, better remunerations and work relations,” he clarified.

In his address, Mr Kikwete emphasised on the on going efforts by the government to improve the infrastructures, including the Dar es Salaam port as the major export and import entry point.

In attendance was the Minister for Industries, Dr Abdallah Kigoda who said deliberate efforts had been made to address challenges that existed and marred the industrial sector, by involving the private sectors to discuss some critical matters to come out with solutions.

“Industrial sector still has many challenges including poor infrastructure, lack of expertise and availability of electricity which doesn’t reach the industrial needs. Due to that we are working very closely with investors by arranging different meetings to have views on how to solve those challenges,” he said.

On his part, The Chairman of CTI, Dr Samuel Nyanta he expressed his sincere gratitude to the government on behalf of the whole members, saying that the government has been always supporting industries, the fact which led to the economy growth in 2013.

“Government did a great job for the growth of economy through industries, we witness different projects taking place in the country, just to facilitate production in industries especially in infrastructure through roads, gas and electricity,” he explained.

Some 33 outstanding manufacturers were nominated for the PMAYA awards, where the top awards went to Jambo Plastics Limited followed by Tanzania Breweries Limited and Shelys, an Aspen Group Company.

By FRANK KIMARO, Tanzania Daily News

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Name corrupt people says Reginald Mengi. We do: Reginald Mengi, you are corrupt!

 

On 21st February 2014 at a  luncheon in Dar es Salaam to congratulate two journalists recently set free by Tanzania’s  Kisutu Magistrate’s Court in a case of sedition, IPP Media owner Reginald Mengi told  editors and journalists from various media organizations that they should name corrupt individuals stating  “If you know someone who is corrupt, regardless of what titles she or he has, just mention the name; don’t hide it”

http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/?l=65080

This was an extraordinary statement by Reginald Mengi given he was found to be guilty of corruption in the UK High Court in 2013. In  2010, Reginald Mengi sued British Lawyer Sarah Hermitage, in respect of five postings on her Silverdale Farm blog and two emails she had sent, which Mr Mengi claimed to be false and defamatory of him.

During the trial, the Court heard unchallenged evidence from Sarah Hermitage and her husband, Stewart Middleton, as to how they were by threats, intimidation and corruption driven from Tanzania and forced to abandon the investment they had made in their farm, Silverdale, of which Reginald Mengi’s younger brother, Benjamin, then took possession. The Court was told that a major factor in the ordeal they suffered was the hostile and defamatory coverage their case received from the IPP-owned English language Guardian and the Swahili Nipashe newspapers. Reginald Mengi, in the course of his evidence, repeatedly stated that he “was not responsible, not accountable and not answerable” for the editorial content of IPP publications.


In giving Judgment, Mr Justice Bean ruled:

“I find that the campaign in the Guardian and Nipashe facilitated Benjamin’s corruption of local officials and intimidation of the Middletons and thus helped Benjamin to destroy their investments and grab their properties; and that Mr [Reginald] Mengi, since he either encouraged or knowingly permitted the
campaign, was in that sense complicit in Benjamin’s corruption and intimidation. The allegation is thus substantially true, and justified at common law.”

Following the handing down of the Judgment, Sarah Hermitage said :

“I set up my Silverdale Farm blog in 2009 to document our horrific experience in Tanzania, and to expose as a warning for others the corruption we encountered and our helplessness with no protection from the local Courts and officials. As the Judge has found, my response to the campaign waged against us in IPP publications was reasonable, proportionate, relevant and without malice. To find myself then sued for libel in my own country, facing a claim of legal costs of £300,000 from Mr Mengi before the proceedings had even started, was itself frightening and oppressive. I am relieved that, with the support of my legal team who were prepared to risk getting paid nothing at all under a “no win, no fee” agreement, justice has in the end prevailed in this case. I also must thank the brave and honest Tanzanian journalists who either openly or privately assisted in the preparation of our defence. I will continue to use my blog, my voice, to do all I can to fight against the corruption I have seen first hand in Tanzania, not least in the hope that it may in the end help the very good people, not least our loyal staff, who have stood by us throughout”

After handing down judgment Mr Justice Bean ordered that Reginald Mengi should pay the defence costs at the higher “indemnity” rate. In reaching this decision, the factors cited by the Judge included that Counsel for Sarah Hermitage had “rightly described the litigation as “oppressive”, that “enormous costs had been thrown at the case from the beginning, indeed before the issue of proceedings” and that the evidence of the Claimant and his witnesses had in a number of respects been “misleading and untrue.”

Mr Justice Bean ordered that Reginald Mengi should pay £1.2million on account of Sarah Hermitage’s legal costs, which were subjected  to detailed assessment by the court. The trial is estimated to have cost Reginald Mengi in excess of £3 million.

Reginald Mengi made three appeals against the judgement. The first in open court which was refused by LJ Bean and two further appeals to the Court of Appeal which were  refused on the basis that he and his witnesses had lied to the court and his company lawyer Agipitus Nguma had not properly carried out his duties. He was refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Reginald Mengi is a close friend of President Kikwete of Tanzania. Despite giving his assurances to the British government that he would uphold the rule of law in the Silverdale affair, neither Kikwete or his Foreign Secretary Bernard Membe has done so or, condemned the corruption of the Mengi family or Tanzanian State officials complicit in the corruption that led to the theft of Silverdale Farm from the British investors.

 

 

Dr Mengi: Name corrupt people, don`t taint whole institutions

By Emmanuel Onyango

22nd February 2014

The Tanzania Media Owners Association (MOAT) has pointed a finger at journalists who report on supposed corrupt individuals without being fair and objective in relation to ethics and professional conduct in journalism.

MOAT chairman Dr. Reginald Mengi taunted journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam that it was high time that they should say the truth and not mingle words as unaccredited reporting and generalizing matters. That amounts to saying that the corrupt groups in society are only the police, courts, medical workers or teachers.

Dr. Mengi said that it was not fair to report in such a manner as it would mean that everybody who is working in those fields or belongs to such groups is corrupt.

