Government rules out forcing oil stakeholders into joining unions

Tuesday February 12 2019

Energy minister Medard Kalemani

Energy minister Medard Kalemani 

By Josephine Christopher @JocfineQ

Dar es Salaam.  Energy minister Medard Kalemani has said the government will never force any oil stakeholder to be part to any sectorial organisation or union because such a measure is voluntary.

Instead, the minister advised leaders of unions such as the Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies (Taomac) to strengthen their operational structures, which will eventually influence many stakeholders to join.

Dr Kalemani made the remarks during a meeting with oil stakeholders on Sunday February 10, 2019 here in the city.

The minister was responding to an argument raised by the Taomac chairman Sophonie Babo proposing that the government should make a regulation to ensure anyone applying for an oil trading licence on the condition that such a person first becomes a member of a union like his.

In his explanation, Dr Kalemani said the government will continue with the normal procedure of granting licence as according to the conditions and respective laws, which are not associated with forcing a trader to being part of any sectorial organisation or union.

"Being in an organisation is optional, we can’t force anyone. If we start forcing people to join certain organisations, that will be violation of their rights,” he said.

He added that the government's objective was to ensure that both parties in the oil business (government and traders) were left well-off.

Moreover, the energy minister said all the regulations set by the government in managing the oil industry did not intend to affect the businesses but for the purpose of managing the interests of both the people and traders.

The meeting was also attended by the deputy minister for energy, Ms Subira Mgalu, the acting commissioner for petroleum and gas Ms Mwanamani Kidaya, and the acting director for Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency - PBPA Erasto Simon.

The minister recommended for the meeting to be conducted at least once each year discussing issues relating to the development of the industry.