Wednesday, January 27, 2010

URANIUM MINING IN ZAMBIA: Signing the Contract of Death

STOCKPILES: Uranium Ores stockpiled in one of the sites belonging to one of the investors in Uranium Mining in Zambia

Bold statements are not rare among us when it comes to issues that relate to foreign direct investments in our countries in Africa. Our African Leaders seem to care less of what would become of their people in the aftermath of making rush decisions. It is a sheer selfishness when our people are subjected to deplorable living conditions when it comes to Extraction of Natural Resources in our midst. Zambia is yet to make another big mistake of not taking the concerns of the people at heart when striking deals on Uranium Mining. Dennison Mines is Canadian and African Energy Resources is Australian, are there not Uranium Fields in these countries? Has anyone in the government tried to follow up what happens in these countries with regards to Uranium countries so that informed decisions are made? Copper mining has evidenced big failure since privatisation era and we are watching now...  

Rushing to Destruction
LATE last week the Zambian Minister for Mines, Maxwel Mwale was assertive of the imminent opening of the operations of the African Energy Resources, a company which ‘intends’ to carry out Uranium mining in the Southern province – Siavonga.

It is a good thing that the Zambian government through the Ministry of Mines is focused on seeing that Uranium mining activities takes off as soon as possible. But in the face of this readiness on the part of the government; a moment of reflection need to be taken lest the government and the Ministry overseeing mining activities rush into destruction.

The government needs to take a moment to reflect on how ready the local communities are to have Uranium mining among them; tight in the midst of the communities. ‘In March the people who are supposed to be relocated will be relocated and the mining activities will take off-ground!’ so the minister was quoted on the media.

Historical Narratives
Uranium exploration activities is said to have “begun in 1980s.” “We have had a number of companies from Italy, America and other countries in the west since 1980s coming here with claims that they are carrying out exploration activities,” said a senior member of community.

In the foregoing, it was evident from the local community members that these ‘explorers’ “carried out their drilling activities, packed the product in boxes tightly packaged and were shipped out of the country. We know that you do not need a huge amount of Uranium to make final products from it and these people have been coming here and carrying out Uranium out of the country to meet their desired end. How long should exploration take to ensure that there is enough deposits of Uranium?”

Are Local Communities Ready?
I do not know whether it was a matter of coincidence or just a mere fact that the Minister was in the region and our team was also in the same area where he made his bold statement!

Talking to the traditional leaders in the three Chiefdoms, it was evident that the government of the day; even though in “a hurry to see these investors go ahead with uranium mining activities, we are still in the dark with what mining of this kind is all about. We have not been told the benefits, advantages and disadvantages of Uranium mining,” the chiefs and the headmen unanimously said at different times.

Speaking to the leadership in Sikoongo Chiefdom, it emerged that the investor in their midst – the African Energy Resources have given the community members conflicting information.

“We have been confused with the turn of issues because the company that came to us first is not the company which is now here. At first it was Albidon which came to us and now it is African Energy Resources. But even in their coming – African Energy Resources, we are not sure what exactly is being done. All we know is that they have prospecting licence but now they are talking about mining. Is it not the case that they should change their licence first?” queried one of the concerned community members.

Another concern which was raised by the local community members in Sikoongo Chiefdom was that of information that was passed to them by a lady they called Pamela and her team from African Energy Resource.

“At first, when Pamela and the team from African Resource Energy came here; they told us a little about Uranium and the dangers that come with it but later on when we started asking more questions about the impacts the story was changed and we were told that it is not all that dangerous and the company will be monitoring all activities closely,” said a retired teacher.

Lack of Awareness on Uranium Mining
The community members in Sikoongo, Simamba and Sinadambwe Chiefdoms raised their concerns on lack of awareness creation on what impacts come with Uranium mining in their communities. “We are completely in the dark and the government does not seem to care much about educating our people. We have heard of what this kind of mining can do to a community and we have also been told of Heroshima and all the effects that came with the bombing. Even though this is not a bombing but it is the same mineral we hear was used to make that dangerous bomb.”

