Monday, March 2, 2015

GGM to help investigate albino killings in Lake Zone regions

With the prolific untold story of the on-going killings of people with albinism in Lake Zone regions in the country, the Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML) which is located in Geita region has announced to put hand in helping to eradicate the escalating phenomena. It has been learnt. The Vice- president of the AngloGold Ashanti group in Tanzania Simon Shayo said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that, his company has resolved to help investigate the inside of the matter in an effort to ease the government’s move into exposing people engaged in such malpractices so that people with albinism should live peacefully. Shayo revealed his company’s plans when contributing to a debate at a breakfast talk organized by Policy Forum to discuss the subject titled, “Corporate Social Responsibility in Tanzania mining sector, is it an option of obligation”, the forum was held at New Africa Hotel. In his presentation he said that, his firm has outlined an action plan which would involve leaders of villages surrounding the mine and others from where such incidences happened. Others he said are ordinary people, officials from district councils in the region, human right activists, local and International organizations which are after people’s rights and lawyers. He said, his company which operates the GGM in Geita town has felt pity over the matter an aspect that have become so eager to investigate the inside of the killings which surprisingly used to occur at every time whenever general election is approaching in the country. “The idea is part of the corporate social responsibilities (CSR) among other things that the company is engaged with”, he said adding that his company has set aside Sh. 10 million for preliminary preparations to facilitate the project. In his earlier presentation to the topic in discussion, Shayo said that in the previous financial year, his mining company has spent a total of Sh. 1.3 billion in the fight over malaria disease and Sh. 10.1 billion on education, and Sh. 8.1 billion for water supply and sanitation as part of its CSR to the people in villages surrounding the gold mine. Either he noted that, since it started operation in year 2000 up to now, the mining company has employed about 3,500 Tanzanians and has paid tax a total of Sh. 909.5 billion to the government coffers. Earlier, discussants over the topic poured much blame to the government when the topic was put across to the audience for discussion, with some saying that, the government is not serious to look at the welfare of the small scale miners in various mining sites in the country. Some discussants noted that, there was a need for the government to formulate the CSR policy that would guide giant operating mining companies in the country and the prospective gas investors so that, they should contribute more for the CSR to the local people.

The Vice- president of the AngloGold Ashanti group in Tanzania Simon Shayo 

 Elaborating on the idea, the Vice-President of Tanganyika Law Society, Advocate Flaviana Charles noted that it was a shameful thing to see that, most mining companies are not engaged in road infrastructures in areas where they operate. She said that one could feel ashamed to see that, Geita town is still having untarmaked roads that pollute dust all over the skies as a car runs along. However, she is of the view of the fact that, Geita should have looked like Johannesburg city of South Africa once used to be the city of Gold. Another contributor, Maurine Msangi whom is a policy and advocacy officer of the ACT Pact Tanzania noted that, “seemingly as the government has not acted so actively and more seriously, as people could get mutual benefits in the first hand for 50 and 50 percent rate for CSR activities. Maurine is on the view of the fact that, the government should have put a stringent condition as an obligation to introduce a National Policy for CSR as this is a serious development issue for the rural people where mining activities are taking place. However, she noted that it is shameful to see that our rural people are still living in abject poverty for there is none of the government initiative being undertaken in order to let people enjoy the investments on their land. Ibrahim Bakari of a Dar es Salaam based International Development Consultancy (IDC) firm, talked on the resettlement policy framework that should be introduced by the government through the ministry of Lands and Human Settlement. He said through the policy, rural people would benefit a lot especially in areas where investments are taking place. He further noted that, then policy would make it open land annexation from the indigenous people for compensation without crisis.

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