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MININNG PROTEST PLANNED FOR LONDON BASED MINING COMPANY

 

Communities from ColombiaMongolia, South Africa and the US will demonstrate in London this week against some of the world’s largest miningcompanies, which they say are devastating the health of people, widely polluting the environment and forcing communities to move.

Anglo American, joint owners of the giant Cerrejón opencast coal mine in northern Colombia with BHP Billiton and Xstrata, will be accused at its annual meeting on Friday of jeopardising the health of the 13,000 people who live or work close to the operation that provides coal for power stations in Britain and Europe.

“We have had to suffer the impacts of opencast coal mining for over 25 years now. Our communities have been gradually and systematically asphyxiated by the contamination caused by coal mining, our societies [have been] fractured,” said Julio Gomez, president of Fecodemigua, the Federation of Communities Displaced by Mining in La Guajira, in London.

Around 500m of the total estimated 5bn tonnes of coal have been mined from Cerrejón since it opened in 1985, but the largest mine in Latin America plans to increase production by 25% in the next three years.

Cerrejón started providing British power stations with coal after the demise of the UK mining industry in the 1980s. Last year, Britain increased imports of Colombian coal, some of it from Cerrejón, by 48%, to more than 8m tonnes.

But the mine has been has been racked with labour disputes and complaints of bad management and pollution, and for failing to provide adequate compensation to communities who have had to make way for its operations. This year it was closed by a strike for 32 days.

“The health of everyone in La Guajira within 5km of the area of mining and transport of coal is being severely affected: studies [show] the constant exposure to coal dust is clearly linked to the increase in illnesses,” said Gomez.

Gomez also accused Anglo American of failing to compensate communities whose homes were destroyed by the expansion of the mine have not been compensated.

According to the Cerrejón miners, over 12,000 hectares of dry tropical forest have been destroyed, five villages displaced and rivers moved to exploit the coal.

Most of the affected communities are made up of Wayuu people who have lived in the area since well before the Spanish conquest, or people of African descent, who fled slavery on the Colombian coast and set up free communities in land vacated by indigenous people.

A spokesman for Anglo American said: “Anglo American works tirelessly to ensure we observe the highest international standards, whether relating to human rights, environmental sensitivities and social issues, both in our wholly owned and jointly owned operations.

He add that Cerrejón was “internationally recognised for its environmental programmes” and that its “Occupational Health Division regularly monitors the health of employees to detect potential problems”.

“Cerrejón has facilitated the resettlement of several local communities around the mine, and in doing so, has abided by Colombian legislation and the highest international standards. The resettlement of communities is a last resort measure at both Cerrejón and Anglo American’s operations globally but is sometimes unavoidable when developing a mining operation,” he said.

Rio Tinto, another of the world’s largest mining companies, will be accused on Thursday at its annual meeting of undermining the livelihoods of thousands of local herders at its giant Oyu Tolgoi mine in the Gobi desert region of Mongolia.

The $12bn copper mine, which when it is in full production is expected to provide 30% of Mongolia’s entire GDP, is the subject of a complaint to the World Bank for its effect on water resources and pollution.

London-based activists have this week written to the UK Financial Conduct Authority to demand that London-listed companies implement the highest environmental, social, cultural, labour, and health and safety standards.

“The UK Stock Exchanges [must not] continue to act as a haven for those mining companies whose human rights and environmental records leave so much to be desired”, said Richard Solly, co-ordinator, of the London Mining Network.

“We hope that, where the powers currently vested in the FCA fall short of what is needed to ensure that such companies are compelled to improve their behaviour, you will seek sufficient powers to do so.”

“The London Stock Exchange is littered with mining companies like Rio Tinto and Anglo American that are embroiled in controversies around the world. It’s scandalous that the scope of new Financial Conduct Authority doesn’t extend to ensuring that such controversial companies comply to basic human rights and environmental standards,” said Solly.

SOURCE :- http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/15/mining-mining

Article in The Guardian on Colombian mining conflict leading to broader anti-mining protests at Anglo American annual meeting. Comments welcome.

M2S brought you this article with curates from HAKIMADINI TANZANIA.

UTATA MWINGINE WAKIGUBIKA KITI CHA SPIKA, KIFUNGU GANI KIMETUMIKA KUWAADHIBU WABUNGE 6 WA CHADEMA?