At this juncture it should be remembered that the Simamba Chiefdome will not be directly face the impacts of the Uranium mining but certainly people from this chiefdom will go to the Sikoongo and Sinadambwe’s chiefdoms where the mining activities for Uranium will take place, hence they also need to have sensitisation programmes conducted.

The Namibian Experience
Two Chiefs from the Sinadambwe and Simamba Chiefdoms were accorded a trip to Namibia to see how Uranium is mined and processed but also to have round table discussions with the top management team at Dennison Mines offices in Namibia.

From their experiences their Royal Highnesses, Sinadambwe and Simamba said that, “The mining activities are literally in the desert and not close to the people.” This is a sharp contrast with what is happening among the Southerners in Zambia’s second tourist destination.

On our talks with the local leaders at the Chiefdom levels, we were informed that the relocation plans which are being discussed “...only talks about people from 6 villages in the Sinadambwe Chiefdom being relocated only 5 kilometres away from the central Uranium mining activity area.”

Concerns on the Zambezi Water Basin
While the government of Zambia and the ministry given the responsibility to oversee the mining sector are in a hurry to see production of Uranium taking place – are there any measures taken to mitigate the impacts that would visit the local communities and the regional impacts if one mistake occurs?

We know of the cutting cost mechanism which mining companies have used all over the world with regards to disposal of over-burden materials; otherwise known as wastes. The areas where Uranium mining activities implementation is proposed to take place in Zambia are mainly in the valleys and or in the water steams. The main concern in this line is to do with the allegations that Dennison Mines at one point wanted “to push overburden materials from one of their operational sites which is on a hill to a valley under them. This valley carries water from upstream to the Kariba Lake. Siavonga is supposedly the second tourist destination in Zambia; now, my only question is will this fact be the same once contamination cases starts to shoot up? Which Tourist will come here? How about the trans-boundary impacts which will be faced by neighbouring countries who share the Zambezi water basin when such impunity has started even before the full operation starts?”

Claims of Low Quality Products
The statement by the Minister of Mines on Friday the 22, January 2010 was preceded by reports from the company that the Uranium which is going to be mined in the Southern part of Zambia is of low quality, "Not strong enough!" But the most surprising thing is that they ( the investors are still pushing on to open the mine in March and or shortly after the reallocation of the villagers. 

This is another story that has been echoed for ages by the investors in mining Industry to make decision makers think that it is worth disposing of the mineral at a throw away price and disregard all the impacts in order not to lose the investor who is readily at hand.This is technically called 'brainwashing.' if it is true that the Uranium in Siavonga is "weak" then the best thing to do on the part of the investor is to let it lay in the ground without starting a process which will eventually end up leaving the communities in ill health for generations to come.

Fresh Look into Uranium Mining in Zambia
With the emergence of such statements the government of Zambia should be advised to look into this matter afresh. The investor in this case wants the government to be on the beggar's footing and beg them to stay and give them whatever little they can offer. 

Unless the government officials want to enrich themselves, they will not go back to the drawing board but t if they (the government) has the interest of her people at heart, they certainly will take this simple advise and call all the parties to the drawing board and make decisions where no one will be blamed to be a killer of the people.

Zambia should not be on the begging side of the table but an equal who should walk tall and proud of having the mineral which is needed by the investor.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hear it in Our Voices: Zambians speak out the Extractive Industry...

THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE LIVE: This is one of the sad and sore sights in Mufulira. People live not more than 10 metres from the wastes from the mining activities by Mopani Copper Mining. 

When stakeholders in development speak on matters that the government considers to be a-no-go-zone for any other person; they are branded as those in opposition to the ruling government and party. Partisan and selfish ambitions of our African Leaders is heading to something destructive if NOT kept in check. The Council of Churches in Zambia late last year (2009) conducted a special live panel discussion on Muvi TV and it is NOT my intention to water what was said. Hear it in the voices of the poor and marginalised persons in the Country... Verbatim!

