Villagers irate at investor elbow in gold artisan mine

31Dec 2017
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Villagers irate at investor elbow in gold artisan mine

Namungo villagers in Ruangwa district claim that authorities in the district allowed a mining investor to exploit various mineral resources in the district for eight years without issuing him with the permit.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa

Bahati Mikael, a resident in the village told the prime minister yesterday that while local residents were being denied the right to mine, others have had the rights since 2006 and no taxes were paid to the government because they were mining without  having a permit.

 “There has been a monopoly in issuing permits for the mines, with one investor conducting business here since 2006 without being issued with a license,” he said.

Mussa Kimatilo, another resident in Mtondo village, Nambilanje Ward in the district, said residents were being ill treated by village government authorities and the investor, and being denied their right to speak at public meetings.

He said the villagers had ironed out their differences with the investor who agreed to compensate them but the local village authorities were being hard on them.

When called by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to give his explanation  on the claims, the Mining Officer in the district said the area in question belonged to Kishor Rajani.

“In previous years residents in the district mined in the area on a goodwill basis between them without any written contract,” he said, noting that now the investor gets only 17.5 percent of usual regular  income from the area.

The PM directed the Deputy Regional Mining Officer, Ogesa Tale to sit down with the villages and listen to their grievances.

“Come here at Namungo mine tomorrow at 10AM in the morning and listen to these villagers' complaints and make sure you submit their complaints to my office,” said the PM who is on a three day working tour  in the region.