Over a month has passed since Barrick Gold – Acacia Mining confirmed they are in merger discussions with Endeavour Mining.
An Open Letter to the President of Tanzania, Dr. J.P. Magufuli & Dr. Frederick Ringo, FCC
Copies to Prime Ministers Theresa May, Justin Trudeau, Ministers, Ambassadors, Media reporters.
We already know Acacia Mining as the “devil” of gold mining in Tanzania and their illegal activities including murder, rape, human rights crimes, corruption, fraud, tax evasion, environment damage and devastation and so much more is continually exposed.
If that is not enough, in 2016, the “Mining Bad Boy” were defendants in over 250 legal actions against them for a total amount in excess of US$230 million and apparently according to our friends in the Acacia Mining Dar es Salaam offices, 2017 is going to be much worse.
The Director General of the Tanzania’s Fair Competition Commission, Dr Fredrick Ringo, recently stated that no formal request or approach from Acacia Mining has been received to apply for any merger with Endeavour Mining. Barrick Gold, the 63.9% owners of Acacia Mining cannot be happy with this delay in a merger! They want a merger more than anything, and at any cost.
The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) is the formal body in Tanzania who must give an approval or a refusal for any merger in any business sector, regardless of industry. Even after more than a month of discussions between Endeavour Mining and Acacia Mining, Dr Ringo said there is no sign given to the FCC.
That can mean either there is no deal in the wind which Barrick Gold would simply hate OR that there is a whiff of a deal and that the “Mining Bad Boy” of Tanzania, Acacia Mining, is once again doing whatever it pleases, it takes no notice of the A-Z laws of Tanzania and continues on its way of selective following of Government laws. Why not here also? They do it with most other laws in Tanzania.
And Endeavour Mining? Much to our devastation, they are as bad if not worse than the Barrick Gold – Acacia Mining combination (that is triple as bad as each company as a stand alone).
It’s bad enough having our own “Mining Bad Boy” in Tanzania, do we need to have Endeavour as well?
Let us get down to work and really understand the issues that Dr. Ringo and the FCC must face if/when Acacia Mining knocks on their door to request a merger with Endeavour Mining.
The FCC website, www.competition.or.tz , states the following:
** The FCC aims to promote and protect effective competition in trade and commerce and protect consumers from unfair and misleading market conduct.
** The FCC is an integral and credible institution, leading to the attainment of a well functioning market economy and a better protected consumer.
** The FCC‘s mission is to promote and protect effective competition in markets and protect consumer from unfair and misleading market conduct.
** The FCC deals with all issues of anti-competitive conduct, abuse of dominance……
Finally, and most important, the FCC‘s Core Values are: Integrity, Accountability, Independence, Confidentiality, Due process and Professionalism.
In the FCC Merger Guidelines, clause 3.3. states:
A merger is prohibited if it creates or strengthens a position of dominance in a market. Therefore, FCC will consider whether the post merger firm will result into either creation of a dominant position or strengthening the existing dominant position.
Furthermore, clause 4.2.3. states:
Pursuant to Section 11(1), a merger is prohibited if it creates or strengthens a position of dominance in a market. Therefore, the test is whether the post merger firm will result into either creation of a dominant position or strengthening the existing dominant position.
The “Mining Bad Boy” will argue that there is no market in Tanzania for gold and they focus on the export of gold to the world markets and hence, there is no dominance of any market within Tanzania. However, this situation is quite the opposite!
Dr. Ringo and the FCC are 100% aware that our President, Dr. Magufuli, is sick and tired of the immoral behavior and dishonest performance of the “Mining Bad Boy” in their failure to operate strictly according to Tanzania laws and the President has not been “shy” to call a spade a spade, numerous times in the past few months – especially since Acacia lost their appeal against the GUILTY verdict of tax evasion only four months ago.
Already Acacia Mining’s dominance in our market has given them the courage and audacity to govern Tanzania and not our Government to govern them.
Every one of the 54 million people living in Tanzania have to deal with the daily nightmare of clause 4.2.3. in the FCC Merger Guidelines, i.e.: Barrick Gold somehow and illegally created a position of strength and dominance in our market – simple as that!
And those who disagree about the position of strength and dominance, what will they say when Endeavour Mining throw their money and weight behind Acacia Mining? That won’t be dominance, it will cause an earthquake for us.
Why should Barrick Gold care? They are winning big time because a merger reduces their share from 63.9% down to around 30%.
Why should any of those international companies care? All they want is our God-given gold and other minerals and they do everything possible NOT to pay ALL THE STATUTORY TAXES. Instead, they build a few clinics, schools, roads and they pay to plant trees and then they try to convince the world how wonderful they are.