  1. What      is CCZ doing to help the government reduce or close the gap between the rich & the poor? CHIONI SAKALA, KITWE
  2. No Proper Labour Laws to guide resources.
  3. Leaders in Zambia especially presidents are all selfish and do not have the interest of people at heart they behave like foreigners. CHISANGA FRM KASAMA
  4. It’s good that you, the panel is talking on behalf of the people who can’t express themselves well. Let us work hard to protect the vulnerable in society. CHE OF LY
  5. The ngombe displaced people are suffering from 2002 up to today we are crying for our land please help us we are 281 number
  6. We want human life as Zambians to be respected. Our Copper is taken every day hence our people do not benefit from it. Fr  Ponda frm Mufulira
  7. Politicians have disappointed us. They should be ashamed to be rich representatives of the poor. The gap is becoming too wide. SHAME! MASEKA JMM ZAMBEZI.
  8. Rupiah and the MMD, should change the attitude and do things for Zambians and NOT for investors. AH KF
  9. The government is only interested in fattening their pockets.  We do not have investors instead we have infesters. MA  KABWE
  10. For as long as Smelting/Leaching continues by-products harmful to people will be. Investor needs to 'pay' for activities. MM lsk
  11. Privatisation has grown our economy but has underdeveloped Zambia. it’s the weapon now employed by the northern countries thru IMF and World Bank. Our ministers lack the capacity to develop suitable policy frameworks. M of Kabwata.
  12. Can the panel comment on Zambian investors who beat workers for failure to meet cashing & paying the minimum wage like foreign investors, Costa good topic but do research, Zambian managers in mining companies are a let down
  13. Government has give investors more power than the local employ which is very bad.
  14. In this country the labour law z so weak that’s why investors take advantage. MK  – Lilayi
  15. That is the best observation. Government has no direction. Investor is their hero a Zambian is rubbish because they gain from investors. Mussa Lsk
  16. Though the topic is good, may I find out whether the men of God engaged are specialised in related expertise to do the study on Ecology? This is a specialised subject that should have been done by specialised people. E.g when you want to do an audit, you go to specialised people in accounts. Your definition of ecology was weak. Have you read the environment protection and pollution control act? What is the problem is that Zambia has never taken an inventory of her ecological resources has never been studied, quantified. VICTOR KAZEMBE KAWANGA
  17. Africans we are very dull people, if disputed prove otherwise, education has failed us, I'm sorry, we are vulnerable. Leave investors alone we are just fools no eyes of foreigners. Shame.
  18. It is sad to see the country endowed with a lot of natural resources walloping in poverty. Zambians should stand up and demands for what belong to them. Fr Kapungwe Mufulira
  19. The interest of the people running the country’s economy is the monetary benefits they get from the investors and not the citizens.- DLM Samfya.
  20. The panel seem to have made a good analysis, that the involvement of local people is sidelined and the law protect the investors, what can u propose to the government policy to arrest the situation? REV GABRIEL, CHOMA.
  21. It is really sad to talk about poverty in Zambia after 45 yrs of independence. We have bin colonised again by the so called investors. Are we really free? Only god knows
  22. Our country is a big disgrace, surely how on earth do u expect investors to respect our laws when de legislatures protect them example chimumbwa and KCM water pollution saga in Chingola what has happened? Rev. Siame UCZ Mpika
  23. Yes, we are poor because when Chiluba said African is no longer sleeping, later he was called a thief.  SHAME! MICKY NDOLA.
  24. Government is not concerned with this problem because some top government leaders are benefitting directly from the foreign mine owners.  Jimmy - Kabwe
  25. I concur with my reverend Andrew Chulu. As a govt, it needs to set standards to let investors develop the areas they come in and not only to let them make money and leave us suffering. It's high time we stood up and speak to air our views. Silence means acceptance. CM of Ly
  26. Rupiah should be brought here on da c/belt and at least taken to underground so he sees what miner go thru. Mike. Cn
  27. Zambia’s problem is not da investor, but its relationship with the living God. Proverbs 29:2. We seem not to a government, these investors can only sponsor by elections and not infrastructure, that’s our leaders have no say, Chingola town today is dirty. Evangelist Bwalya Ellison. Chingola
  28. You should have checked than just sound nice blaming efforts of Environmental Council of Zambia. Don’t you see how they prosecuted ZESCO, CHILANGA CEMENT, National Milling
  29. Why don’t people in power listen? Do they care about us?
  30. On  all what you  have  elaborated  especially on  Environmental   pollution and pulsing  danger  to  people  ,what will be the solution  to  safeguard  human being  &  Environment. PANDWE  JOSEPH - NCHELENGE
  31. Kafue  is  such  example  with  the  coming  of   universal  mining
  32. The question which l ask myself is; Do we have leaders who are patriotic and with the vision of Zambia other than their visions. Imagine even maize which we grow Mealie Meal is beyond many Zambian. Food is a problem in this country. Go beyond Copperbelt you will cry, this country is slowly sinking badly, besides being beautiful and rich, sad! S Fungaloko. Estates – Kafue.
  33. We seem not to a government, these investors can only sponsor by elections and not infrastructure, that’s our leaders have no say, Chingola town today is dirty.
