Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Barrick faces fresh human rights violations allegations
The latest statement by the UK-based corporate watchdog RAID has alleged that at least four people have been killed and seven more seriously injured by police engaged to provide security at Tanzania’s North Mara Gold Mine since Barrick Gold assumed control of the mine in September 2019.
The fresh allegations come at a time when a UK High Court is today set to hear a case filed on February 2020 by ten Tanzanian nationals against Barrick Gold’s subsidiary Barrick Tanzania Limited, previously known as Acacia Mining, which is a joint venture with the Tanzanian government.
The claimants include the family of a nine-year-old girl killed by a mine vehicle driven by police and four women who were fired upon while gathering around her body. Barrick’s subsidiaries deny liability.
In its Monday’s statement, RAID, which has conducted six research missions to North Mara and interviewed more than 90 people over the past 28 months, said that the vast majority of the fresh human rights incidents occurred in the past 12 months.
“Three of those killed were attempting to leave or had been chased from the mine site,” the statement said, quoting witnesses. “Two were shot with live ammunition while the third was struck with a large projectile, possibly a teargas canister or sound bomb, in the back of his head.”
Officers identified as mine police were also reported to beat local residents. In one incident in January 2022, police guarding the mine fired teargas near children on their way to school. A grandmother who was passing nearby told RAID she heard the tear gas discharge and saw the smoke, the watchdog reported.
In reply to RAID’s request for information on the reports of recent killings and assaults, Barrick said, “it would not be appropriate to discuss any allegations raised by RAID outside of the English High Court proceedings.”
“Barrick’s claims that it has tackled human rights abuses at the North Mara mine just don’t stack up,” the statement quotes Anneke Van Woudenberg, Executive Director of RAID, as saying. “The shootings and beatings by Tanzanian police assigned to the mine are a world away from Barrick’s rosy sustainability reports and partial assessments.”
Van Woudenberg said Barrick’s board and investors should ensure an end to the mine’s relationship with the police and set up a truly credible and independent investigation into the abuses.
Samia: Early disability recognition is key
President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Wednesday said that it is important for Tanzania to have systems and mechanisms in place that would help authorities to recognize disabilities at early childhood, saying doing so help provide support to disabled people.
The Head of State made the observation during a State House function in the capital Dodoma where she met with people with disabilities (PWDs). She directed the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups to work closely with the Ministry of Health to have these mechanisms in place.
Samia also noted that if people with various disabilities are counted, their needs will be identified easily and the government will be in the position of addressing their challenges, urging them to show up during the census.
Earlier PWDs council explained the challenges they are sailing through and asked for the government’s intervention.
Responding to the council, President Samia promised that the government will work on all 18 PWDs challenges raised at the meeting.
“Instead of sitting in big halls like this, let’s go back to our homes to deal with violence,” President told the meeting participants.
On employment, the Head of State admitted that there are some challenges though the government has so far recruited over 300 people with disabilities.
New water project to end water shortage for animals in northern Tanzania
Vice-President Philip Mpango on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a grand water project that will feed water to eight dams, ending persistent water shortage for animals in the northern pastoral district of Simanjiro in the Manyara region.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Water Anthony Sanga said the Sh41.51 billion project drawing water from the Pangani River will breathe a sigh of relief to livestock keepers in the area.
Sanga said five of the dams have already been drilled and three others were in the process of being drilled.
More than 62,000 animals, including cattle, goats and sheep, were reported to have been killed by drought in Simanjiro district between September 2021 and January 2022.
Sanga said more than 50,000 residents in the district will benefit from the water project whose laying of its foundation stone by the Vice-President went simultaneously with the launch of the National Water Week ahead of the World Water Day, an annual United Nations observance day on March 22 that highlights the importance of freshwater.
For his part, Mpango urged the Ministry of Water in collaboration with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to drill more dams for supplying water to animals and human beings against the backdrop of dry spells caused by climate change.
Mwinyi appoints new 13 district administrative secretaries
Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has appointed 13 District Administrative Secretaries (DAS) in several districts of Zanzibar.
He appointed Mr Said Haji Mrisho as Urban District Administrative Secretary (DAS) in Unguja West Region. He also appointed Mr Juma Abdalla Hamad as West ‘A’ District Administrative Secretary in Unguja Urban West Region.
Other new DAS’s include Mr Sahim Harun Haji, (West ‘B’ in Unguja West Region), Ms Mariam Said Khamis (North ‘A’ Unguja North Region), Mr Hassan Abdullah Rashid (North ‘B’, Unguja North Region), Mr Hamza Mahmoud Juma (Central District, Unguja), Mr Mbaraka Omar Kasongo (North District, North Region),Mr Miza Hassan Faki (Mkoani District, South Pemba ), Suleiman Hamad Suleiman (Chake Chake District, South Pemba).
The President also appointed Mr Mkufu Faki Ali as Wete DAS in North Pemba Region, Mr Khatib Habib Ali (Tumbatu islet, North Pemba), Mr Shehe Mpemba Faki (Micheweni District, North Pemba), Mr Makame Khamis Makame (Kojani District, North Pemba)
The appointment of the 13 appointees is effective from March 16, 2022, the statement added.
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