Tanzanian president splits energy and mining in ministry shake-up

Source: REUTERS

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Tanzanian president John Magufuli split the energy and minerals ministry in two and appointed heads for the new ministries on Saturday, five months after sacking the previous minister.

Two presidential committees had recommended the move to tighten supervision of natural resources in Tanzania, where Magufuli has sent shockwaves through the mining community since his election in 2015 with actions he says are aimed at ensuring that the African country benefits from its natural wealth.

The country passed new laws in July to increase mining taxes, to force companies to re-negotiate their contracts and to allow the state to own up to 50 percent of mining firms.

Nicknamed “the Bulldozer” for his forceful leadership style, Magufuli is increasing pressure on miners, including Acacia Mining, the biggest gold miner in Tanzania, to pay more taxes.

Magufuli fired Sospeter Muhongo in May after an investigation into possible undeclared exports by mining companies. Several senior officials resigned or were fired after allegations of impropriety in Tanzania’s mining sector.

The president appointed Angellah Kairuki as the new mining minister. The 41-year-old lawyer by training previously served as minister of state in the president’s office responsible for public service management and good governance.

Medard Kalemani, 41, was promoted from deputy energy and minerals minister to lead the new energy ministry. He has worked for the ministry for more than a decade, previously as its legal affairs director. (Editing by Maggie Fick and Alexander Smith)

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