“If you know someone who is corrupt, regardless of what titles she or he has, just mention the name; don’t hide it,” he told the gathered editors and journalists from various media organizations at a luncheon to congratulate two journalists recently set free by the Kisutu Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam in a case of sedition.

The journalists are former Tanzania Daima Managing Editor Absalom Kibanda, and former group editor for Mwananchi Communications Ltd, Theophil Makunga.


The acquittal of the two senior journalists is an occasion to celebrate the right to speech, by all media personnel in the country.


Narrating how to net corrupt people, Dr. Mengi said journalists have to do thorough investigations in order to get names of the culprits one by one from the suspected groups and report their names through mass media without fear as they shall have gathered enough details to support them.
“Mentioning one group is not fair at all as not all people are corrupt. There are some who are clean and are not happy to hear their image being tarnished,” he said.


He stressed the need for journalists to work tirelessly in order to combat grand corruption in a particular institution and reveal them as this is the only way to end such malpractices in the country.


Dr. Mengi further told journalists that whoever writes issues related to corruption targeting a particular institution that it is fully involved in such malpractice, such a journalist does not perform his/her duties as required.
Journalists must be courageous while performing their duties without fear of reporting on an institution. It is disappointing for the personal integrity of those who are completely innocent, he stated.


Earlier, Dr. Mengi was invited by Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF) top official Neville Meena who thanked him for his dedication and efforts he has been showing towards mainstreaming media fraternity in the country.
He also thanked the over 70 editors in the print and electronic media who were following up the case of the two top editors and showed tolerance and effective solidarity up to the end.


On his part, Theophil Makunga thanked Dr. Mengi and fellow journalists including editors who worked to bring to a happy conclusion the case that he and Kibanda faced.


He said that during earlier court proceedings, he could not believe that he was among suspects, but by the time the case was put to judgment he realized that it had come to such a serious stage.


He narrated the torture he underwent, denied the right to move outside the country to attend the graduation ceremony of his daughter at the University of Nairobi.


On his part, Absalom Kibanda stressed the need for journalists to continue showing solidarity when in trouble as this shows that their emancipation will not be blocked by curbing the freedom of expression.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/?l=65080

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tanzania Elephant Slaughter: Daily Mail.

 

MailOnline - news, sport, celebrity, science and health stories

Tanzania slaughters over 11,000 elephants a year for the bloody trade in tusks and its President turns a blind eye, so will the Prince really shake hands with him?

  • On Thursday, a summit on how to save endangered species begins
  • Is being hosted by the Government at the behest of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge at London's Lancaster House
  • 50 heads of state and ministers will attempt to agree a global response
  • Illegal trade in wildlife parts is worth £6bn a year and funds terrorist groups

By Martin Fletcher

PUBLISHED: 22:00 GMT, 8 February 2014

In the gilded grandeur of London's Lancaster House this week, the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, will be greeted with smiles and handshakes by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, David Cameron and William Hague.

Yet this diplomatic nicety, at the start of a summit on how to save the world's most endangered species, will be a moment of supreme irony. For Mr Kikwete's regime has presided over a slaughter of elephants that is unprecedented in his country's history. Even worse, conservationists insist that many within the Tanzanian government's ranks have been willing and active accomplices in that slaughter.

At Thursday's summit, the most ambitious yet, 50 heads of state and ministers will attempt to  agree a global response to an illegal trade in wildlife parts that is worth £6 billion a year and funds terrorist groups.

Prince Charles and Camilla with Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete and First Lady Salma Kikwete at the State House in Dar es Salaam November 7, 2011

China will be the pantomime villain at the summit. Its newly rich middle class, now numbering about 350 million, buys  around  70 per cent of Africa's poached ivory, which they consider the ultimate status symbol. They also buy powdered rhino horn as a cure for everything from cancer to hangovers. Like cocaine in London, it is the cool thing to serve after fancy dinner parties.

At the same time, Africa will be painted as the 'victim' of Asian avarice, and with some justification. It has been plundered on such a scale that an elephant population once numbered in the millions has plummeted to barely 400,000 and rhinos to scarcely 25,000.

But the truth is that in some African states the rich, the powerful and officials at every level are actively colluding with the international criminal cartels that earn billions of dollars from trafficking tusks and horns.

Ministers, law enforcement agents, conservation officials, rangers - those charged with protecting African wildlife are cashing in on its destruction, and nowhere more so than in Tanzania. In the late 1980s, Tanzania, home to Africa's second-largest elephant population, led the war on poaching and championed the international ban on ivory trading that was adopted in 1989. Today, it is the epicentre of the poaching epidemic sweeping through the continent's forests and savannas.

Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, looks at a pile of elephant trophies impounded at a Mikocheni house in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, looks at a pile of elephant trophies impounded at a Mikocheni house in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

A third of all the illegal ivory seized in Asia comes from or through Tanzania. The country is losing 30 elephants a day, or nearly 11,000 a year. Nearly half the country's elephants have been shot, speared or poisoned since 2007, leaving scarcely 60,000 in total. A particularly shocking report revealed recently that the giant Selous game reserve, a Unesco World Heritage Site that boasted 70,000 elephants five years ago, now has barely 13,000. At the present  rate, Tanzania's elephants will be extinct within seven years.

Tanzania is effectively a one-party state with a pervasive intelligence apparatus, and nobody seriously contends that this slaughter is happening without high-level complicity. Yet not a single kingpin has been charged and convicted. MPs, senior officials and businessmen are named in parliament and the media, but investigations fizzle out and little happens.

Illegal ivory is still on sale in markets in the Tanzanian cities of Dar es Salaam and Arusha. Poached tusks from across Eastern and Central Africa flow out of Tanzania's ports without apparent hindrance. Almost all the major seizures of illegal ivory emanating from Tanzania since 2009 - more than 30 tons in total - were made not in the country itself, but in Asia.

'In Tanzanian national parks, poorly paid, ill-equipped and demoralised rangers are easily bought with bribes bigger than their salaries'

The UN is reportedly considering trade sanctions against Tanzania over its failure to crack down on the trade.