  34. You should have checked than just sound nice blaming efforts of Environmental Council of Zambia. Don’t you see how they prosecuted ZESCO, Chilanga Cement, National Milling
  35. Why don’t the people in power listen? Do they care about us?
  36. On  all what you  have  elaborated  especially on  Environmental   pollution and pulsing  danger  to  people, what will be the solution  to  safeguard  human being  &  Environment. PANDWE  JOSEPH - NCHELENGE
  37. Fr Emmanuel & yr group do u think MMD is doing anything to develop the country & mitigate the problems the poor people are facing? Mwamba James
  38. Kafue  is  such  example  with  the  coming  of   universal  mining
  39. The question which l ask myself is, Do we have leaders who are patriotic and with the vision of Zambia other than their visions. Imagine even maize which we grow Millie Meal is beyond many Zambian. Food is a problem in this country. Go beyond Copperbelt you will cry, this country is slowly sinking badly, besides being beautiful and rich, sad! S Fungaloko – estates Kafue.
  40. I thank you for this program & support you we the people of KANKOYO are being mistreated by our leaders by allowing the mines to continue polluting the all town ship without being compensated. D.A.M OF MUFULIRA
  41. You people we a behind u go on it is true Mufulira residents are ignorant kindly pres de government. We a with you talk please
  42. Since you are aware of these negative experiences what steps do you taker as CCZ in order to help do away with it, mainly economically? MFUNE JEFF. L.STONE.
  43. That panel is powerful and I like that they are raising those important issues Zambia need to wake up and protect its people!
  44. Zambian leaders are too dependence on external government. They have no trust that GOD can see them through.
  45. Honourable gentlemen why are things that way and who is to blame for all the state of affairs, RAS BOYD LSK
  46. Can the police arrest the leaders from basic education teachers union of Zambia for stealing 500,000 Kwacha from poor teachers? Kangwa.
  47. Good discussion but let me remind de panel that our leaders know that very well. But their priority is enriching their pockets. That’s the problem.
  48. Why are our leaders so proud of investors giving Zambians jobs when the employees are said slave wages? When will Zambians see real empowerment?
  49. Africa should not allow itself to be used like a pot
  50.  I believe MPs, all civic leaders & government leaders in Mufulira when getting out of Mufulira they use planes not vehicles because they would have spoken out. Fr. J
  51. Mr RUBARA you are a library of wisdom. Get a column with the POST News paper & share that wisdom. May be, just maybe we can have a new evolution. MUDENDA HAMANJANJI
  52. It’s plain & simple, office holders in ECZ, ERB, ZBS are a disgrace, let them resign. ECZ has rules that can protect our citizens but are not used. ERB gave ZESCO benchmarks to achieve before tariff increment, has ZESCO met them? NO. Standards of goods on the market are low where is ZBS?
  53. It’s a good program. I wish you brought in govt official in who are policy makers. Now what next? Pastor Kafwimbi, Solwezi
  54. Zambia has no vision for its Copper. Shame on us  - Sam
  55. The cause is the second president, Chiluba.
  56. Costa respect to you and Muvi Television for coming up with a great panel. They are a blessing and well informed. The problem we have is that our leaders do not get the advice.  In everything they see opposition parties even this panel tomorrow it will be they are PF-UPND affiliates. God bless this panel
  57. It’s a pity we have toothless and blind leaders. Government does not protect its people and so thugs or investors come, make money and leave our nation poor and polluted. D. Siafwa - Lya
  58. The government is protecting the investors. I am happy with those observation gentlemen. BANDA  KEPHAS  MUFULIRA
  59. It’s true our government is weak and that’s why investors are rude. Let’s protect out people like the Botswana is. KASEBA LUSAKA
  60. I don't know if Zambians will ever think upright. DC are developing at our expense. Please graduates of DS what are you doing out there. Come together and save this rich country.
  61. What are our leaders’ long term goals, or even just the short term goals? All they want is to win elections. Wytson.
  62. Environmental council of Zambia is literary doing nothing on land degradation on de Copperbelt. Zuze Mpulungu
  63. The government is protecting the investors. I am happy with that observation gentlemen. BANDA KEPHAS  MUFULIRA.
  64. Why do mining activities done in Zambia without any tax and o the funds are banked out? Don’t we have banks in Zambia?
  65. No it is poor leader in a rich country. Pastor remove poor mind in leader. How can a blind man led.
  66. Our colonialists at least left us with something to build on, but because we are thieves, greedy and selfish, we've squandered everything, e.g. at time of independence Zambian Kwacha was at par with Pound, let’s not blame them!
  67. Why can’t de policy makers let de mine owners pay a certain % to the community where they mine, for maintenance and..! Ya twacula..! Jengela - Chililabombwe.
  68. thanks to CCZ God help us least we progress at a diminishing rate mining policy need revising
  69. We will only b economically independent when our leaders decide to serve the people of Zambia & not favourde so cod investors – PM
  70. The problem of country our imports are higher than the exports. We should come with other method of living depending on non-remunerable resources. Opening companies to help maintaining our economy.
  71. Please tell these leaders to stop being spectators and start formulating policies that protect Zambia and its people. Let them start being professional!
  72. What benefit will this discussion bring for us Zambians? KAHONGOH LYA
