From ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO in Busanda
5th September 2010
The Civic United Front (CUF) will not disturb mine investors but will review their contracts to make sure that the towns where the minerals were mined reflected the riches they have.
The CUF’s presidential running mate, Mr Juma Duni Haji told a political rally in Geita that it was a shame to see a poor Geita District and its people while millions worth of minerals were exported daily from the area.
“I have been to mineral cities such as Johannesburg and San Francisco. There, everything is gold from street lights to buildings. We want Geita to also look gilded. This can be done if we will put in place clauses in the contracts that will force investors to make our mineral towns reflect the riches,” he said.
“This town was supposed to be very rich, when I came to this town for the first time I could not believe that its roads are full of dust, its people poor and ignorant due to lack of education and economic opportunities,” he said.
Mr Haji noted that mineral resources in the area had turned into an oppressive tool where the indigenous citizens were downgraded in favour of investors. He was referring to over 80 families displaced over four years ago from their homes by the investor – Geita Gold Mine (GGM) and were at the time living in a tented camp at Kalangalala Ward in Geita town.
Mr Haji toured the camp, listening to the victims of displacement who complained that they were forcefully evicted from their traditional plots despite the fact that they had won a High Court’s appeal, which allowed them to remain where they were. Mr Haji said, he saw no reason whatsoever for the government to disown the families even if they were criminals.
“I am sure that these people need not much money to settle in their new home. It pains to see the anguish they are going through while the investors are reaping a whooping sums of money from the area where the people were forcefully removed,” he said.
Mr Haji used the opportunity to campaign for CUF, telling them to vote for the party because they would not allow such acts to take place under their leadership.
“Today it is your fellow villager but you never know what the government is capable of doing if they will discover tomorrow that your village is also rich in mineral resources,” he warned.
In another development, CUF has promised to control importation and manufacture of illegal fishing nets to avoid unnecessary disturbances to anglers if elected in the October’s general election.
Mr Juma Duni Haji told a rally at Chikobe Village, Nyachiruruma Ward in Busanda Constituency on Saturday evening that by so doing their government would ensure a peaceful working environment under the party’s leadership.
“If there are things that disturb us (CUF), then the most is to see poor anglers being disturbed by fishermen using illegal fishing nets whereas the factories that manufacture these nets are known. “The government also knows where these nets come from, so we will control the source,” he said.
Mr Duni noted that the CUF’s government would also make sure that the lives of the families surrounding Lake Victoria reflected the riches in the lake and their children were given education opportunities to confidently face the world.
He inquired from the crowd gathering at the village’s market place over their level of education, and the crowd replied that they were standard seven leavers, and some of them did not even finish primary education.
“It is very astonishing because you are the mothers and fathers of today’s children, if you were not educated it is likely that you will not take your children to school either.
“But we have come with good news this time around as we intend to give education freely to your children at all levels of education,” he said.
In another development, Mr Haji also promised that his party’s government would ensure that the constituency had electricity and all the roads were upgraded to tarmac levels as well as improving other social services such as water and health.
Mr Haji said this in another campaign rally held at Nyarugusu Ward also in Busanda Constituency where the major economic activity is gold mining.
“If you will vote us into power we will turn Nyarugusu into a real gold town where the problems of electricity, water and poor roads will be history,” he said.
Source: Daily News