'Corruption is a huge problem at all levels,' Alfred Kikoti, head of Tanzania's World Elephant Centre, said. 'From people on the ground all the way up to ministers, there's somebody involved in poaching.'
Peter Msigwa, a clergyman and shadow minister of natural resources, said: 'The government is doing nothing because some of the people supposed to be solving the problem are part of the problem.'
And Mary Rice, executive director of the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), agreed, saying: 'None of these networks could possibly operate without complicity at the most senior level.'

Conservationists briefly had cause for hope. In 2012, Khamis Kagasheki, an urbane former ambassador to Switzerland, was appointed minister of natural resources and confronted the ivory traders with unprecedented vigour, declaring: 'We must fight against this scourge at all costs.'

He denounced corruption. He submitted a dossier to the president's office identifying prominent Tanzanians colluding with the poaching syndicates (it has not been acted on). He sacked or suspended about 30 corrupt wildlife officials. He excoriated police chiefs for shielding suspects, and suggested poachers should be shot on sight. He identified at least four MPs suspected of complicity in poaching. Last autumn, he launched a military crackdown which led to hundreds of arrests. Tons of illegal ivory was seized and the elephant slaughter was briefly curtailed.

But the operation was abruptly  suspended in November amid claims that soldiers were killing, raping and displacing innocent people. Soon  afterwards, Kagasheki and three other ministers were dismissed. Ostensibly this was because of the human rights abuses but few conservationists believe that.

Illegal ivory is still on sale in markets in the Tanzanian cities of Dar es Salaam and Arusha

Illegal ivory is still on sale in markets in the Tanzanian cities of Dar es Salaam and Arusha

Dr Kikote says: 'If the operation had continued for another month, we would have seen MPs or ministers arrested.' More than 700 wildlife activists have signed a petition demanding Kagasheki's reinstatement. 'It is now clear that his remaining in office would have been a very big threat to those who organise poaching and profit from it and some are in the highest levels of government,' the petition declares.

Contacted by The Mail on Sunday, Mr Kagasheki said he would speak out at some point, but not yet.

Many - perhaps most - officials in Tanzania are honest and committed, but they appear to be fighting a  losing battle at every level. In the national parks, poorly paid, ill-equipped and demoralised rangers are easily bought with bribes bigger than their salaries. 'Rangers collude with the poachers by either telling them when patrols will be going out, or helping them pinpoint herds,' the EIA said in 2010.

Environmentalists say ammunition of the sort used by the security forces has been found near elephant carcasses. Poachers have been found with text messages to government officials on their phones. Tusks are sometimes transported to Dar es Salaam and other east coast ports in police or military vehicles that are never stopped at checkpoints, the EIA says.

There, the ivory is put into shipping containers, often concealed in cargoes of soya beans, dried fish  or timber, but it is seldom seized because the police, port and customs officials are all involved.
'It is inconceivable for a container loaded with elephant teeth [tusks]  to pass through the port in the presence of Tanzania Revenue Authority, customs and port authorities undetected,' Kagasheki declared before his dismissal.

'Conservationists say the Wildlife Division is the most corrupt government agency of all, and accuse its officials of selling seized ivory on the black market'

The names of the big traders in Dar are well known. They include some of the country's richest businessmen, backers and members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, and even a close relative of President Kikwete. But they have powerful friends - and judges, prosecutors and police are easily bribed.

The thousands of Chinese now working in Tanzania fuel the trade. Some of the major ivory traffickers in Dar are said to be Chinese. So  are many of the middlemen. Last November, three Chinese men were caught at their home in Dar with  1.8 tons of ivory hidden among sea shells filled with garlic. A Channel 4 documentary claimed that when Hu Jintao, the then Chinese president, visited Tanzania in 2010, his officials took illegal ivory back on his plane.

Conservationists say the Wildlife Division is the most corrupt government agency of all, and accuse its officials of selling seized ivory on the black market. They accuse the government of submitting fabricated figures to sell more of that ivory on the international market, ostensibly to raise money for conservation but in reality to fill the CCM's coffers before next year's elections.

Thursday's summit is being hosted by the Government at the behest  of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge. Charles will address the event and Prince William, who spent some of the happiest months of his life in Africa during his gap year and proposed to his wife on a Kenyan reserve, will be by his side.

Environmentalists are hoping that the summit will highlight Tanzania's lamentable record. 'The government has not yet got serious about this,' said one activist. 'There's too much collusion and profit and vested interests at high levels. The only thing that will make them act is international shame and disgrace.'

The Citizen Newspaper Tanzania: Hype and Hypocrisy

 

 The Dubious Tanzania Citizen.

The Citizen newspaper is at it again. Throwing its partisan toys out of it’s cot at the behest of well…… who knows?

The below article appeared in the paper on 13th February, minus a by-line! The title, “Uk media must be fair in anti-poaching drive” seems to disguise the fact that the article is little more than an attack once again on Sarah Hermitage, one of the British investors in the Silverdale Farm case. 

The summary of the article states “Can she prove beyond reasonable doubt, that British Gas, which has plans to invest heavily in Tanzania’s natural gas sector, is a product of the so-called oil and gas for elephants”. However, no one knows who the “she” is as the summary does not state it..

The Citizen purports to focus on the issue of poaching in Tanzania and a critical article published this week in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper on the role of President Kikwete in Tanzania’s attempt to curb it. It then jumps to Sara Hermitage (as opposed to Sarah) and states “What we don’t understand, however, is the on going campaign by some Britons  [being] abusive and a true reflection of how the Western media at times tend to report Africa in ways that suits their prejudices”

It then goes on to implicate Ms Hermitage in this campaign stating “For instance one Briton, Ms Sara Hermitage, has been busy tweeting that President Kikwete should be arrested while attending the London Summit that will be attended 50 Heads of State and Government”.

