BARRICK Gold Corporation has spent 21.59bn/- as compensation for their property in the Komarera area in Tarime District, Mara Region to allow the expansion of the North Mara gold mine activities.
The number of people compensated by the Barrick Gold Corporation, which operates the mine in partnership with the government of Tanzania through the Twiga Minerals Corporation, has increased to 4,881 from 4,836 after the arbitration committee solicited citizens who initially did not agree to receive compensation.
Tarime District Commissioner, Colonel Michael Mntenjele, who is the chairman of the arbitration committee formed by the government, said at the end of the week that they continue to encourage the citizens who were paid compensation for their property to leave voluntarily, to allow the Barrick north Mara mine to expand its mining activities without delay.
“We urge those who have already been paid compensation to leave so that the mine can continue to clean up this area and finally be able to invest. Habitable houses will not be demolished. Demolition exercise will only cover vacated houses,” he said.
The DC also used the opportunity to call on the public to be careful with people who try to politicise the issue and distort the truth of what is happening in the Komarera area.
“There are politicians who bring politics into this issue, something that is not good because people are being paid according to properties that existed before. Now if you continue to develop when the ban was already done, it is illegal.
If you start to mix political issues and listen to politicians, you will waste your time instead of leaving and making development elsewhere so that the mine can continue to do its activities.
“We should also be aware that this mine [north Mara] has a partnership with the government through Twiga Minerals Corporation, now continuing to stay [in the Komarera area] means that you are hindering the government and the investor from continuing to do their work,” emphasised colonel Mntenjele.
According to the government valuer, Rashid Mageta, the 4,881 people already compensated are among the 5,162 citizens who are on the list to be compensated for their various properties found in the Komarera area.
Mr Mageta said there are a few people who after being compensated for their houses rented them to others before the clean-up started in the area.
The chairman of Ntarechagini Township in Komarera Village, Marwa Mwita said some residents in the area are among the people who were educated by the arbitration committee and agreed to go and collect compensation for their property.
“For example, my grandmother, after the committee elaborated to her what she deserves to be paid agreed, but many have resisted taking the compensation claiming that their properties were undervalued,” he said.