Yesterday, very quietly, the big boss of Barrick Gold, 64% owners of Barrick Gold, arrived in Tanzania in a private jet for a meeting at President Magufuli’s offices.
Prof. John Thornton, the Chairman and No. 1 boss of Barrick Gold, finally came to face the President. Obviously, the Acacia Mining crisis was getting too big and their shares had toppled about 40% recently over the crisis. Enough is enough and the big boss took over from the lower management who were making more of a mess than anything else.
To support Prof. Thornton, he brought Mr. Ian Myles, Canada’s High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam. So, the “big guns” came to face the music.
Our President, Dr. Magufuli, rose to the occasion like the professional that he is! He received the Canadian’s with Tanzanian warm hospitality and honour. Their discussions were briefly outlined in their video clip below:
(Swahili before English)
The Barrick boss was happy to talk about the solutions that will be “win-win” – win for Tanzania and win for Barrick – Acacia mining.
Before we focus on these “win-win” solutions, we should first look at how our President has managed this Acacia Mining crisis over the past few months.
It has been written in the media that some of the finest characteristics of Madiba Nelson Mandela were: Defiance, Humility, Forgiveness, Determination, Sense of humor.
The Tanzanian nation are truly privileged and blessed to be seeing these same characteristics in our leader, Dr. John P. Magufuli. And we see them right here, in the Acacia Mining crisis.
Our President became our Number 1 activist against the Number 1 cancer in our society – corruptionand fraud in Tanzania. He demonstrated his defiance of this cancer and his policies and actions demonstrate this. He never bowed to the pressure from our Bunge (parliament) lobbyists supporting Acacia Mining and the international pressure from all over the financial world, he never withdrew his beliefs – even to the point of dismissing his close friend, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo who was Minister of Mines until this crisis “exploded”.
Despite harsh criticism from many angles, he stood his ground and followed what he believes – all for the good of our Country and our People.
The President’s ability to stand up to such huge pressure and to demonstrate defiance against corruption and fraud and his determination to fight this cancer in Tanzania, places him high up amongst the great leaders in modern history.
Yesterday especially, the world witnessed President Magufuli’s characteristics of humility and forgiveness in the wonderful manner in which he received the boss of Barrick Gold. After such revelations as we have all seen about Acacia Mining over the past few weeks, the President was still able to sit with Prof. Thornton and discuss solutions for the greater good of Tanzania.
Finally, as we all see in the video clip, our President’s sense of humor can be seen through his smile and ease of company in hosting Prof. Thornton.
President Magufuli, Tanzania is right behind you all the way! You are an example to to other leaders worldwide.
Now we return to these “win-win” solutions that the Barrick Gold boss spoke about in his announcement yesterday.
After we saw the video clip yesterday, our group started to contact a number of analysts and journalists to ask their opinions about this sudden development after the “volcano” caused by the two reports from the President’s Committees. It is obvious to everyone we asked that Barrick Gold – Acacia Mining have an agenda or strategy is suddenly sending the big boss to meet our President.
So, the general opinion from the analysts and journalists is definite caution and concern. And when they explain why, we understand why there is reason for worry. We will explain some of the facts here:
In the past few months, Acacia Mining has only argued and conflicted every step of the way with the authorities in Tanzania as regards the declarations of mineral ore exported. There was absolutely no sign of cooperation or negotiation or compromise or settlement. Instead, they insisted everyone else was mistaken and only they were correct. Even after the two reports from the President’s Committees were exposed, Acacia fought back and they demanded neutral, independent re-evaluation of the testings that the two Presidents Committee’s had undertaken. As is the style of Acacia, they write in their media reports on their website that they are committed to dialogue with our Government but their approach and attitude as can be seen in the media is generally the opposite of the will for dialogue.
Journalists pointed out yesterday that they recognize the real agenda of Barrick Gold – Acacia Mining as a play in the stock exchange and the way to boost their share values. They correctly point out that if we look at the Acacia Mining threats over the past few months to close Buzwagi mine and then later to close Bulyanhulu mine, we see that these threats are quite the opposite of the media releases on the Acacia website. How can Acacia state in the media that they are closing their mines but in their website, the place where their shareholders and stock brokers access media releases, they write “Acacia would like to confirm that it is continuing to operate all three of its mines in Tanzania, namely Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara.”
Everyone agrees these threats to close the mines were aimed at our President. And they want to have dialogue on the back of threats?
No, say the analysts, this agenda that we see from the Barrick Gold boss who arrived so suddenly and so quietly in Tanzania, is probably more about boosting the value of Acacia Mining shares than looking for solutions. They continue and say that if we look at the share prices of Acacia Mining over the past three months, the trend is down, down, down but every time they make a media release about dialogue and hope, their share prices boost upwards. Similarly yesterday with the meeting with the President, the share boosted upwards after the meeting an deven today, they are still climbing.
So we see the “win-win” now is actually only a one sided win for Acacia.
Who is to say they will not walk into the first “solutions meeting” and demand international independent re-evaluation of all the work done by the two President’s Committees?
Let us not forget the Swahili proverb: Chui hageuki madoadoa – A leopard cannot change its spots. We are talking about Acacia Mining who was found guilty last year TWICE of tax evasion. They have been responsible in Tanzania for killings, for rape, for burning homes, for destruction to our environment, there are hundreds of legal cases with local Tanzanian companies who are abused and bullied commercially by Acacia, and the list goes on and on.
So, all we can do is hope that the Barrick Gold – Acacia Mining agenda is genuine and ethical and NOT another corporate trick to boost their shares and manipulate our President, our Government and the People of Tanzania.