  73. Leaders like sweets from these people who are called investors with duty free. Now they are busy milking Zambians. We buy 1 = 1 dollar, ZRA = 1 dollar yet there is transport and so on. How are we going to be developed?
  74. As an authority what is the way forward legally or otherwise CCZ?  Bishop  Nkole - Kabwe
  75. As long as we keep on crying about the past we will not win. Zambians are best people to develop Zambia. Let us develop local capacity to maximise from natural resources. MUKWAKWA - KAPIRI
  76. Copper profits are used to build external economies because they are externalised. Building economy involves spending. What we get from mines is for hand and mouth. We need to re engage mine owners and renegotiate proper share of profits. After 45 years of independence we should not have 80% poverty levels.
  77. Hi everyone. At one time I invite an investor and I did everything for him and the company I did invite I also got land for  and today they say they do not need me. I have not stolen from them, what should I do? Lsk
  78. Government is importing fertilisers at the expense of NCZ. Does it make sense?
  79. As long as we still continue having old and finished same politicians in government, we will never go anywhere because of greediness. Fr. Bashi K Lusaka
  80. The problems is poor leaders in politician and have personal interest. In shot we are not lead by Christian in this country.
  81. The Zambian government does not use their initiative to develop the nation
  82. No leader in Zambia will think of any good will to us because they are our Masters and not our Servants. SAM JAU SAKALA
  83. Can someone tell me motive behind building the wusakile boxes (houses) and Nkana east  by the white miners-bohada. Ndola
  84. Indeed, God has given us abundant resources. Honestly why should we remain poor? HK PULE NDOLA
  85. Is Zambia a rich country?
  86. Good program westerners can’t survive without enslaving us worse still elite leaders a thieves we a selling our inheritance please bring awareness Church arise
  87. Zambia is a copper country, why can’t mineral tax finance 80% of budget? CC - Kitwe
  88. The issue of investors in Zambia is more of day light robbery. If our benefit only employment then Zambians are doomed
  89. The government claims to be building on the promise, but there is rather too little pressure on investors. Citizens get meagre salaries and the government benefits less. Could the government see to it that Zambians benefit as much as investors? .(H.V.S. Chingola)
  90. I think the problem is that the Church is not taking its God given responsibility of giving direction to the national leadership all over the world. BR KATUMBI
  91. Those men a genius please, we need such talks again & again, tell them & let’s hop RB is listening to that program. Mwanza J.C in L/STONE
  92. It seems our govt leaders are very short sighted vis a vis promoting interests of foreign investors against interests of  Zambians, particularly poor or under privileged Zambians. Donald - Mansa
  93. This program is really educative. I agree with Rev Chulu, investors just milk us and later dump us like anything. Our leaders too do not dnt have love for us but for them. it’s sad.
  94. As much as all facts are on the ground how are we going to be in charge of our resources? D CHONGO
  95. Time has come for men of God to rise and talk things are not OK in Zambia. MWAMBA 
  96. The biggest challenge Zambia has is lack of visionary leadership. What we have are people whose interest is to amass wealth ignoring their call to provide pragmatic leadership. Zambia needs selfless citizens to bring glory to this land. DS chipata.
  97. Government leaders have no interest in serving the people of Zambia they are only interested in enriching themselves. GIVEN KS STAGE 1
  98. Good discussion. Help us implement what you arer talking about especially people of Solwezi before we are doomed. N Ndandanda - Solwezi
  99. Men of God you have us an eye opener.
  100. Our weak policies coupled with selfish leadership has brought up this unbearable situation. Men of God speak for the people; our political machinery can’t see what you are bringing out.
  101. Yes, Zambia is a very-very rich country but were da riches go only da government knows we a suffering because more powers a given to investors then Zambians
  102. I agree with da panel that da Zambian polices are weak in Kaoma there is a team of investors when actually they are just harvester feasting on our raw materials
  103. We d people to understand that we are in trouble with so called investor men of God your saying the truth Rev. Muma.
  104. Gentlemen, as long as the government directs, administers and finances the constitutional making process; Zambia shall never have people’s friendly constitution. BIKOKO
  105. Local people are not ignorant, they are betrayed by leaders.
  106. To the panel talk  of Hetro Mining in Kasempa which was getting 50 trucks and trailers of copper per day, salaries for workers K250 000 per month, damaged roads in Kasempa but no repairs, is this investment? Ndola.
  107. It’s sad to see our mining towns fall to pieces e.g. the only meaningful development is what was done by the colonial planners with copper revenue. Today towns like Chingola infrastructure has collapsed and replaced by Tuntembas, main roads washed away in once cleanest town in Zambia. Poor planning and control - GM Chingola
  108. The programme is very educative, we need such message & action in our country - Rev Kakoma-Choma
  109. It's good discussion. I wish your contributions will sink into minds and heart of our leaders.
  110. Men of God in Mufulira and Chingola let us not just Pray and watch but we should act for the sake of God’s people. We are a prophetic voice. Fr Ponda
  111. It’s true our government has poor, selfish policies and don’t protect their people because they have been corrupted with cash in their pockets. Jordan Lumwana

