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Disorganized gemstone market ruin government/miners revenue

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“We only benefit the middle men who mtake this precious stones at a throw away price simply because we have got no alternative since there is no centralized gemstone market,” Japhet simon, an artisanal miner at Kalalani say.

Artisanal miners cry foul that they are being duped by mineral brokers in the area who provide them prices of their own desire.

“ Food and water besides other basic needs are scarce here and the only way to survive is to depend on the hand out from the brokers who bank on the food support they provide to us when they are buying our gemstone,” Musa Juma, an artusnal miner at Kigwasi in Kalalani says.

“ Sad are the times that you sell a gemstone to a broker at let say Tshs. 500,000 only to hear the broker sold it at ten million Tanzanian shillings.There is no secret it and when one does such a big catch, the brokers talk it out here but there is nothing we call do to salvage the situation because mining infrastructure in this area is crippled by haves and have nots,” Juma bitterly says.

Artisanal miners speaking on the nature of gemstone at Kalalani, they say the whole process is crippled by conmen simply because there is no apparent known price of the precious stones they are mining though the gemstones at Kalalani like ruby are some of the most expensive precious stones in the World market.

A gemstone broker at Kigwasi sub-village   admits that artisanal miners are truly facing a rough ride when it comes to finding reliable market for their find.

“ They sell at a throw away price and the brokers enjoy the advantage because these artisanal miners are not exposed besides the misery of their working environment. They go for weeks without finding anything in the name of a gemstone and by the time they find a piece of it, they are already in big debts,” the broker humbly explains.

“ They owe us money even before they sell to us and that is an advantage to us because by the time they get a precious stone, we negotiate with not only our debtor but also a hungry man who needs food to survive giving us an opportunity to set the goals during the price negotiations,” the broker confidently says.

James Tulei says through experience, they can tell the quality of all the gemstones that comes their way hence setting the price at their own will.

“ If a buy a gemstone worth two million shillings here,I am sure I will sell it at not less than ten or fifteen million shillings in Dar es Salaam,” he boats.

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Investigative

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Muhimu Kusoma