WAKATI wabunge sita wa Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) wakianza kutumikia adhabu ya kutohudhuria vikao vitano vya Bunge la Bajeti vinavyoendelea mjini hapa, utata mkubwa umeibuka juu ya kanuni alizotumia Naibu Spika, Job Ndugai, kutoa adhabu hiyo.

Utata huo ulibainika jana wakati Kiongozi wa Kambi Rasmi ya Upinzani, Freeman Mbowe, alipoomba mwongozo wa Spika Anna Makinda, kutaka kujua kanuni aliyotumia Ndugai wakati hakuna kanuni iliyomruhusu kutoa adhabu hiyo.
Baadhi ya wabunge waliozungumza na gazeti hili jana pia walihoji kifungu kilichotumika hata kama wabunge hao walikosea.
Miongoni mwa waliohoji adhabu hiyo, wapo baadhi ya wabunge wa CCM ambao hawakupenda kutaja majina yao, wakisema kuwa uamuzi wa Naibu Spika ulitawaliwa na jazba za kibinadamu badala ya kufuata kanuni zinazoliongoza Bunge.
Katika mwongozo wake jana kwa Spika Makinda, kiongozi huyo wa kambi ya upinzani alihoji kifungu kilichotumika kuwaadhibu wabunge wake.
Mbowe alisema juzi wakati Bunge lilipokuwa katika kipindi chake cha jioni, wabunge sita wa CHADEMA waliotolewa nje kwa maelekezo ya Naibu Spika, Job Ndugai.
Aliwataja wabunge waliotolewa kuwa ni Tundu Lissu (Singida Mashariki), Haghness Kiwia (Ilemela), Ezekia Wenje (Nyamagana), Godbless Lema (Arusha Mjini), Joseph Mbilinyi (Mbeya Mjini) na Pete Msingwa (Iringa Mjini).
“Na wabunge hawa walipotolewa, walipewa vile vile adhabu ya kutohudhuria vikao vitano vya Bunge, adhabu iliyotolewa papo kwa papo na Naibu Spika.
“Kwa mujibu wa kanuni zetu, kanuni inayompa Naibu Spika au Spika mamlaka ya kumtoa mbunge kwa siku tano ni kanuni ya 73 ya kanuni ndogo ya tatu ambayo inahusu mbunge ambaye atashindwa kutoa vielelezo vya aidha kusema uongo ambayo inasema hivi: “Endapo mbunge yeyote atatakiwa kuthibitisha maneno aliyoyasema na hadi kufikia mwisho wa muda aliopewa, ameshindwa kutoa uthibitisho huo, Spika anaweza kumsimamisha mbunge huyo asihudhurie vikao vya Bunge visivyozidi vitano,” alinukuu.
Mbowe ambaye pia ni mwenyekiti wa CHADEMA, alisema yaliyotokea bungeni juzi ni sintofahamu kati ya wabunge na kiti cha Spika ambapo katika mambo ya msingi CHADEMA ilitegemea kifungu cha nne cha kanuni za Bunge, kifungu kidogo cha kwanza kingetumika.
Kifungu kinasema: “Spika anaweza kutaja jina la mbunge kwamba amedharau mamlaka ya Spika na kisha kupeleka jina hilo kwenye Kamati ya Haki na Maadili ya Bunge.
“Ikiwa kwa maneno au vitendo, mbunge huyo anaonyesha dharau kwa Spika au atafanya kitendo chochote cha makusudi cha kudharau shughuli ya Bunge au mbunge yeyote anayeongoza shughuli hiyo.”
Kutokana na kanuni hiyo, Mbowe aliomba mwongozo wa Spika kutaka kujua wabunge hao walitolewa kwa kanuni gani na ni lini wataweza kurejeshewa haki yao ya kurejea ndani ya Bunge.