This was a lie by the Citizen. Hermitage did no such thing. What she did was tweet the following three tweets which were used to highlight to President Kikwete who she knew was in London what she and her husband suffered in Tanzania when attempting to access the rule of law vis-a-vis the theft of their Farm Silverdale, by Benjamin Mengi. There is no ambiguity in the context of her tweets as seen below:-

@jmkikwete I hope when in London next week u r arrested and imprisoned in abuse of law, all your property is stolen and you suffer 1/3

2/3 @jmkikwete savage media defamation campaign. Your staff are imprisoned and threatened with beheadings and some are hacked close to death

3/3 @jmkikwete Hope you lose your life savings & r denied any access to law. You have already lost your self respect. We still have ours!

Whilst the Tweets are certainly not polite, they do not in any way as the Citizen suggests, call for the arrest of President Kikwete. So, the Citizen lied. But we don't know who lied as there is no by-line so we will fix the responsibility for the lie on the executive editor Bakari Steven Machumu who must take responsibility for what gets published and why.

Hermitage does and has Tweeted constantly criticising the Kikwete regime for corruption and indeed on the issue of Elephant poaching. But so have other far more notable personalities yet she is singled out by the paper’s un by-lined and poorly written piece.

In 2012, Ms Hermitage successfully defended a Libel action brought against her in the London High Court by Reginald Mengi in relation to her accusations that he had used IPP Media to defame her and  destroy her reputation in order to assist his brother in the theft of the  the lease to Silverdale Farm.

The judgment of LJ bean was damning of Reginald Mengi who he found (along with his witnesses) to have lied to and misled the court. The judge found Reginald Mengi complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin in the theft of the lease to Silverdale Farm. He was denied leave to appeal both to the Appeal and Supreme courts in the UK. The judge also stated that he probably had met the threshold under Tanzanian law for the criminal offence of Criminal Libel should the authorities wish to arrest him, which of course, they did not. The judge also found that IPP Media operated a favourable media policy in respect of President Kikwete.

Now Reginald Mengi is not a nobody is in Tanzania is he? He is a powerful and rich media owner with awards and dubious qualifications coming out of his hat. He states he is against corruption (so the London High Court ruling poses somewhat of a problem for him) even exposing in the Sharks of Corruption case who he felt to be the ten most corrupt men in Tanzania.

The fact that he had spent what is estimated to be over £3 million on suing Hermitage for Libel and losing and, being found to be corrupt would be of interest to the Citizen newspaper. After all, it states below, “We are .. strong advocates and defenders of the freedom of expression, for we believe they are one of the pillars of a free and democratic society.”

Freedom of expression is indeed a pillar of society but not it seems for the Citizen when it comes to letting its readers know of the corruption of Reginald Mengi. It failed to print one word on the case or the verdict or judgement. Ummm, so much for a free and democratic society.

But then the Citizen and the Nation Media Group in particular has been trying to shut Ms Hermitage up for some time now. See the following link for a detailed expose of how they have done this :-

http://thesilverdalecase.blogspot.com.es/2011/12/east-africa-media-moghuls-want-to.html

In late 2010 Hermitage provided information to Mr. Amadou Ba, chief executive officer of the African Media Initiative (AMI). The information provided to Mr. Ba concerned various issues on the abusive use of IPP Media to defame her and destroy her business interests in Tanzania.

AMI board member Eric Chinje stated the following in respect of Hermitages correspondence:-

“No more direct correspondence with Ms. Hermitage. She will always find reason to keep you (and the rest of us) focused on her case. I am also of the view that we should quickly put our heads together and, if need be, seek legal counsel on a way forward. This woman will not stop: AMI affords her an important regional platform to air her grievances. We must avoid playing into her hands.

I suggest we quietly take up the matter with concerned authorities in the UK and Tanzania, rejecting the notion that this regional initiative can be held hostage by any individual, be they a rich taxpayer from a donor country. The arrogance is baffling! (I was at the ICFJ yesterday and this subject came up, especially with regard to Joyce's role as co-chair of AMLF 2010. I detected a certain level of concern about the whole issue and interest in how we planned to handle it.)

Can a conference call be organized on Friday to agree on the outlines of a strategy to deal with this? I will not be surprised to find others with similar grievances lurking in the outfield and wanting to resort to the same tactics.

Du courage! Eric

Linus Gitahi, CEO of the Nation media Group and member of AMI’s board of directors was copied the information and stated that Hermitage should be ignored.

It is not the first time there has been an attempt to stir up racial hatred, (or just hatred against Hermitage) over her activity regarding the state of corruption in Tanzania.

In early 2013  Mbaraka Islam, Reginald Mengi’s editor for his paper This Day went on You Tube and posted a frenzied ranting asked the Tanzanian public to demonstrate against Hermitage on the streets of Tanzania. See link:-

M

All in all, this illiterate and hypocritical piece of journalism (and I use that word lightly) has more importance than giving Ms Hermitage free publicity. It does nothing to serve the Tanzanian public’s human right of access to information or  in any way promotes a democratic society which the Citizen states it is committed to.

It does do, a lot  to serve the interests of certain individuals in Tanzania. In any event, it is an indictment on the reputation of the Agha Khan and his vision for a free and objective African media.The Citizen article states “As a nation, we would like to be challenged fairly”. Now isn’t that just the pot calling the kettle black!

The Citizen

Thursday

February 13,  2014

UK media must be fair in anti-poaching drive

 

In Summary

Can she prove beyond reasonable doubt, that British Gas, which has plans to invest heavily in Tanzania’s natural gas sector, is a product of the so-called oil and gas for elephants?

There have been a lot of heated debate on whether President Jakaya Kikwete has been taking any serious measures aimed at taming poaching.

This debate took a new turn this week, when a leading UK newspaper, Mail on Sunday, wrote strong worded article  accusing President Kikwete’s regime of presiding over the slaughter of elephants that is unprecedented in Tanzania’s history.

We fully understand that poaching is a serious problem, not only in Tanzania but in Africa, especially in Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic and South Africa.

We are also strong advocates and defenders of the freedom of expression, for we believe they are one of the pillars of a free and democratic society.

What we don’t understand, however, is the on going campaign by some Britons who purport to be much more concerned about the elephants in Tanzania than Tanzanians themselves!

This campaign, to say the least, is abusive and a true reflection of how the Western media at times tend to report Africa in ways that suits their prejudices.

