Saturday 7 January 2023

Barrick North Mara pays over 21bn/- as more people accept compensation

By Staff Writer

The number of people who have been compensated to give way to mining activities at North Mara Gold Mine at the Tanzanian rural village of Komarera in Tarime district has increased from 4,836 to 4,881 after 45 more people accepted their payments.

So far, North Mara Gold mine which is a joint venture between Barrick Gold and the Government of Tanzania, through Twiga Minerals Corporation, has paid a total of TZS 21.594 bn/- to 4,881 villagers.

According to Tanzania government Valuer, Mr Rashid Magetta, the villagers are on the list of 5,162 people who are eligible for compensation for properties that should give way to Barrick North Mara mining activities.

The Chairman for Ntare hamlet in Komarera, Marwa Mwita Omuko told reporters yesterday that some of the villagers accepted their payments after a dialogue with the Conflict Resolution Committee formed by the government in recent days.

“My own grandmotherfor example, was one of those who had rejected the offer. She was however, given sufficient information on what she deserved and has now agreed to take the money,” said Omuko.

However, Omuko said some villagers claim that the amounts given do not meet their expectations.

A team of journalists witnessed Barrick North Mara bulldozers clearing the neighbourhood as more houses were deserted.

Earlier this week, Tarime District Commissioner (DC), Col Michael Mntenjele who chairs the Conflict Resolution Committee told villagers who have already been compensated, to move on and give room to expansion of the mining activities, which are also imperative for local development in the villages around the gold mine.

At a press briefing after visiting Komarera village to assess the demolition of settlements of those who have already received their dues, the DC said the villagers should not be gullible to cheap politics being perpetrated by some individuals because this would amount to a waste of time on their part.

“If your property has been evaluated, you are expected to collect your money and vacate the area. The value of your property is pegged on the time the evaluation exercise was conducted, during which an ultimatum was issued,” said Col Mntenjele.

He warned the villagers that there would be no compensation to anyone who continued to develop their property after the ultimatum which had prohibited any further activities relating to construction or planting of any crops.

The DC reminded the villagers that North Mara Gold mine is partly owned by the government. It was thus absurd for them to continue standing in the way of the government and the investor.

“We will demolish houses which are vacant. We therefore urge those who have already collected their dues to vacate the area. Those who are yet to take their compensation, should do so immediately because the money is available at North Mara Gold Mine,” said the DC.

Meanwhile, the government valuer said a few people who had already been compensated chose to lose their integrity by renting their houses, knowing that this was not right.

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