The Citizen | 10 November 2018
Sh426 billion cases filed against Tanzania in global courts
By Habel Chidawali
Dodoma. Tanzania is currently facing 13 cases on investment disputes in various international courts with $185.58 million (about Sh426 billion) demanded.
The minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, told Parliament yesterday that the actual amount to be paid will be known after the cases have come to conclusion.
The minister was responding to a question by Kigoma Urban MP Zitto Kabwe who sought to know the number of investment cases filed against Tanzania between 2000 and 2018 in various courts around the world.
In his response, Prof Kabudi said 13 cases have been filed in various courts of arbitration since 2015. He mentioned some of the courts as the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and in Johannesburg, South Africa through the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICTRAL) secretariat. He said currently, there was no case filed at the London Court of Arbitration (LCA) by Acacia Mining PLC, noting that arbitration cases number UN 173686 and UN 1736867 were filed last July by Pangea Minerals Limited and Bulyanhulu Gold Mining Limited. Pangea and Bulyanhulu are subsidiaries of Acacia Mining which has been in dispute with the government of Tanzania for more than a year now.
Acacia Mining recently said it was waiting for its largest shareholder, Barrick Gold, to negotiate a settlement with Tanzania, which stopped Acacia from exporting gold concentrate 20 months ago. The government has also slapped the miner with a bill of $190 billion in back taxes.
However, the company threatened to sue the government in international courts if it fails to reach a negotiated resolution over ongoing disputes between the two parties.
The company said that it was concerned about increasing risk to the safety of its staff and a challenging operating environment which may impact the firm’s business outlook.
“I’m particularly concerned with the criminal charges now being brought against several current or former employees,” Acacia’s interim chief executive officer Peter Geleta said in a quarterly performance report last month.
“We will also be reaching out to the government to seek the opportunity for direct dialogue regarding the ongoing disputes between the government, the company and the broader Acacia Group, and also to inform the government that failing a negotiated resolution the company may need to pursue claims under the relevant bilateral investment treaty.”