For instance one Briton, Ms Sara Hermitage, has been busy tweeting that President Kikwete should be arrested while attending the London Summit that will be attended 50 Heads of State and Government. 

A section of UK’s media has also portrayed Tanzania as a corrupt country, a country that has totally failed to curb poaching. They are totally ignoring all measures that have been put in place to fight the jumbo slaughter, short of which we probably could be counting a mere dozen or so of the priceless animals surviving today.

Granted, there is corruption in our country. We also are poor in terms of our economic performance though in natural resources, we are very rich. We also understand poaching is a national disaster that must be ended. However, what we cannot bear are the unjustifiable attacks from Britons and their media, directed at President Kikwete and Tanzanians as a whole.

As a nation, we would like to be challenged fairly – with facts. Ours might be an economically struggling country, but that doesn’t give licence to the likes of Ms Hermitage to brand it the most corrupt and dictatorial regime where justice doesn’t exist!

This woman and her fellow Britons cannot hide the fact that UK is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It is UK that sold a military radar to Tanzania at an inflated price about a decade ago.

It is Britain’s then Prime Minister Tony Blair who blocked Serious Fraud Office from investigating the most corrupt arms deal between British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) and the Saudi regime.

Ms Hermitage, in one of her tweets, says: “If the British public only knew, we now trade oil and gas for elephants and self-respect.”

Can she prove beyond reasonable doubt, that British Gas, which has plans to invest heavily in Tanzania’s natural gas sector, is a product of the so-called oil and gas for elephants?

The fact that Britain gives aid to Tanzania doesn’t mean we should be their targets of insults and humiliation.

There comes a time when we all have to stand united as a country, as Tanzanians, regardless of our political and ideological differences and say “No” to unjustifiable media campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of our nation. This is it.

http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/oped/Uk-media-must-be-fair-in-anti-poaching-drive/-/1840568/2204118/-/item/1/-/1oe2prz/-/index.html

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Norweigan government ignores correspondence on corruption in Tanzania

The most melancholy thing about human nature, is, that a man may guide others into the path of salvation, without walking in it himself; that he may be a pilot, and yet a castaway. 

Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

 
 
Norway is familiar with high levels of corruption in Tanzania and the issue of Norwegian aid to Tanzania was in the headlines again in 2013 when Norway stopped aid to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism after allegations of corruption and missing aid.
However it seems that some elements of corruption may be acceptable to the Norwegian Government i.e. when it comes to the conduct of the rich and powerful in Tanzania and men like Reginald Mengi.
Reginald Mengi is a rich and powerful media owner in Tanzania. He is also corrupt. He was found by the London High Court in December 2012 to have been complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin to steal the lease to Silverdale & Mbono Farms in the Hai District of the Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania from British investors Sarah Hermitage and Stewart Middleton. He and his witnesses were found to have lied to and misled the court and Reginald Mengi himself was found to have probably met the threshold for the crime of criminal libel in Tanzania should the authorities wish to prosecute him. Of course they have not.
In December The East Africa Association of Grantmakers honoured Mengi with the East Africa Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award for 2013 stating “This Award is normally given out to individuals for having committed their lives and demonstrated their passion to philanthropy work in the region......it is bestowed on people having made great contributions to the wellbeing of humanity and the society they live in.” Seemingly those also complicit in corruption and the destruction of bona fide investment in Tanzania.
 Norway's Ambassador to Tanzania, Ingunn Klepsvik, presents East Africa Association of Grantmakers' Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award to Dr Reginald Mengi
 

The award was bestowed on Mr Mengi at a dinner in a Dar es Salaam by Norway's Ambassador to Tanzania Ingunn Klipsvik.
The following email was sent to Ambassador Klepsvik in respect of the presentation and a separate email was also send to Norway's Foreign Minister Børge Brende. Neither has had the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of the correspondence which is self-explanatory
 
Børge Brende at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2008.jpg
Norway's Foreign Minister Børge Brende
_____________________________________________________________________
Dear Ambassador Klepsvik,

I write to you somewhat distressed.

Norway is renowned for its anti corruption stance and ranks exceptionally favourably on Transparency International's Corruption index and is familiar with the high levels of corruption in Tanzania.

On Wednesday 4th December at a dinner in Dar es Salaam you presented Reginald Mengi a Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award on behalf of the  East Africa Association of Grantmakers.

This is an organisation that by its own Internet publication states it is committed to developing and strengthening partnerships with governments, civil society, the private sector and development partners with values of transparency and accountability, integrity and is committed to principles of trustworthiness and incorruptibility guided by honesty and of moral conduct.

It is inconceivable that you are not aware of the circumstances of the Silverdale Farm issue in Tanzania.

In 2004 my husband Stewart Middleton and I invested in Tanzania. We purchased a 45-year lease to Silverdale & Mbono farms, situated in the Hai District of the Kilimanjaro Region from Benjamin Mengi, brother to Reginald Mengi.My husband strategically planned the rehabilitation of the farms into a sustainable and profitable operation, to train and develop a skilled workforce that would persist long after his stewardship of the land. Within the first six months the farms were transformed from derelict and commercially-unproductive land into a productive farming operation employing over 150 Tanzanians from the local community and we were the first farms in Tanzania to earn EUREPGAP accreditation.

One year after the assignment, Benjamin Mengi demanded the lease back, stating he had not been paid in full. This was despite the fact that he had signed a receipt for the monies. When we refused to return the lease, he stated that he would drive us out of Tanzania by any means; “cut to pieces in a coffin, if necessary”.

A four-year campaign of violence and harassment was then unleashed against us, facilitated by the police and judiciary and involving a plethora of State institutions. This included:

The refusal of the authorities to register our lease or recognise our Deed of Assignment;

The destruction of commercial contracts;

Violence to, and the imprisonment of, our key operational  staff; and

The constant harassment arrest, and ultimate imprisonment, of my husband on trumped-up charges.

Benjamin Mengi drove us from Tanzania using the courts, judiciary and government ministers in a campaign of violence and corruption. Despite five years of effort by the British Government, through its High Commission in Dar es Salaam and senior government ministers in London, this criminal conduct remains unchecked despite the personal promises of President Kikwete and his Foreign Minister Bernard Membe that the rule of law would be upheld in this case and we would be compensated for our losses.