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Barrick, Tanzanian Security Forces & Legal System: Allies in Crime?

LOOK AT MY SKIN: This is one of the Victims of the North Mara Toxic sludge spillage that left a dozens of people dead and thousands of Livestock. Barrick still contests that the spillage did not have any impact and trying the best they could to conceal the Truth.

“Mayo nacha” – Mother I am dying! Was the only cry of the 13 year Old girl when Barrick Gold Corporation Employees in Sengerema at Barrick’s own exploration camp decided to take the little girl’s innocence away by giving her for sexual pleasure to a dog. Justice is assumed been met through the legal system in Tanzania but is this enough is this the justice we desire? Read on...

Allies in Crime
“Canada has always spat on the face of Tanzanians!” read a line on a mail from one of my friends after I circulated the article which publicised the deportation of Canadian diplomat who spat at the police personnel in Tanzania. But spitting on one’s face does not equal the untold story of the 13 year old girl who was forced to have sexual intercourse with a dog in the hands of Barrick Gold Corporation in Sengerema District – Tanzania.

Following this wicked act from Barrick Gold Corporation in Sengerema, the local community members seem not to be so very happy with the way the whole case was handled with claims that, “the white man who was in charge and who owned the dog was shipped out of the country secretly aided by the security forces in Tanzania” so claimed one of the locals.

