Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

19 January 2014

Tanzania: Intruders Disturb Operations At North Mara Gold Mine

Mara — SOME of the intruders disturbing operations at the North Mara Gold Mine come far from distant locations, Regional Police Commander (RPC) for Tarime/Rorya Special Zone Police, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SACP) Justus Kamugisha has said.

In the past it was believed that the intruders were only hailing from the villages around the mine but now it has been established that some come from far places.

According to SACP Kamugisha, some of the intruders nabbed by the police are known to have come from one of the neighbouring countries. "Like a few days ago we arrested five intruders and three of them were from the neighbouring country", the regional police chief told the 'Sunday News' recently.

The RPC said some intruders were also originating from different neighbouring districts such as Serengeti and other parts of the lake zone regions. Early this month, three intruders died at the mine when battling for gold sand and clashing with police officers.

"Some of them dropped into the pit and died and one was killed by his colleagues with machetes", the RPC said. He described intrusions at the mine as critical issue and one of the hard hard task facing Tarime special police special zone in the area.

"People don't even talk of how police officers have been injured by intruders at the mine and I wish if you can join us one day and witness what is happening on the ground. It is always not easy to flush out the intruders from the mine", the regional police chief said.

Frequent intrusions is one of the biggest challenges facing one of the Tanzanian largest gold mine's. Stakeholders are calling for special operation to flush out the huge number of youths seen doing nothing during day time.

"There is a need for security personnel to conduct a operation in trouble spot areas like Murwambe where youths are seen roaming without doing anything.

They should say their origination and specific jobs. This will help", this is what some of the good citizens people living in Nyamongo are suggesting. They now want the intruders to face the full force of law.

"It is time for the police force to stop intrusions at the mine. Intruders are becoming dangerous people", a young man who drives heavy vehicles belonging to a local construction company based in the villages around the mine told 'Sunday News'.

AfricanBarrick Gold(ABG) which operates the North Mara Gold Mine sees intrusions at the mine as critical issue that should be solved once and for good.

The mine top management says it is taking further steps aimed at eliminating intrusions at the mine this year (2014). ABG has of late been spending millions of money to support what it has termed as sustainable income generating projects targeting hundreds of local youths in a bid to cut intrusion rate at the mine.

The investor has also decided to employ a highly experienced expert to study what is still driving some people to intrude the mine despite that it has of late been investing heavily on youth group's development in the surrounding communities.

The target is to eliminate mine intrusions in 2014. Although the miner says it has of late continued getting more respect from the surrounding local communities with intrusion seen going down by 30 per cent.

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