Vituko vya juzi
Baadhi ya askari walioamriwa kuingia ndani ya Bunge, walisema hawakuwa tayari kumtoa Lissu kwa nguvu ndio maana walitumia muda mrefu kutimiza agizo hilo.
Askari hao walisema hofu yao ilikuwa ni usalama wa Waziri Mkuu kwani endapo vurugu zingeibuka, angekuwa katika wakati mgumu kiusalama.
Baada ya Lissu na wabunge wenzake kutoka nje ya ukumbi chini ya ulinzi, askari hao walipata wakati mgumu kuwatoa nje ya eneo la Bunge.
“Tulipanda juu hadi kwenye ofisi ya Lissu, alipofika alikaa chini, akafungua kompyuta yake, baadaye akaizima wala hakuwa na haraka na sisi wakati huo tulibaki tumesimama tu.
“Baadaye aliizima, akachomoa waya na kuziingiza kwenye begi lake, kisha alisimama taratibu na kuondoka kama vile hakuna jambo lililotokea,” alisema askari huyo.

Wenyewe wanena
Lema alisema: “Nimepokea kwa furaha adhabu hii kwa sababu imetokana na kupigania haki na ukweli ndani ya Bunge. Kwa hiyo adhabu hii kwangu ni baraka.”
Alisema uonevu wa wazi uliofanywa na Naibu Spika, Job Ndugai, baada ya muda kidogo Tanzania itashangilia ushindi mkubwa. Kwamba Watanzania watafurahia vijana wao na watoto wao walioshinda hofu.
“Ushahidi nilioombwa kuhusu mwenyekiti wa CCM kuwa mwasisi wa udini ninao, tena wa uhakika wa nguvu na imara na niko tayari kuutoa mbele ya Bunge kwa kuwa nilitoa maneno hayo mbele ya Bunge.
“Sitapeleka tena ushahidi wangu vichochoroni kwa kuwa nilipeleka ushahidi wangu kwa Spika kuhusu uongo wa Waziri Mkuu, walipiga chenga hadi wakanivua ubunge,” alisema.
Lema alidai kuwa ametumiwa meseji za vitisho kwamba wangelimuonyesha tena mahakamani, lakini akasema wafanye wafanyavyo ila moyo wake una furaha kuwa amesema yale ambayo wengine wameogopa kuyasema.
Mbunge wa Mbeya Mjini, Joseph Mbilinyi, alisema: “Bunge letu lina matatizo, halina mwelekeo. Job Ndugai anajidai yeye ndiye kiongozi wa serikali.”
Alisema kama Ndugai ana sifa hizo na anajiandaa kuwa Spika wa Bunge lijalo, anamwomba Mungu asiwe mbunge katika Bunge hilo.
“Tusi lililotolewa na Peter Serukamba wa CCM, lilikuwa kubwa kuliko matusi yote yaliyowahi kutolewa ndani ya Bunge katika mabunge ya Jumuiya ya Madola.
“Hili lilihitaji adhabu, lakini kitendo cha Naibu Spika kumtimua Lissu ambaye alikuwa anafuata kanuni ni cha kusikitisha sana,” alisema.
Mbilinyi alisema wananchi wa Mbeya Mjini hawakumtuma kushangilia bungeni.
Kwa upande wake Mchungaji Msigwa alisema: “Adhabu hii ni ya hovyo kwa sababu haikufuata taratibu; wamegeuza Bunge kama sehemu ya serikali.”
Alifafanua kuwa kama angepata adhabu iliyofuata kanuni asingekuwa na shida, angeipokea kwa furaha.
“Naibu Spika ana jazba, anapaswa apate mafunzo ya jazba zake. Viongozi wa Bunge wamejaa u-CCM zaidi kuliko utaifa. Binafsi sitajali kufukuzwa, ninachotaka haki itendeke,” alisema.
Mbunge wa Ilemela, Kiwia, alisema adhabu waliyopewa ni kinyume cha kanuni.
“Adhabu hiyo anapaswa apewe mtu aliyesema uongo na kushindwa kuthibitishwa, pamoja na hayo kanuni zifanye kazi kwa wabunge kwa usawa,” alisema.
Kiwia aliongeza kuwa kanuni hazipaswi kuwaona wabunge wengine wana haki na wengine hawana; kwamba hoja za msingi zijibiwe, maamuzi bungeni yasifanyike kwa mabavu.
Naye Lissu ambaye ni mwanasheria kitaaaluma, alisema hajui ni kanuni gani iliyotumika na kumwadhibu na kwa kosa gani.

HABARI HII INAPATIKANA KATIKA GAZETI LA TANZANIA DAIMA – 19.04.2013