This has a little similarity with the exit of the diplomat who spat on one of us and then was left to go scot-free. But here we must take note of all the diplomatic immunity issues involved.   

A Crime Well Planned
The accounts recorded on the judgement of this sad happening in the life of this little girl leave much truth to be sought for. From the accounts of the three accused persons to that of the veterinarian who attended the dog after the act there are traces that would suggest that this was a crime well planned from a layman’s point of view.

With a drink and a bath, the accused persons dialogued in a language the young girl could not understand save the words, “tumpeleke sasa” (let’s take her now – in Kiswahili) forcing the girl to enter into the fenced area, took off her clothes and forced her to bend.

“He pulled me and took off my clothes and held me on the back of my head and bent me, there was a board. Job and Shija held me crying; mother I am dying (“Mayo Nacha” in her mother tongue – Sukuma). The dog went around and came and held me by its legs and inserted its long thing in my vagina...” reiterated the Girl – according to the printed Judgement copy. 

After the act the dog named Badya is reported to have been taken to the veterinary doctor for check up where it was found to be ‘safe’ having no transmissible disease. In his statement before the court, the veterinarian, “Dr. Yohana David Segenge testified under oath that on 3rd April 2009 he examined the dog... the dog was brought to him by the employees of Barrick and the dog  was already vaccinated  at South Africa against any disease that can be transmitted to human being. That in his conclusion at the report he recommended the victim be examined and given treatment by a medical doctor.”

What is most confusing is when the veterinarian, Dr. Segenge said (according to the judgement) that, “the dog was brought to him almost two weeks after the alleged incidence and his report was of the date of examination only. Not before examination. He added that he don’t know and could not know if the dog was injured and heal before being brought to him for examination.”

The Judgement
Delivered on the 23rd March and 4th May 2009 before Hon. G. E. Mariki, RM; the court house woke to a solemn statement pronouncing how an innocent girl was forced “to have sexual intercourse with a dog.”

“This judgement arises from a very sad story of inhuman act of forcing a human being to have sexual intercourse with a dog. Apart from being a human being the victim was a child aged 13 years old” reads the opening paragraph of the judgement.”

In this court – the Resident Magistrate Court of Mwanza at Mwanza the three accused persons were faced with three (3) counts, namely; “sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (e) of the Penal Code Cap 16 R.E.2002, sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (a) of the Penal Code, and sexual exploitation of a child c/s 138 B (1) (d) of the Penal Code.”

Beyond the Judgement
The judge made his verdict and delivered the sentence but there are still questions, myriads of questions being posed by the local people in Sengerema; is there any other action beyond the sentence of the three accused? What will the legal system of Tanzania, the government of Tanzania and the government of Canada do to bring the other ‘missing’ accused from Barrick Gold Corporation who is claimed to have been “escorted secretly out of the country after the incidence in Sengerema took place?” Is 20 + 20 + 15 concurrent jail term on the Tanzanians justice enough for the 13 year old Girl; and even for the trio?

Just as in the case of the Canadian diplomat who had to be deported back to Canada for ‘misconduct,’ we have not heard of the Tanzanian government demanding that all the diplomatic immunities be uplifted and the then diplomat be returned to Tanzania to face the law.

The legal system in Tanzania should liaise with the Central Government to bring about the justice that is extremely needed by this 13 year old girl. We have seen a great measure of dragging feet on all the other cases against Barrick Gold Corporation on the part of the government. Is this what your fellow Tanzanians voted you in for; protecting the interests of foreigners at the expense of your own constituents?

Stretched to the Limit
The Tanzanian population is tired of these crimes against humanity in our very soil. People are tired with systems that do not work but since we are such a ‘peace loving population’ we accept the slap on the other cheek.

There are already words going around Sengerema of Barrick Gold Corporation’s human resource manager going around looking for the girl, “...she came here the other day asking us to tell her where the girl is and that Barrick wants to help her. What we need is justice.”

At first it was the Bulyanhulu case, the never stopping toxic sludge spilling at the North Mara Mine, the container carrying weapons bound for North Mara, the poorly built houses and low or no compensations at Buzwagi and now a little girl’s innocence taken by being forced to be known carnally by a dog. What next should we expect from Barrick Gold Corporation?