Why are we, Tanzanians, denied the wonderful sensations of the 21st century and our nationalistic freedom?
Instead, these international companies take us back 100 years to their cruel and wicked colonialism!
From 1880 to 1919, the Germans were here and raped our land and murdered our people either through military or starvation means.
From 1919 to 1961, the British were here and raped our land.
When Julius Nyerere, our ultimate Mwalimu, formed our first Government, what did the British leave us with?
Dr. Ringo will receive copies of our application to President Magufuli and the Attorney General, to request that the FCC statutes are amended to include all the necessary issues of COMPLIANCE to Tanzanian laws, that international and local mining companies are compelled to follow.
In addition to the above, mining companies failure to follow and comply with our laws will automatically cause the FCC to PROHIBIT any merger applications.
We expect such changes should apply to all business and industry sectors, not only mining.
Please God we will in the future become exporters of gas and electricity and other non-mining “products”, and these same amendments should apply to those companies also.
President Magufuli has the vision for our country and will surely be pleased with this initiative.
Dr. Ringo and the FCC must see through this Acacia Mining merger for what it is. A huge weight of worry surely sits on the shoulders of our President and soon also, Dr. Ringo will feel this pressure. We must NOT allow Tanzania to come under the influences of Endeavour Mining.
Fact Sheet on Endeavour Mining:
(In point form and full information available online)
** Endeavour executives were exposed “interfering” and scams in presidential elections in the USA and the FBI investigated.
** Endeavour is linked to La Mancha and linked to Mr. Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian telecoms billionaire.
** Mr. Sawiris also was accused of illegal political donations relating to the 2012 USA presidential elections.
** The ex-CEO of Endeavour, Neil Woodyer, who was replaced recently by Sebastien de Montessus, was also involved in suspicious funding connected to presidential elections.
** La Mancha is linked to Areva, a French company. Areva were involved in a controversy over their $2.5 billion purchase of uranium miner, UraMin, after reports were received about fraud activities. Recently, the FBI were sent to investigate this also.
** Sebastien de Montessus, the new CEO of Endeavour Mining was a member of the Executive Board and Group Deputy CEO of Areva Group and CEO of Areva Mining. Areva is documented in the media for:
>> Judicial investigation opened on irregularities in the Central African Republic;
>> High Court condemns Areva for disregard of environmental regulations
>> Numerous violation of criticality rules at nuclear fuel fabrication plants
>> Spill of uranyl nitrate at a Areva site
And many, many more…
** In Niger, Areva was condemned for a case for lung cancer death of a former employee at one of their mines. Greenpeace accused Areva of neglecting the health of their workers in their mines in Niger. Communities there were surrounded by poisoned air, contaminated soil and polluted water and also were exposed to radiation, illness and poverty — while Areva makes billions from Niger’s natural resources,”
** Former Niger President Mamadou Tandja openly accused Areva of financing the local Tuareg rebel fighters and their rebellion
** Areva was criticized by several NGOs for polluting underground aquifers, aggravating a chronic water shortage, and exposing its employees to uranium contamination.
** In Namibia, Areva was involved in a payment of about N$30 million to a local company shortly after ths same Namibian company bought shares in Areva’s desalination plant. (Money in and out??) Both companies refused to explain the payment amid allegations that Areva’s mining company sought out political connections to advance its businesses, implicating Namibian political figures such as former Prime Minister Hage Geingob.
** In Mongolia, it was reported that disease was found in domestic animal herds near to an Areva mine. When the cattle started dying, even the wolves would not eat the dead animals. Tests by the State Veterinary and Animal Breeding Agency revealed chronic poisoning.
** Behind and above Sebastien de Montessus and Endeavour Mining is La Mancha!
This company La Mancha is the private natural resource investment vehicle of the Sawiris Family from Egypt.
** Frank Giustra, another Canadian billionaire and close to Naguib Sawiris is also close to Stephen Dattels, an ex-Barrick Gold senior executive.
** Giustra is known for his part in La Mancha – he was a Director. Giustra was involved in the famous funding scandal involving Bill and Hilary Clinton and what went on before the recent elections. Media reports stated that it would be virtually impossible for the Clinton-Giustra group to put their house in order with the USA authorities without acknowledging that the group was engaged in massive accounting fraud since its inception.
** Giustra was Chairman of Endeavour Mining until 2007 and is still an adviser there.
He uses his relationships with Bill and Hilary Clinton to seek profit in natural disasters, including earthquakes in India and Haiti, and a hurricane in New Orleans. One example reported was the Clinton-Giustra trip to Kazakhstan in 2005. Supposedly, Clinton went to meet the dictator of Kazakhstan to help with HIV/AIDS issues but in fact, he was there to help Frank Giustra secure a uranium deal.