Reginald Mengi was complicit in this corruption that destroyed our investment and drove us in fear of our lives from Tanzania by abusing his power.

I posted such accusations on my web site when I was forced by his corruption to return to England. He then sued me for libel in the London High Court where according to my counsel "he beat me over the head until I submited" and I would not.

Reginald Mengi bombarded the court with his Tanzanian witnesses and his lawyer Mr Nguma. The judge ruled that Reginald Mengi and his witnesses lied to and misled the UK High Court and found him to be complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin in his attempts to steal our property. He also found that he had probably committed Criminal Libel under Tanzanian law should the Tanzanian authorities wish to prosecute. Mr Mengi appealed the judgement three times and was refused the appeal on the basis that he lied to the court and he has been refused an application to the Supreme Court. I attached the judgement of the case and a press release from my lawyers.

Mr Mengi was ordered to pay costs on an indemnity basis and I believe his costs were in excess of £3,000,000.

Whilst this case is not about personalities; it is about the systematic abuse of law and theft of our investment facilitated by government agencies and powerful men like Reginald Mengi. It is interesting to note that President Kikwete has not condemned Reginald Mengi’s (or his brother’s corruption) in this case.

Your action has validated the reputation of Reginald Mengi both to Tanzanians and the outside wold.This undermines the bravery and suffering of our former Tanzanian staff and every human rights activist attempting to reinforce civil society and the rule of law in Tanzania. You have validated a liar, thief and a cheat and demonstrated that its OK to be corrupt if you are rich and powerful. Respectfully this is indefensible and an indicement on the integrity of Norway's commitment to fighting corruption.

 My husband and I are two private citizens of one member-state of the European Union. I write to you as the representative of another European member-state in Tanzania because I believe that you and all EU governments are collectively interested in assisting Tanzania to eradicate poverty through development aid, private-sector investment and better governance. Our experience illustrates how the climate of governance in Tanzania discourages private investment. It also works against the promotion of the well-being of Tanzania’s own citizens.

Favouritism, wide-spread abuse of power, corruption of the legal system, a weak and unreliable application of the rule of law, and lack of respect for the freedoms of the media and the rights of citizens have all been demonstrated by our experience. These things are one ball of wax: the Tanzanian authorities should not treat some people worse than others on a whim. Nor can foreigners be treated differently from citizens, if their legal residence and their properly-regulated businesses are to work for the benefit of society and of themselves.

Our experience is an affront to European common values, our willingness to assist the ordinary citizen in Tanzania to a better life, and is an impediment to Tanzania’s forward progress. The facts in our case are clear and not disputed. I ask you to consider the argument that EU development and investment policies should not be formulated as if our story had not happened or is of no importance.

Reginald Mengi facilitated what happened to us. What has happened to us will be repeated, and probably still is to others, unless the authorities are challenged. You have not made that challenge and have in effect condoned what happened to us and our former Tanzanian staff and on any level, diplomatic or otherwise, this is indefensible.

 I simply cannot understand why Norway would behave in such a way.


Yours sincerely,

Sarah Hermitage.
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

President Kikwete of Tanzania holds hands with the corrupt!

 

 

It is an indictment on Tanzanian’s governance that President Kikwete holds hand so to speak with the corrupt.

Seen below, Kikwete is in effect sticking two fingers up at the British High Court and British Tax payers money that is paid to the government of Tanzania in aid.

In December 2012, the British High Court found Reginald Mengi to be corrupt. It held that in respect of the Silverdale Farm case, Reginald Mengi had been comp-licit in his bother Benjamin’s corruption in the theft and destruction of British investment in Tanzania. To clarify, Reginald Mengi was found to have been complicit in corruption that destroyed private  sector investment in Tanzania. The court also found he lied to and misled the court along with his witnesses and that he was probably guilty of criminal libel vis-a-vis the law of Tanzania.

It is repugnant hypocrisy on the part of |Kikwete that he is seen here holding hands with Reginald Mengi at a meeting which is designed to improve the business environment in Tanzania to attract foreign investment.

Tanzania has fallen to 145th place in the World  Bank’s  Doing Business Report in respect of which Kikwete states “you need to analyse who and what is responsible for the poor ranking. These must be put to task. We must remove all obstacles that lead to such poor ranking.”

This begs the comment, Mr Kikwete all the time you support the corrupt, you remain at the bottom of the list!

This is not an issue about Reginald Mengi, it is an issue of a President that  accepts corruption from the rich and powerful.

That Mr Kikwete, is corrupt in itself!

 

JK talks tough on improving doing business environment

 

President Jakaya Kikwete with Reginald Mengi (left) in Dar es Salaam on Monday.

By Veneranda Sumila ,The Citizen Reporter
Wednesday, December 18  2013

In Summary

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s poor ranking in World Bank’s Doing Business Reports -- which are highly respected by international investors -- will soon improve if government officials take President Jakaya Kikwete’s directives seriously.

Tanzania has featured poorly in the reports in the past six years consecutively.

In its 2007 Doing Business Report, the WB and its private sector-leaning arm -- the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -- ranked Tanzania among the world’s top 10 reformers. That mark was, however, short-lived as in a similar report in 2008, the country slipped three places to clinch the 127th position out of 181 countries surveyed.

Likewise, in the 2010 report launched in September 2009, Tanzania dropped to 131st place. The trend has persisted and the latest report puts Tanzania on position 145 globally and the last in East Africa.

Unhappy with the trend, Mr Kikwete yesterday directed government officials to find a solution that would see the country improve its doing business environment.

“You need to analyse who and what is responsible for the poor ranking. These must be put to task. We must remove all obstacles that lead to such poor ranking,” President Kikwete said while gracing the 7th Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) meeting in Dar es Salaam on Monday. This is the second time the President gives such a directive, the first was after the issuance of the 2010 report.

