Villagers appeal to President Magufuli to save them from eviction?

Source:THE CITIZEN

Handeni. Over 80 artisanal dolomite miners and other villagers at Mumbwi village, in Komkonga Ward of Handeni District are evicted from their mining area and some parts of the village to make way for a new investor who has acquired prospecting rights over the area.

In a desperate appeal to save their livelihoods, the miners are appealing to President John Magufuli to save for what they have described as an attempt to cut them off from their lifeline.

Speaking emotionally during an interview with the Citizen at the mining site at Mumbwi Village, the Chairman of an 88 member mining group, Hamad Salehe Jongo said that unless higher authorities intervene a conflict which might cost lives is likely to flare up in the village.

“People are being told to stop mining, a business that has been their livelihood and that has employed several people, including youth and women here reducing crime incidents and many social and domestic conflicts. We will not move or be moved an in inch even by using that will costs our lives,” said Jongo, who is one of the founders of dolomite mining in the area.

The mining venture, according to Jongo, started in 1988 when they accidentally came across the white stone as they were blasting stone to build their dispensary. “We collected samples and went to Tanga where we were told that the this was dolomite and hence started to mine in the area until Simba Mtoto Company came to acquire the area after getting a mining license,” said Jongo.

Simba Mtoto, however, did not bother them and allowed them to continue with the venture until his license expired last year. He said that their efforts to apply and acquire a mining right over the area failed because they were being blocked by their village leaders who they suspect have sold them over to the new investor.

 

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