| DAR ES SALAAM, March 3
DAR ES SALAAM, March 3 Tanzanian President John
Magufuli ordered the confiscation on Friday of passports
belonging to foreign employees of an Indian infrastructure
company managing a water project that is running late.
Magufuli, nicknamed "the Bulldozer" for pushing through his
policies, has been praised by Western donors for an
anti-corruption drive and cutting wasteful government spending
since he came to power in November 2015.
Opponents, however, accuse him of becoming increasingly
authoritarian, undermining democracy by curbing political
activity and cracking down on dissent.
"The president ... has ordered that the passport of ...
Rajendra Kumar, should be seized along with the travel documents
of his assistants until they complete the water project,"
Magufuli's office said in a statement.
The statement described Kumar as the representative of
Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (India) Private Limited. The
Delhi-based infrastructure company was not immediately available
"Magufuli has warned that if the project is not completed
within four months, he will take more stringent measures against
those supervising the construction work," the statement said.
The 29 billion shilling ($13 million) water project in the
southern town of Lindi was expected to be finished in March 2015
but remains incomplete, the president's office said.
It said Magufuli, a former public works minister, was
angered by the lack of progress on the project, which he visited
Some foreign investors have expressed concern about what
they say are unpredictable government policies and actions,
while some big mining companies feel they are being unfairly
targeted by Magufuli's administration.
On Friday, a day after Magufuli repeated a call for exports
of copper concentrate to be halted, Tanzania's energy and
minerals ministry announced an immediate ban on sending copper
concentrate or mineral sand for processing abroad.
Magufuli's call to build a smelter in Tanzania to process
gold was criticised in November by the Tanzania Chamber of
Minerals and Energy, which said it showed a lack of
understanding of how the industry works.
Major gold mining companies in Tanzania include Acacia
Mining Plc and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.
Like other African nations, Tanzania is on a drive to add
value to its exports rather than send raw materials abroad.
The new government banned imports of coal and gypsum in
November to boost its mining sector, saying it had abundant
reserves of the minerals.
($1 = 2,230.0000 Tanzanian shillings)
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by George
Obulutsa and Catherine Evans)