** More reports are that Giustra had other projects in Latin America that received US taxpayer money. Giustra’s Endeavour Mining arranged for Export-Import funding in September 2010 as part of an $858 million package of loans for a copper mining project in Mexico called Baja Mining. In truth, US taxpayers lost about $420 million.
** And now, a look at the billionaire ultimate boss, Naguib Sawiris. This is a man of almost unlimited power. He publicly opposed the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and he played an active role in its downfall.
** It was reported on the questions about Sawiris and illegal political donations made to a group affiliated with the 2012 USA presidential elections.
** In Algeria, the Court found Mr. Sawiris’s telecoms company guilty for breaching foreign-exchange regulations and fined them US$1.3 billion.
** In Italy, it was reported by the police that Mr. Sawiris was under investigation for alleged corruption in a probe over the acquisition of the Italian mobile phone operator, Wind SpA. The probe concerned consultancy fees of more than €90 million ($135 million) which prosecutors believe were kickbacks masked as consultancy fees.
** Still in Italy, reports that Italy’s Tax Authorities were claiming about $75 million (€57 million) because Wind allegedly avoided paying taxes in 2009 transactions..
** In Congo Brazzaville, reports about Sawaris business relates to corruption involving President Denis Sassou Nguesso and the “favor” that Sawaris did for the President’s daughter – he promised to give her 20 % shares in Sawaris’s new telecom company – and for tax evasion purposes, they would do it in a Mauritius off-shore company.
** In Iraq, reports about Sawaris exposed his relationship to Nadhmi Auchi, a close ally and financier of Sadam Hussein. The US Government reported that Auchi was the key figure who engineered the disbursement of bribes to leading Iraqi officials who determined that Sawaris’s Orascom would have the winning bid for Iraqna, the top mobile phone operator in Iraq at the time. Also the Pentagon stated their investigation uncovered “fraud on the Ministry of Communications by Orascom…”
** In the UK, reports exposed Sawiris for abusing British bankruptcy laws for his personal profit. Sawiris owned Greek telecoms company, Wind Hellas, Greece’s third largest telecom company, with 4.6 million customers and more than UK£1 billion revenue a year. Sawaris knew that Wind Hellas was going bankrupt so he quickly moved the Wind Hellas assets and changed its address from Luxembourg to the UK.
Very quickly, this massive company had new “headquarters” in London in one office with one man!! Then, just two weeks later, Mr. Sawiris began proceedings and Wind Hellas collapsed. Very quickly and quietly, Sawaris formed a new company called Weather Investments and Weather Investments “bought back” the ruins of Wind Hellas for a small amount and they were back in business!
The loss to the Wind Hellas bondholders (creditors) was reported at €1.5 billion.
** Still in the UK, it was reported that a judge ordered Mr. Sawiris to pay a former business associate more than €75 million ($104 million) in relation to the acquisition of Wind SpA. The judge, Lord Justice Nicholas Patten described Sawiris in his judgment with the words: “(Sawaris) told what can only be described as a deliberate lie about his involvement in other litigation. For this reason, I have approached his evidence with caution.”
Muongo ni mwizi – A liar is a thief.
Will Dr. Ringo give these people dominance over the gold mining industry in Tanzania?
Will Dr. Ringo allow people like Naguib Sawiris, Frank Giustra, Sebastien de Montessus and others in that group to take control of Acacia Mining (a problem of its own) in Tanzania?
Will Dr. Ringo see that the above-listed disgusting business practices are exactly the “conduct and abuse of dominance” that is stated in the FCC website and that must be avoided at all costs?
Will they interfere with our politics?
Will they operate here like they did in Niger?
And Central African Republic?
And Congo Brazzaville?
And in the UK?
And only God knows where else and what else they do, with no regard for human rights, for the environment, for political stability, and more – just to make bigger profits?
We repeat our request to our President and now to Dr. Ringo:
Tanzanians are finally starting to face up to ethics, honesty and integrity here in our country.
Please do NOT allow these powerful, wealthy people with the track record you can see above (and there is so much more), please don’t allow them to buy their way into our new Tanzania if there is no pre-defined perfect picture that our country and our nation will truly and justly benefit.
Dr. Ringo, you can see that their “conduct and abuse of dominance” is as clear as daylight. They are simply incapable to operate transparently but instead these people create their businesses and hide behind their confusing camouflage safety nets. Referring back to the FCC Core Values of Integrity and Accountability – you can see these people do NOT fit in to the new Tanzania.
Thank you and God bless our President and all our Nation.