TANZANIA has already resolved the 1996 dispute involving the alleged killings of miners at the Canada-owned Bulyanhulu Gold Corporation. The matter was concluded when instruments detailed to investigate the deaths found no evidence in the claims at the time. The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Disaster Management, Mr Philip Marmo, said this when interviewed by 'Daily News on Saturday' on the action the government has taken to find answers to allegations that there had been human rights abuses when reallocating people from the area.
"We used both local and international instruments to investigate the claims and the inquiries were eventually brought to rest by the findings," he said. He also said that the issue had reached courts of law whose verdict had given a clean bill of health to the process. But he also attributed the allegations' wide coverage in media to the fact that 1996 was an election year that prompted some opposition politicians to capitalize on the matter for political ends. With regard to the alleged killings of artisanal miners in 1996 at the Bulyanhulu Gold Corporation, he said that a task force comprising police officers, local commissioners and international civil society officials had been formed at the time and came up with the conclusion that there had been no killings.
Neither had there been any human rights abuses. Police, he said, had investigated criminal allegations but had not come up with any evidence. According to the current arrangement, when a mining company wants to work at a particular area where there are settlements, the government uses the World Bank resettlement policy which stipulates that people have to be taken to another favourable place on agreement. President Jakaya Kikwete and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper were expected today to discuss a way forward in developing the mining industry when they arrived for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Canada is home to Barrick, one of the biggest mining multinationals in the world with mining interests in Tanzania.
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