Wanajamvi: Wachimbaji wadogo wadogo wa tanzanite huko Mererani wamemkumbusha Rais Kikwete kutimiza ahadi yake aliyoitoa katika kampeni yake ya uchaguzi kuwania urais mwaka 2005 kwa wachimabji hao – kwamba akiingia madarakani serikali yake haitaendeleza liseni ya uchimbaji ya kampuni ya mwkezaji wa kigeni ya TanzaniteOne. Aliahidi kwa wachimbaji hao kwamba liseni ya kampuni hiyo ikiisha muda wake ndiyo basi na wamesema liseni hiyo inaisha mwezi huu – Machi 2012 kwa hivyo wanamkumbusha aiomize ahadi hiyo. Wachimbaji hao wamesema Kikwete aliahidi eneo la Block C lililopewa kampuni hiyo ya kigeni litarudishwa na kugawiwa kwa wachimbaji hao, kama ilivyokuwa zamani. Soma habari hii katika gazeti la The African on Sunday la leo. My take: JK si mtu kamwe wa kutimiza ahadi – tuseme CCM wote ni hivyo tu. Hakika JK kesha onjeshwa asali na wawekezaji hao, hivyo hana habari tena na wachimbaji hao wadogo. _____________________ MERERANI SMALL MINERS REMIND JK: End TanzaniteOne licence as promised in 2005 * They say it's in line with his 2005 campaign promise BY JUSTIN DAMIAN ARTISINAL Tanzanite miners in Mererani have requested President Jakaya Kikwete to end the license of Tanzanite One as per his 2005 election campaign promise so as to enable the locals benefits from the wealth of their land and end what they say to be torture, humiliation and oppression that the company has been subjecting them to. The Chairman of Manyara Region Miners Association (MAREMA) Zephania Joseph, said during his Presidential campaign in 2005, Kikwete pledged to the people of Mererani who turned in huge numbers at his political rally in the small mining town that he would end the mining license of Tanzanite One that is expiring in March this year (2012). Joseph told this paper in Mererani recently that the state of hostility and hatred between the two sides have been growing for over a decade, adding that responsible government leaders have continued to turn a blind eye to the situation, hence they are now urging President Kikwete to intervene in conformity to his 2005 campaign pledge. "The President is the supreme leader of the government and we so much trust him. Our people have been killed by the foreigners and his (president Kikwete's) appointees have done nothing. We request him to end the license just as what he promised us and let local people enjoy the wealth of their land," he said. He said despite the existence of good policies, Tanzanians have continued to benefit very little from their mineral resources while foreign companies walk away with millions of dollars from the proceeds of the minerals. "Mineral Policy of 1997 clearly states that, if local people discover minerals in their area, the government has the responsibility to empower them in terms of technological know how and by linking them to financial institutions for capital etc, but this has not been the case with Mererani. For many years small miners at Mererani have been living in peace while enjoying their unique God given gift, the Tanzanite gemstones. It was until 1990 when they faced forceful evictions. The area was divided into blocks and profitable portions were taken away from them and given to foreign investors and other people who managed to get license. "This brought hatred because some people's areas were taken and given to South Africans. The small local miners had been 100 per cent depending on the area to get their daily bread for them and their families and when the area was taken away they were left in huge dilemma," Joseph said. The MAREMA chairman said that under the new division of the mining blocks, Tanzanite One was given the more profitable Block C which was formerly owned by small miners while all the small miners were given block D. "People still harbour bitter resentment over their land and that is why there are endless clashes between the two sides. People are bitter to see people getting rich out of their land while they are dying in poverty. At least ten people have been killed by South Africans but the government has only remained silent. We want the President to intervene and end this," he said Zephania Joseph told this paper that government leaders have been siding with the investor, a situation that has continued to place the relationship between the two in danger. Despite all what is happening the Minister in charge of Minerals, his Deputy or Permanent Secretary have never come to ask what was going on. On his part, Anthony Mavilli, who is representative of Haki Madini, a local NGO in Mererani dealing with the promotion of indigenous rights in regards to mineral wealth issues told this paper that the only way to solve the problem is for the government to ensure that the investor is moved out area. "This area is for small miners, giving the area to a big foreign company is wrong and unlawful. People who formally owned it cannot easily accept it and that is why the clashes are often experienced," he elaborated He said Haki Madini in collaboration with other NGOs are now trying hard to push the agenda of local people right to benefit from mineral resources into the national assembly to enable people benefit from resources of their country.