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Villagers blame goldmine for unfair compensation

The Guardian (Tanzania)
January 9th, 2012

Kakola Namba Tisa villagers in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, have lodged complaints against the Bulyahulu Goldmine owned by Barrick Tanzania for failing to compensate them fairly after the company took their land. The villagers also said the relationship between the villages and the mine was poor and asked the government to resolve a conflict before it led to violence. Reading the villagers' speech before their MP Ezekiel Maige, who is also the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, village executive officer John Lubinza said apart from their complaints the village lacked a dispensary, classrooms and lagged behind in development. The village was established in 2008 and is situated in Bulyahulu ward, Kahama District. They said most of their land had been grabbed by the mine and the compensation paid to them did not match with land value, calling on the government to intervene. “The money is too little compared to land value. We want the government to send us an evaluator; we don't recognise the one sent by the company because the money we are paid is too little," one of the villagers, Msingi Luchanganya said. They also complained that the evaluation was carried out a long time ago, while many things had changed a lot. Responding to the complaints Maige urged the mine management to establish a good relationship with the village to avoid unnecessary conflict. “This village was established in 2008. It is important for the mine management to contribute to community development projects," he said. For his part, Bulyanhulu mine manager for research Khalfan Kaboza said the evaluation was still going on so that people would be compensated fairly, adding that the village still had no boundaries as there were only political declarations, calling on the government to carry out a proper survey. “The boundaries are only political declarations ... it's important the government carries out a proper land survey. If you follow up closely you'll realise that the entire of Tabora and Namba Tisa village fall within the boundaries of the mine," he said. The relationship between the mine management and the villagers have been tense due to the fact that the mine has not been providing community services, including contributing to the construction of schools and dispensaries. Maige was in the constituency to inspect development projects and mobilise people to participate in development projects and participate in the drafting of the new constitution.

 

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