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Tanzania: Concern As Mine Terminates MoU With Communities

by MOSES MATTHEWTanzania Daily News
March 8th, 2013

COMMUNITIES surrounding North Mara Gold Mine have pleaded with the government to intervene in the land dispute between them and the mine operated by African Barrick Gold (ABG) after the latter terminated a memorandum of understanding between the two parties.

Residents of Kewanja ward raised concern in Tarime district during an emergency full council meeting over the decision by the mine to issue a notice of termination that was signed in April 5, 2012 between the ward, district and mine's officials.

"We are now worried with what would happen, it is as if they do not see the need to compensate us or give back to the community. Since we signed the MoU we have stopped activities in our lands but the mine does not seem to want to compensate us," said one of the councillors.

In a letter dated February 2013 which was the notice of breach of trust signed by the North Mara gold Mine (ABG) General Manager, Mr Gary Chapman specifically cited frequent stoppages of valuation activities as a reason of terminating the MoU. Sabasaba Ward Councillor, Mr Christopher Chomete said that the breach of MoU is not acceptable and disrespectful to surrounding communities.

He suggested that due to longstanding misunderstandings that have led to violence, the district council should identify problems between the mine and surrounding communities and recommend to the central government that from now onwards only the government should acquire land on behalf of the mine.

Mr Chapman, however, said that they terminated the MoU because they heard that there was a valuation task force that was formed to find a long lasting solution to the conflict.


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