MEMBERS of the National Service (JKT), who took part in the construction of the ‘Great Mirerani Wall,’ have already earned themselves government employment due to their patriotism and dedication.
“The army has taken less than six months to build the giant and longest wall in East Africa, spending as little as possible; if we were to use private firms, chances are that it would have cost three times and taken 15 years,” maintained the Head of State when addressing hundreds of residents of Simanjiro during inauguration of the ‘Great Mirerani Wall,’ yesterday.
Chief of Defence Forces, General Venance Salvatory Mabeyo revealed that 20 JKT squads participated in the construction of the Great Mirerani Wall, whose works started last November 2017 and got completed by early March.
Among them there were 34 officers, 287 soldiers and 2,038 youths that the Head of State has promised to ensure that they get absorbed into government employment. Meandering at nearly 25 kilometres long, the ‘Great Mirerani Wall’ is probably the longest fort ever built in the country, if not in the entire East African Region, with the works being undertaken by the army through the National Service (JKT) arm.
The Commanding Officer in-charge of the construction, Lieutenant Charles Mbuge, said the wall project started in November, last year, and was scheduled to be completed on the 30th of April 2018, but the work was done, seventy days ahead of schedule. “Originally, the works were to take six months, from the 1st of November 2017 to the 30th of April 2018, however, the wall was completed before the 15th of February 2018,” said the Commanding Officer, adding that the project cost 5.65 billion/-.
The Commanding Officer pointed out that they are soon going to install surveillance cameras and other electronic monitoring devices, insisting that, despite being 25 kilometres long; there is only one gate to serve both as entry and exit point. President John Magufuli ordered the construction of the wall to protect all mining activities at the Mirerani Hills, to curb the notorious gemstone theft and smuggling, at the Mineral Extraction Zone.
The Head of State issuedthe order in September 2017 while inaugurating the KIAMirerani road, instructing the Chief of Defence Forces, General Venance Mabeyo to mobilise the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces in erecting the fort around the precious gemstones’ mining area, to curb theft, smuggling as well as alien infiltration in the quarries. Minister for Minerals, Ms Angela Kairuki said entry into the Mirerani mining area will no longer be easy, as people need to have special IDs to be granted admission.
Manyara Regional authorities have started issuing Identity Cards for people who work in the mines and so far, 6,000 miners have been issued with such IDs, while also mine operators are in the process of providing their workers with permanent employment contracts.