Nyamongo — THE North Mara Gold Mine yesterday said it has spent 28bn/- to compensate hundreds of local people in the recent months and refuted reports linking some of the mine officials to corruption acts.
"I don't believe that my people are taking money in instead of facilitating. They are experienced and trusted people", Mr Gary Chapman, North Mara Gold Mine General Manager (GM), said recently.
Quoting two village government leaders, a section of local media reports alleged early this week that some of the Mine's Community Relations Department officials have been demanding bribes, hence hampering the compensation exercise.
But the GM strongly refuted the allegations describing the media reports as unfair to the mine which is operated by African Barrick Gold (ABG), a leading Tanzanian gold producer. "I felt that the article was unfair and we were not given an opportunity to comment", Mr Chapman who has served in the mining sector in various gold rich African countries since 1976, told reporters.
Mr Simon Shayo, a local senior official with the Mine's Community Relations Department also described the allegation as plain lies that are unfounded. "Evaluation is done by certified experts (valuers) from the government and Community Relations Department does not negotiate with people being compensated", Mr Shayo explained.
The Canadian miner has also been topping up five per cent to the legal compensation given to local people being relocated to pave the way for expansion of mining activities as a goodwill gesture, the Mine's Community Relations Manager, Mr Zakayo Kalebo, said.
According to Mr Chapman, the mining company has spent 18 million US dollars to compensate around 1,500 people between April 2012 and now.