Speaking at a WB workshop on ‘Improving Tanzania’s Business Environment’ in Dar es Salaam in March 2010, the then minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Policy, Co-ordination and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Phillip Marmo, said the reports were a wake-up call to the government.

He said the government had initiated a team of permanent secretaries – under the chairmanship of the then permanent secretary in the PMO, Mr Peniel Lyimo – to come up with a road-map for improving Tanzania’s business environment.

Without delving into the findings of My Lyimo’s team, President Kikwete said yesterday there were many investors around the world interested in doing business in Tanzania but they were being put off by the lukewarm reception they were given.

He hit at those promoting the establishment of executive agencies saying: “Now it is becoming a fashion for every authority and ministry to establish executive agencies. These only consume a lot of money and become hindrances to doing business in the country,” said President Kikwete.

Members of the private sector say it was only 40 per cent of recommendations made by Lyimo’s team that have been implemented.

“Lack of accountability among government officials constrains the implementation of the agreed actions,” said Tanzania Private Sector Foundation executive director Godfrey Simbeye recently.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Who owns and controls Tanzania’s lucrative gold mines? Prof Muhongo hits out at Mengi!

 

http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/-/1765046/1765046/-/10rwqfs/-/index.html

By The Citizen Reporter
Posted  Tuesday, December 17   2013 at  07:47

In Summary

  • From 1996 when Tanzania  introduced large-scale mining until today, about $5bn has been invested in the mining sector, with gold taking about 90 per cent. About 95 per cent of the rich Lake Victoria Gold Belt is owned by three companies, while the remaining 5 per cent is owned by small-scale miners.

“Mengi holds the third position by having an area that is three times the size of Dar es Salaam City...However, he is doing nothing to benefit Tanzanians. Instead, he is enriching himself” Prof Sospeter  Muhongo, Minister for energy and minerals

 

Dar es Salaam. As the debate on participation in the $430 billion natural gas sector moves from real issues to personal attacks, data obtained by The Citizen newspaper tell the other side of the story that is often deliberately skipped to conceal the truth about ownership in Tanzania’s lucrative mining industry.

According to Energy and Minerals minister Sospeter Muhongo, business mogul Reginald Mengi, who has been criticizing the government for failure to empower locals to participate in the natural gas sector, owns huge tracts of gold and tanzanite mining land.

Prof Muhongo, one of the few geology and earth science experts in the country, says the very same Mr Mengi who is complaining about locals being left out in natural gas sector is the leading investor in the mining industry who owns a big chunk of the country’s lucrative minerals. 

According to Prof Muhongo, Mr Mengi has many prospecting licences, which he has been holding for many years without developing any viable gold mine.

Prof Muhongo described Mr Mengi as a mere middleman or an auctioneer who holds many minerals licences, hoping to auction them to foreign investors.

To Prof Muhongo, Mr Mengi, who was named by Forbes Magazine last month as one of the richest persons in Tanzania with a net fortune of $500 million, should be the last man to complain about being left out of the lucrative natural gas sector.

But on Sunday, just a day before President Jakaya Kikwete was scheduled to chair a private sector meeting yesterday, Mr Mengi hit back at Prof  Muhongo, refuting almost everything the minister said about him a week ago.

Mr Mengi, who is also chairman of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), but who spoke on his behalf as a businessman, defended himself against allegations of greed and selfishness Prof Muhongo levelled against him, in a bid to clear the air before yesterday’s meeting. Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam, Mr Mengi said there were inaccuracies in what Prof Muhongo has said about him.

He recalled that early in September, Prof Muhongo was quoted as saying that Mr Mengi lacked patriotism and wanted to act as a middleman in selling blocks of the country’s natural resources. “I would like to clarify the matter so that I don’t go to the meeting tomorrow (yesterday) with statements made by Prof Muhongo uncorrected,” he said.

“The truth is that I am not selfish, secondly I have never asked for any favour to be given blocks of natural gas…what I’m doing is fight for Tanzanians in general,” Mr Mengi said.

During a public symposium held at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) last week, Prof Muhongo, who was among the key speakers, said Mr Mengi owned land that was three times the size of Dar es Salaam.

“However, he is doing nothing to benefit Tanzanians, instead, he is enriching himself,” Prof Muhongo said. But Mr Mengi on Sunday said Prof Muhongo gave wrong statistics and data about his ownership of mining land.

“The truth is that I own the sites under shareholding with my fellow Tanzanians; one mining site is for tanzanite mining and its area is less than one square kilomitre, and not three times the size of Dar es Salaam as he said,” Mr Mengi clarified.

Who owns Tanzania’s minerals?

A quick analysis conducted by The Citizen newspaper established that from 1996 when Tanzania, under the leadership of President Benjamin Mkapa, introduced large scale mining till today, about $5 billion has been invested in the mining sector, with gold taking about 90 per cent of the investment.

The Citizen has reliably established that 95 per cent of the rich Lake Victoria Gold Belt is owned by three companies, which are Anglo Gold Ashanti, African Barrick Gold and Resolute Ltd. The rest five per cent of the Lake Victoria Gold Belt is owned by thousands of scattered and poorly equipped small-scale miners.

From 1996 till today, a total of six large-scale gold mines were established in the lucrative lake Victoria gold belt, which holds about 90 per cent of Tanzania’s gold reserves.

The mines are North Mara, Buzwagi, Bulyanhulu, Tulawaka, Golden Pride(Resolute Ltd), and Geita Gold Mine. African Barrick Gold(ABG), a profit-making company with over $1 billion in revenue and a market capitalisation of over $900m and which is Tanzania’s largest gold producer and one of the top five producers in Africa by revenues, owns four gold mines.

ABG used to own four gold mines before it sold its Tulawaka gold mine to State Mining Corporation (Stamico) early this year. ABG also has plans to open a new gold mine in Sengerema District called Tusker Nyanzaga, which it acquired in 2010.

Golden Pride located in Nzega town was owned by a foreign company called Resolute Ltd, and was the first gold mine to be opened in Tanzania in the 1990s. The mine has announced the closure of production after reaching its last gold ore reserve.

Geita gold Mine is owned by Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd, which is a South Africa-based company that acquired Ghana’s Ashanti Gold Fields in 2000.

