Friday, June 26, 2009
Gold Mining Against the Locals
The fate of the displaced people from Mine Mpya village in Mtakuja Ward in Geita District still lies in a limbo as their case has been thrown pending threats of being removed from their makeshift home.
Speaking at the Court of Appeal’s premises with their lawyer in early august when they came for the hearing of their case, they stated that they “are uncertain of what is going to happen to them if the government which had earlier given them a 30 day ultimatum to get clear from their current makeshift home upon hearing that our case has been thrown out of the court of appeal.”
The team of four made of two Women and Men who travelled from Geita to Dar es Salaam to represent the others at the hearing that was planned for 2nd August 2008 evidenced their disappointment at the fact that their lawyer was talking with the Judge even before talking with them.
“We did not know that Mr. Kabonde was inside with the Judge while we are out here. We came here very early in the morning and when we talked with the lady at the reception; she told us that the case which was going on was not ours. Only later to learn that Kabonde was the one talking with the judge,” lamented Saidi Jonna.
Interference with Family Fabric
The evictees have heard a lot of problems including the break-up of family fabric. Their lives demonstrate the lives that not even refugees within our boarders live.
In the world, African culture and maybe we move closer to the Tanzanian culture; parents are not allowed to share same rooms with their grown up children. But this is not the case with these poor and marginalised people living in the government’s compound within the Geita District Township.
“Marriages have been broken; women are not living with their husbands leave alone families staying together. We are lower than the refugees and what we need is our land to be returned,” expressed Gaudensia Baga with tears flowing her sad face.
In what seemed like a game on the internally displaced people; Benard Kabonde, the lawyer who has been helping them out with the case appeared so discouraged when he was denied the chance to present the case of his clients before the judge assigned for that in the High Court.
In his attempts to calm down the group, Kabonde decided to explain what happened to their plight for justice. He told them that the judge at the high court told him that the case will not be heard, “As it was thrown out of the Court of Appeal on grounds of incompetence.”
Kabonde expressed his ‘disappointment’ and ‘frustration’ saying, “I am really confused on what is going on in this case. It looks like someone is playing around… I wonder what even happened to the judge who handled the case to even to forget to sign; this is the reason our application was termed incompetent.”
The case has to begin afresh while the people from Mtakuja continue to surfer and being intimidated to leave even from the makeshift home where they have tents pitched. These were provided by the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) through funds from Norwegian Church Aid Tanzania.
Recent reports from the affected say that the case has already been submitted afresh at The High Court of Tanzania – Mwanza Chapter.