The following, is part of a communication from a former senior Tanzanian minister to a senior member of the British government concerning the registration of the lease to Silverdale & Mbono Farms.
After some chasing around, I managed to speak to Ngasongwa from Zanzibar yesterday, before he departed to Singapore and New York.
He said straight away that he hadn't been able to make as much progress as he'd have liked: He had spoken to TIC, who had written to him confirming that they could issue the certificate of foreign investment as soon as the lease was registered.
It was clear to Ngasongwa that the lease should be registered. Even the papers Mengi had given him, despite Mengi's attempt "to be clever", showed no reason why the lease should not be registered.
But Ngasongwa had been unable to get hold of Magafuli, the Minister of Lands, who was travelling outside Dar es Salaam.
He had spoken to the Deputy Minister, but she had said she couldn't do anything in the Minister's absence.
So Ngasongwa had written to Magafuli encouraging him to impress on the Commissioner of Lands the need to proceed with registration. He had copied this letter to Lowassa and enclosed with it a copy of the TIC letter and my letter to him of 6 September (to which is also attached your letter to the Regional Commissioner).
Ngasongwa promised me a blind copy of his letter to Magafuli. I hope that will be waiting for me when I get back into the office tomorrow.
Ngasongwa said he would resume the chase on his return to Dar es Salaam on (probably) 29 September.
This is still frustratingly slow, and I'll be interested to see what Ngasongwa's letter to Magafuli actually says. But I do have the impression that Ngasongwa really does feel he needs to sort this matter out, at last. And it's good that he copied his letter to Lowassa.