Anglo Gold’s reserves in Tanzania

AngloGold Ashanti is a much larger company with a market capitalisation of $4.6 billion, which mines in South Africa, several countries in West Africa and Tanzania, as well as on other continents.

Geita is the largest of AngloGold Ashanti’s seven open-pit mines in Africa according to a report released by a South Africa-based company released this year, which The Citizen obtained a copy.

Prior to April 2004, Geita was managed under a joint venture agreement between Ashanti and AngloGold. Since the merger of the two companies, Geita is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti.

It was initially built at the cost of $160 million and started operations in July 2000 with a production capacity of 600,000 ounces a year.

The Geita gold mine is located approximately 910km from Dar es Salaam in the Lake Zone of northern Tanzania. The tenements are situated within the Sukumaland Greenstone Belt of the Lake Victoria goldfields, which hosts other gold mines including Golden Pride, Bulyanhulu, Tulawaka and Buzwagi.

According to details gathered by The Citizen, this geological terrain is considered to be one of the most productive Archaean Greenstone Belts in east Africa. The Geita Greenstone belt is a segment of the Sukumaland Greenstone Belt. This Archaean sequence strikes east-west, is 60km long and up to 15km wide.   Data from Anglo Gold Ashanti show that by the end of 2012, Geita Gold Mine has provable gold reserves of 6.88 million ounces valued at gross value of $8.994 billion at the price of $1,300 per ounce, which was used by the company during the valuation of its resources.

Yesterday, gold price tumbled to $1,234 per ounce down from $1,900 in January, this year.

ABG minerals reserves and resources in Tanzania

ABG has established what it calls a Mineral Reserves and Resources Committee which is responsible for reviewing and monitoring ABG’s processes for calculating mineral reserves and resources and ensuring that appropriate internal controls are applied to mineral reserves and resources calculations.

According to ABG’s report available on its website, mineral reserves have been calculated using an assumed long-term average gold price of $1,500.00 per ounce, a silver price of $28.00 per ounce and a copper price of $3.00 per pound.

In its minerals reserve and resources assessment done last year, ABG reported that it has total gold reserves (proven and probable) of 16.6 million ounces valued at $24 billion.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tanzania Private Sector Foundation selects corrupt businessman Reginald Mengi as its Chairman.

The Tanzanian Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) is the voice of the private sector in Tanzania. It leads business and investment. Its Vision Statement is to be an effective apex private sector organisation, providing a focal point for the articulation of private sector led approaches to Tanzania’s economic  and social development. Its mission statement is to be the leading voice for the promotion of vibrant, innovative and a competitive private sector in Tanzania.


The organisation's core values are stated to be a deeply held,including integrity and fair competition. It's strategic objective is amongst other things to facilitate the growth of private sector business through enhancing enterprise competitiveness.

Given these well articulated aims and objectives, trumpetings of honesty and integrity, you would think the organisation would chose a man of impeccable reputation and integrity to be their Chairman. 

Not so. The TPSF has as its Chairman Reginald Mengi.  Reginald Mengi is a corrupt business man who is a liar and a cheat and who has been found to be complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin thatdestroyed lawful private sector investment in Tanzania. 

In 2012, in the High Court in London Mr Mengi sued British lawyer Sarah Hermitage for Libel over accusations she made against him on her blog.  Mengi lost miserably. To top it off he was ordered to pay costs on the indemnity basis which are believed to be in excess of £3,000.000.

The Judge ruled that Mr Mengi and his witnesses lied to and misled the court and that he personally, had been complicit in the corruption of his brother Benjamin's attempt to steal the lease to Silverdale and Mbono Farms from British investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage. 

He also found that Mr Mengi had, with the use and abuse of his media IPP Media run a favourable media policy in respect of Tanzania's President Kikwete, probably committed criminal libel against the investors vis-a-vis the laws of Tanzania and had engaged in what Ms Hermitage described as journalistic terrorism.


Reginald Mengi outside the London High Court in November 2013 where he lost his Libel action against British lawyer Sarah Hermitage.


Just the kind of man that an organisation seeking to portray Tanzania's investment environment as conducive to private investment would want to head their organisation? Of course not!

Why then does the TPSF want Reginald Mengi to come within a mile of their organisation and reputation and is it important?

Well Reginald Mengi in himself is not important. He is just one more corrupt, wealthy and powerful African and after all, there are a lot of them. There's a Mengi in every country in the world one might say.  So if it's not Mengi that matters why should this be such an important appointment by the TPSF.

Firstly, the TPSF seeks to spearhead investor grabbing in Tanzania. It is a high profile organisation. There are few foreign envoys in Tanzania if any, that are not aware of Mengi's brutal corruption in the Silverdale farm case. They may pay him court, but they will do so tongue in cheek, because they have to, but they won't like it. After all, no one likes a cheat let alone a hypocrite. So Mengi heads the organisation and it immediate loses credibility in the eyes of intended investors in Tanzania. They see Mengi as chairman and wonder what on earth any kind of organisation that seeks to promote investment is doing with a publicly corrupt businessman as its Chairman.

Secondly, the values and mission statement of the TPF are compromised. Mengi's corruption is indefensible vis-a-vis the organisations stated values and the integrity  of the organisation disappears. Wherever there is the opportunity that offers personal advantage to someone in some respect there will be an opportunity for corruption and selective disengagement from the vice kicks in.  In  organisations like the TPSF there would be many such opportunities and that's why it is imperative that it demonstrate a squeaky clean veneer; on the surface at least.

Thridly, it matters because of the message it sends out to those who strive for the protection of human rights in Tanzania and wish to protect those not capable of protecting themselves.

Finally it matters because of the corrosive effects of corruption on creating a business environment that can promote sustainable development and the relief of poverty. As Paul Sturgess states, corruption is a predator which has cheapened public life and fostered an amoral business ethic to the detriment of commercial life. 

The appointment of Reginald Mengi by the TPSF is indefensible on any level that is, if anyone is going to take the organisation seriously.





* TSSF Website:  http://www.tpsftz.org/index.php